News Story of the Day
The seemingly limitless book of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy – and its coverup by a doggedly self-preserving church administration – added yet another new chapter this week. Just one month after Milwaukee released a mind-boggling 6,000 pages of documents revealing the personnel files of over 40 priests with “verified abuse claims against them” and the clever maneuvers the church went through to protect millions of dollars in its funds from lawsuits, on Wednesday five Los Angeles religious orders released 1,700 pages of documents pertaining to“a dozen priests, brothers and nuns accused of sexual misconduct.”
Breaking news out of Milwaukee today as thousands of pages of documents have been released from the Catholic Archdiocese there. The papers show that Archbishop Timothy Dolan bribed priests to keep them quiet about the child sex abuse scandal, purposely shuttled nearly 57 million dollars out of the Milwaukee Archdiocese before it declared bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid paying settlements to victims, and was far more concerned with accused priests’ well-being and comfort than with the victims themselves. The papers, published on the Archdiocese website as well as on the website of victims’ lawyers, detail depositions, personnel files and court papers in relation to 42 separate child sexual abuse cases.
There was supposed to be someone from the Archdiocese of Detroit watching Timothy Murray of Novi, a Catholic priest banned from working in the Catholic Church because of sexual misconduct.
But the archdiocese did not know what Murray was doing inside his home. And last year, federal agents investigated him for possession and distribution of child pornography.
A pastor in Oradell allowed a priest to stay in his rectory who had been accused of sexually molesting a teenage boy. The Rev. Thomas Iwanowski and a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark said allowing Monsignor Robert Chabak to stay at St. Joseph's rectory was "an act of compassion." We ask: "To whom?"
Certainly not to the boy who was allegedly molested in the 1970s. The archdiocese removed Chabak from ministry in 2004 after it determined there was credible evidence to support the allegations. The statute of limitations had passed, and no criminal charges were filed. In May, the archdiocese was made aware of a second allegation regarding Chabak.
SILENCE can build walls, not to protect but exclude. It is not always golden or calming – silence has the capacity to shatter peace and cause pain.
The four congregations who owned the Magdalene Laundries have declined either to contribute to a redress fund for survivors, or to explain why they won't. Their silence injures the mainly elderly victims of laundries, but it is also damaging to the nuns.
Parishioners at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Oradell first noticed the man in November. Each night, he slept in the rectory. Every morning, he attended Mass in the soaring brick church, across the street from the parish’s elementary school.
UNITED NATIONS, Jul 18 2013 (IPS) - Mary Caplan was just 14 years old, and her father was dying of cancer. When she went to the local priest in her hometown of Jersey City to ask for prayers and help, he sexually abused her, and went on to do so for the next two and a half years.
“[The priest] told me there was a way that I could have a miracle for my father,” Caplan told IPS. “If I did certain things to him, because he represented Jesus, my father would have a miracle.”
SB 131 would give some victims of sexual abuse more time to file suit against employers. But church officials argue the bill opens it up to suits that are too old to fight.
At the height of the clergy sex-abuse scandal in 2002, Catholic leaders stayed silent as California lawmakers passed a landmark bill that gave hundreds of accusers extra time to file civil lawsuits. The consequences were costly.
You’d think lawyers suing a major religion that proclaims itself to be the guiding authority on moral behavior in every aspect of life would have the easiest job in the world.
Defendants wouldn’t even need to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. They’ve already declared themselves the world’s foremost authorities on the truth.
When New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan was in charge of the Catholic Church’s Milwaukee operations, he moved an enormous pot of the church’s cash — $57 million — into a trust fund for cemetery maintenance. Though the archdiocese was in the middle of a gigantic lawsuit over its priests’ sexual abuse of children, Dolan called it routine bookkeeping.
Now the New York Times reports the discovery of a smoking gun: documents including a letter from then-Archbishop Dolan to the Vatican, explaining how the transfer protected the church’s millions in the event it lost in court.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.