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

The sex abuse cover-ups continue at the Vatican

It appears that one of my predictions about sexual abuse within the Catholic Church came true. I stated years ago that victims of clergy abuse usually take 15 to 20 years to come forward. I based this on the date ranges for the abuse as victims came forward. Those who came forward during the 1990s reported that the abuse occurred in the 1970s and early 1980s. Those who came forward during the early 2000s reported abuse from the 1980s an early 1990s.

While the Catholic Church tried to address the hundreds of thousands of accusations, they were adamant that the abuse was essentially over. Their position was that the rampant abuse of the 1960s and 1970s stemmed from the sexual revolution.

I did not believe this. My assumption was that victims of more recent abuse would simply hold to the same pattern as older victims. It would take those people at least 10 years, if not 20, before coming forward, and this was despite the greater news coverage and social concern.

A recent article appears to confirm my suspicion: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v307

Boys — the silent victims of sex trafficking — The silence nearly killed Tom Jones. As a child, Jones was raped, abused and sold to men for sex. The brutality ended when he was 15. But, like many male victims, Jones didn’t seek help, didn’t tell anyone about the trauma he had suffered. Instead, he buried his pain and shame deep inside, carrying the burden alone and in silence for another 15 years. Silence did not equal acceptance.

Caldey Abbey: first male victim comes forward to describe sexual abuse — A man has come forward to describe how he was groomed and sexually abused as a child by a Benedictine monk on Caldey Island, intensifying calls for an inquiry into what happened at the abbey in south-west Wales. The victim, who has told police of the abuse he was subject to during summer holiday trips to Caldey Island, is the first man to allege he was sexually assaulted by Father Thaddeus Kotik.

South Carolina Church To Pay $300,000 And Apologize In Child Sex Abuse Case — A Baptist church in South Carolina settled a child sexual abuse lawsuit, agreeing to issue an apology, admit liability, and to pay $300,000 to the plaintiff. Bryan Barnes, spokesman for First Baptist Church of Columbia, S.C., said that church leadership issued the apology and explained the terms of the settlement before the congregation on Sunday, according to the Baptist Press. Continue reading

4,444 vitcims: The travesty of sexual abuse in Australia’s Catholic Churches

Four thousand four hundred and forty four cases of sexual abuse in 35 years.

The number is astounding. So much abuse, so many lives tormented. These numbers come from recently released information about Australia’s Catholic archdiocese. From the Guardian:

Seven per cent of Australia’s Catholic priests were accused of abusing children in the six decades since 1950, according to new data from the royal commission.

On Monday the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse released damning statistics on the scale of the crisis within the Catholic Church. The numbers confirm the extent of sexual predation already suggested by four years of royal commission hearings involving the church, which are now entering their final weeks.

Up to 15% of priests in some dioceses were alleged perpetrators between 1950 and 2015, with abusers most prevalent in the dioceses of Sale and Sandhurst in Victoria, Port Pirie in South Australia, and Lismore and Wollongong in New South Wales. The numbers were even worse in some national Catholic orders. By far the worst was the order of the St John of God Brothers, where a staggering 40% of religious brothers are believed to have abused children.

Forty percent. Try to fathom that two thirds of a dioceses clergyman are child rapists. For the number to be that high, one would imagine they were not hiding their activities. There would be far too many victims. The most logical conclusion is also the most disturbing and horrific: the Church knew about the abuse and intentionally did nothing. Continue reading

Vatican envoy accuses abuse victims of being “spiteful”

It appears the Vatican still has a propensity for deploying terrible representatives to handle child abuse investigations. A envoy for the Vatican recently made a startling claim:

Father Dante Simón, one of the two envoys sent by the Vatican to probe the scandal, suggested that some accusations have been dismissed because they were invented by “spiteful” boys who had fallen in love with priests and were rejected. Despite the fact that more than 60 former students have come forward with allegations involving sexual abuse at the institute, Simón chose to highlight “dismissed” cases.

“A few (cases) have been dismissed,” the priest told the Mendoza Post. “Because there are people who are spiteful. For example, a girl or a boy falls in love with a priest, and he doesn’t respond back. The boy can be very spiteful like a woman can. So, they denounce him (the priest),” Simón told reporter Martín Tejerina.

Yes, of course. Little boys and girls fall in love with priests all the time. With so many potential lovers, what is a priest to do? He will have to deny some of the children. And children, being “spiteful” little creatures, are prone to lie about being sexually abused.

Or so Father Simón would have us believe. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v304

Advocates, survivors say stigmas keep male victims from reporting sexual assaults — Social stigmas and a lack of understanding fuels the underreporting of sexual assaults among male victims, police and victim advocates said at a campus forum Thursday. Zac Palmer told about a dozen people at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln he didn’t realize what his longtime partner did to him was sexual assault. He only later came to terms with it, and then last summer, he was sexually assaulted by someone else while at a party with friends, he said.

Chicago Archdiocese pays $3.15 million to settle abuse suits — The Archdiocese of Chicago will pay $3.15 million to settle lawsuits brought by three men who allege they were sexually abused by a notorious former pastor of a West Side Catholic church more than a decade ago, the plaintiffs’ attorney said Wednesday. The accusers, all identified in court papers as John Doe, said former priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormack sexually abused them more than once during their participation in an after-school program called S.A.F.E. at Our Lady of the Westside Catholic School.

Court hears boy got himself expelled from seminary so that sex abuse by priest would stop — A catholic priest repeatedly sexually abused a young boy in his care “breaching that trust in a spectacular and horrific way,” a court heard. The boy was just 13 and 14 years old when Father Michael Higginbottom allegedly began seriously abusing him at a seminary in West Lancashire, according to prosecutors. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v303

2 Former Penn State Administrators Plead Guilty To Roles In Abuse Scandal — Two former high-level Penn State administrators pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor charges of child endangerment, for their roles in covering up child sex abuse by disgraced assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Former Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley each took a plea bargain that — if accepted by the judge — will carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. As part of the plea bargain, the felony charges they originally faced were reduced to misdemeanors.

Battered Men: The Hidden Hurt — Battered men desperately sought help for years in California, but their efforts consistently fell on deaf ears. It took four battered men and a 2008 lawsuit by the National Coalition for Men for the California Supreme Court to recognize that men are entitled to equal protection and advocacy support from domestic violence shelters. Domestic violence accounts for a surprising proportion of violent crime in the United States. Close to one in six murder victims is killed by an intimate partner. Nearly three-fourths of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner.

Dozens Say Christian Leader Made British Boys ‘Bleed for Jesus’ — Having disclosed his “sin” of masturbation, Mark Stibbe, age 17, was ordered to strip naked and lean over a wooden chair in the garden shed of a lavish Hampshire mansion on the southern coast of England. Then came the first blow from a cane, its impact so ferocious that it sent the boy into a state of paralysis that lasted through at least 30 more strokes that left him collapsed on the floor, blood oozing down his legs. Continue reading