A civil child molestation lawsuit against a former Catholic priest who counseled Indiana teens and young adults until a year or two ago will keep moving forward because of a new court ruling this week.
Yesterday in The Hague, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) took a historic step when our leaders, with attorneys from the human rights organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), filed a long-awaited and long-overdue, lengthy and detailed complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the Vatican for crimes against humanity. This complaint charges that Vatican officials tolerate and enable the systematic and widespread concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world. In calling for investigation, we submitted over 20,000 pages of supporting materials, consisting of reports, church policy papers and evidence of crimes by Catholic clergy committed against children and vulnerable adults.
Statement by SNAP President Barbara Blaine
We’re taking this historic step today for one very simple reason: to protect innocent children and vulnerable adults. Across the globe, we believe hundreds of boys and girls are being sexually violated right now by Catholic priests, nuns, bishops, and seminarians. That widespread violence is being systematically concealed, as it has been for decades, by top officials of a callous, secretive, rigid, and powerful global hierarchy.
Our hearts go out to Archbishop Hepworth. We sympathize with his suffering and we applaud his courage.
All abuse is horrific. Abuse by religious authority figures is especially heinous. And abuse by church officials who can potentially derail the church career of a devout young seminarian or priest is even more heinous.
The Diocese of Cleveland has posted on its web that Fr Mathew Ischay has been placed on leave as the result of a court complaint alleging that misconduct with a minor occurred in the late 1970’s.
Finally, a decade after a jury first found him guilty of molesting kids, the Vatican has defrocked a serial predator priest, Fr. Thomas Teczar, who assaulted children in Texas and Massachusetts.
Philly citizens have a simple choice – vigilance or complacency. We hope they’ll choose vigilance.
The following column by Barbara Blaine is reprinted from today's National Catholic Reporter.
Here's how The Kansas City Star reported the new development:"Allegations that a priest has molested a child can no longer be kept secret within the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph [Mo.]," according to a policy approved by Kansas City's Catholic bishop.
We’re disappointed in this delay. The boys and girls who were sexually violated because of the actions of Lynn, Bevilacqua, Rigali and other church bureaucrats deserve timely justice.
Msgr. Lynn now claims that some have a ‘distorted’ view because his words, under oath, are available to the public now. How ironic.