Catholic Church Had a “Playbook for Concealing the Truth”

Shortly after I posted my last article, news broke concerning a Pennsylvania grand jury’s findings on the Catholic dioceses in that state. According to the report, the Catholic Church had an established policy of covering up the sexual abuse of thousands of children. This was not merely shifting abusers for one parish to another, but also using deceptive language to obscure the nature of what happened. From the New York Times:

Special agents from the F.B.I.’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime reviewed evidence collected by the grand jury, the report says, and identified a series of practices that were regularly used by the six dioceses to cover up reports of abuse.

“While each church district had its idiosyncrasies, the pattern was pretty much the same,” the report says. “The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid ‘scandal.’ That is not our word, but theirs; it appears over and over again in the documents we recovered.”

That the Church kept detailed records like this is astounding on its own. Yet the scale of the nature, the language used, and the clear lack of concern for the victims is unreal. I will post section from the report used in the NYT article in full: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v265

Acclaimed teacher Anne Lakey jailed for eight years for underage sex — A former high-flying headteacher has been jailed for eight years for having sex with two underage boys in the 1980s. Anne Lakey, 55, from Stanley, County Durham, had won national acclaim for improving schools, but her successful career hid a sordid past. She took the virginity of two boys aged 13-14 and another aged 15 when she was in her late 20s and working as a history and RE teacher in Sunderland. Police believe there could be more victims of Lakey.

Accused youth worker from Poole repeatedly denies abusing school boys — A POOLE teaching support worker has refuted allegations he abused two boys while employed at different schools. Repeatedly, in answer to defence barrister Michael Hall, Graham Gilmour replied “absolutely not” if there was any truth to the allegations. The case against the 43-year-old rests on the testimony of two boys who claimed they were victims of historic sexual abuse while attending Greggs School in Southampton and Chandlers Ford-based Lakeside School, a special education unit catering for children with behavioural problems.

Cabin Hill Prep: ‘Ongoing investigation’ into allegations of rape and sex assault between boys at school, judge hears — Sex abuse police are conducting an “ongoing investigation” into allegations of rape and sex assault between boys at top school Cabin Hill Prep, a judge heard today. The revelation came at Downpatrick Crown Court as defence QC Kieran Mallon pleaded with Judge Brian Sherard to treat the case against a 28-year-old internet pervert as unique and “exceptional.” Continue reading

“The Child-Rape Assembly Line”

Originally posted on November 14, 2013

Christopher Ketcham wrote an article for VICE about sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community. The article sheds light on a problem that, much like the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse problems, has remained hidden as a result of protecting the offenders and punishing the victims:

In New York, and in the prominent Orthodox communities of Israel and London, allegations of child molestation and rape have been rampant. The alleged abusers are schoolteachers, rabbis, fathers, uncles—figures of male authority. The victims, like those of Catholic priests, are mostly boys. Rabbi Rosenberg believes around half of young males in Brooklyn’s Hasidic community—the largest in the United States and one of the largest in the world—have been victims of sexual assault perpetrated by their elders. Ben Hirsch, director of Survivors for Justice, a Brooklyn organization that advocates for Orthodox sex abuse victims, thinks the real number is higher. “From anecdotal evidence, we’re looking at over 50 percent. It has almost become a rite of passage.”

People who complain about the abuse are kicked out of the community. For example, Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg began blogging about the abuse in the community. He also set up a hotline for people to call. He made media tours and publicly denounced the abuse. The result: he is excluded from all activities in his community and receives death threats. Continue reading