Posts Tagged sexual abuse victims
The truth of the clergy sex abuse scandal would never have surfaced without the sustained courage of victims. In the same way, it will take the courage and work of victims, above all, to help return the church to health.
“Marie Collins provides a stunning example of the kind of determination and courage required to get on with that latter phase of dealing with the scandal. It is enough that this abuse survivor from Ireland has dedicated so much of her life to establishing organizations and structures to protect children. That she would accept appointment to Pope Francis’ Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is a most generous gift to the church. The risks in taking the assignment were both enormous and inherent.
“We are grateful that she initially accepted and that she has decided to stay on through the most recent upheaval involving fellow member Peter Saunders and the commission’s decision that the only other victim on the commission take a leave of absence.”
By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.
Australian bishop testifies on prevalence of child sex abuse in the church / National Catholic Reporter
Dying of cancer, Bishop Emeritus Geoffrey Robinson appeared Aug. 24 before the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to testify to the prevalence of child sexual abuse in the church.
“He painted a sad picture of a brave and lonely Sisyphus with his band of bishops in tow, pushing a boulder with a reasoned response to the crisis up the Vatican Hill, only to have it pushed back by popes and cardinals who had no idea about the issue and a blindness about the incapacity of canon law to deal with it.
“‘However great the faults of the Australian bishops have been over the last 30 years, it still remains true that the major obstacle to a better response from the church has been the Vatican,’ Robinson told the commission. Most of the Roman Curia saw the problem as a ‘moral one: if a priest offends, he should repent; if he repents, he should be forgiven and restored to his position. … They basically saw the sin as a sexual one, and did not show great understanding of the abuse of power involved or the harm done to the victims.'”
By Kieran Tapsell, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The Catholic Church needn’t wait for a national redress scheme. It can act morally now. / The Guardian
By acting unilaterally to adequately compensate victims of sexual abuse, the Catholic church would send a powerful message …
“The Catholic church is but one of the institutions that failed to take adequate steps to prevent children from being molested and raped. The royal commission has exposed many others including the ultra-Orthodox Jewish institution, Yeshivah, the Anglican church and the Salvation Army. The case for distinguishing the Catholic church rests on at least three propositions.
“First, by virtue of its size, the scale of child sexual abuse within the Catholic church is extraordinary …
“(second) Decade after decade, the church shielded criminals within its ranks assiduously …
“Thirdly, the Catholic church ruthlessly protected its assets from victims seeking redress.”
By Josh Bornstein, Commentary in The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Judge orders mediation in Milwaukee archdiocese bankruptcy case to control legal bills / Associated Press
A federal judge ordered mediation Wednesday July 30) in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s bankruptcy case, saying she believed it was the best bet for resolving the hard-fought case and keeping more money from going to lawyers rather than sexual abuse victims …
“A reorganization plan proposed by the archdiocese earlier this year would give 128 victims roughly half of an $8 million insurance settlement. Others who have filed claims would receive nothing. Meanwhile, attorneys’ fees are now estimated at $13.7 million, and victims have been outraged by the idea that attorneys would receive more money than them …
“Monica Barrett, an abuse survivor who now speaks for others, said success in mediation will depend how the archdiocese approaches it.
“‘If Archbishop (Jerome) Listecki comes to the table with a realistic and compromising mentality, indeed this might be able to get resolved,’ Barrett said. “… However if Archbishop Listecki continues to use this bankruptcy action as a hammer to use against survivors, nothing will get resolved. Up until this point, the only people who have been asked to compromise anything have been the victim-survivors.'”
By M.L. Johnson, Associated Press, in Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The heartbreaking reality is that the marginalization of survivors is all too common in the Christian community. I have encountered many abuse survivors who want nothing to do with Jesus because of being marginalized by the very community they had hoped would care most, the Church. Just like the Priest and Levi in the parable of the Good Samaritan, we are often so quick to embrace ‘rationale excuses’ for why we walk away. When we do this, we marginalize the very lives that God sees as beautiful and infinitely valuable. When we do this, we marginalize Jesus.”
By Boz Tchividjian, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this article.
At Voice of the Faithful’s 10th Year Conference in Boston this past September, Fr. James Connell, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and advocate for clergy sexual abuse victims/survivors, spoke about truth before healing in the Catholic Church’s clergy sexual abuse scandal. As one aspect in the search for that truth, Fr. Connell sent a letter on Apr. 29 to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asking for an investigation into Archbishop of Newark John Myers’ handling of the case of Rev. Michael Fugee, who pleaded guilty to groping a boy but was kept in ministry. You can read Fr. Connell’s letter on National Catholic Reporter’s website under the title Milwaukee Priest Wants Archbishop Myers Investigated.