Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse Press Vatican for Answers

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.”

The priest continued to abuse her until her father passed away.

“When my father died, I went to the priest and asked, ‘What did I do wrong?’ I reported [the abuse] to the pastor, and he said, ‘That couldn’t be – I must be in deep grief’,” Caplan said.

The Vatican has largely kept mum about cases of child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy, despite its signing of the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In what was a historic moment...

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