Posts Tagged sexual abuse of children

Sharing stories of sexual abuse ‘helps to heal the hurt’ / National Catholic Reporter

“I believe this is one of the keys to understanding and healing the sexual abuse wounds in the church. It isn’t that people are just looking to bash the church, or that they want to wallow in victimhood. They desperately need to be heard so that the hurt can be healed in God’s way. When I experienced this phenomenon recently (at a Voice of the Faithful Healing Circle), Dot’s almost hokey way of describing our primal human need came back to me.”

‘Having the horror heard helps to heal the hurt. My stepmother, Dot, shared her wonderfully alliterative mantra with me years ago as we pondered the benefits of a person going to a counselor when stuck in pain. In her wise and eye-twinkling way, Dot — whose husband had been struck by a car and killed many years before, leaving her with 12 children to raise — was telling me how she had survived.

“After my mother died suddenly from brain cancer at 64, my father, Tom, was traumatized with grief and seemed to be on his way ‘out of the picture,’ as he used to say of others who had died. One of my nine sisters, Kate, challenged him to get up and start living again. ‘Because at least you had a life before Mama, but we never did,’ she reminded him. My father not only started to live again, five years later he married Dot. Between the two of them — Dot with her 12 kids, and Tom with his 14 — they had 26 mostly grown children. Talk about having the horror heard!

“Dot’s mantra shows how she understands people getting over the pains of life. They need to be heard. If someone is willing to listen to the horrors that befall us, it feels like we are not alone. We can bear it and even find meaning in it. As St. Paul wrote to the Galatians, ‘Bear one another’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.’

“I believe this is one of the keys to understanding and healing the sexual abuse wounds in the church. It isn’t that people are just looking to bash the church, or that they want to wallow in victimhood. They desperately need to be heard so that the hurt can be healed in God’s way. When I experienced this phenomenon recently, Dot’s almost hokey way of describing our primal human need came back to me.”

By Paul F. Morrissey, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column. Augustinian Fr. Paul F. Morrissey is the author of “The Black Wall of Silence.”

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End the statute of limitations on child sex abuse / Chicago Tribune

At 53, Scott Cross had waited more than three decades to talk to anyone about the incident in which, he said, his high school wrestling coach sexually molested him.

“By the time he shared his story — with family, prosecutors and then to a packed courtroom — his alleged sexual abuser, Dennis Hastert, had escaped prosecution. Yes, the former coach and U.S. House Speaker was prosecuted, but on a relatively minor financial violation — a wrinkle in the high-profile case that has renewed debate in Illinois and other states over the statute of limitations for cases involving sexual abuse of children.”

Editorial by Chicago Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this editorial

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Pope tells clergy: ‘never try to cover up child abuse’

For the first time, the full Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors will meet in Rome tomorrow, Friday (Feb. 6). Two members are clergy sexual abuse survivors: Peter Sanders from Britain and Ireland’s Marie Collins. Collins will be the featured speaker at the Voice of the Faithful® 2015 National Assembly in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 18.

Pope Francis has sent Catholic clergy a powerful reminder of their duty to stamp out sexual abuse of children by priests, warning that they must never let a fear of scandal lead to cover-ups.

“In a strongly-worded letter to the heads of national bishops’ conferences and religious orders, the pope demanded ‘close and complete’ cooperation with a new child protection watchdog he has established at the Vatican.

“‘Families need to know that the Church is making every effort to protect their children,’ he said.”

By Angus MacKinnon, Agence France-Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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On fifth anniversary of publication of Murphy report, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin reflects / The Irish Times

The fifth anniversary of the publication of the Murphy Report on the management, by both Church and State organizations, of allegations of the sexual abuse of children by priests working in the Archdiocese of Dublin, brings back to me the horror of the revelations that the report contains.

“Inevitably, my first reaction is to remember and recognize the horrible abuse that children experienced, which has left them with wounds and hurts in their lives which still remain today. The second reaction is to note how their hurt was in many cases made worse by the inadequacies of the responses of Church leaders and of the HSE and Garda Síochána.

“Looking back over these past five years, and over the years examined by the Murphy Commission, my thoughts have curiously been dominated in these days by one group, rarely mentioned, but who are real heroes of the abuse scandals: the mothers and fathers of children who had been abused who turned to the Church authorities, not with a reaction of hostility but simply with a passionate concern to ensure that no other child would have to endure what their child did.”

Commentary in The Irish Times — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.

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Sister Elizabeth Johnson: ‘The waste of time on this investigation is unconscionable’ / Religion News Service

‘When the moral authority of the hierarchy is hemorrhaging due to financial scandals and many bishops who … cover up sexual abuse of children, a cover up that continues in some quarters to this day, and thousands are drifting away from the church … the waste of time on this investigation is unconscionable,’ (Sister Elizabeth) Johnson said (to LCWR 2014 National Assembly).”

By Heidi Hall, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.

“Let a female speculate”: Full text of Sister Elizabeth Johnson’s LCWR talk, By David Gibson, Religion News Service

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“Betrayed by Silence”

The hour-long documentary Betrayed by Silence on Minnesota Public Radio presents the systemic coverup by three archbishops of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese, including the current one, over the sexual abuse of children in that diocese — all the while, the archbishops were professing publicly to the contrary. Whether one believes it represents lying, denial, or anything else, the piece demonstrates conclusively what has become the systemic pattern of Catholic hierarchy’s response to the pervasive evidence of sexual abuse of children by clergy. In no other part of our society would such blatant contradictions be tolerated without accountability of those responsible.

Click here to listen to this documentary.

Posted by William Casey, former Voice of the Faithful® Board of Trustees Chairman

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U.N. Panel on Torture Presses Vatican Envoy on Abuse / The New York Times

The Vatican faced sharp questioning by a United Nations panel on Monday (May 5) about whether it failed to abide by an international treaty against torture in its response to the sexual abuse of children by priests.

“In the hearing, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative in Geneva, immediately found himself at odds with members of the panel, the Committee Against Torture, over the Holy See’s view that it is responsible for applying the treaty only to the few hundred inhabitants of the Vatican City state.”

By Nick Cumming Bruce, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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