Two More Lawsuits Filed against Former Carmelite Priest, SNAP Responds
Two more lawsuits have been filed against a former New York priest charging that he sexually abused the plaintiffs when they were altar boys in the 70s and 80s. We hope that these lawsuits encourage others who may have seen, suspected, or suffered sexual abuse by this priest or others to come forward, get help, and start healing.
Fr. George Boxelaar was a Carmelite order priest who has been accused of abusing children in the Archdiocese of New York and elsewhere. Originally from Holland, Fr. Boxelaar reportedly hurt over a dozen children.
Despite this, Catholic officials in New York have not listed the cleric as an abuser, even though the allegations were reported in 2002. It seems likely that his crimes were known much earlier as at least six children were victimized by him in the 1970's and 1980's. However, Church leaders in New York continue to split hairs and choose not to name him publicly because of his status as an order priest instead of a diocesan one.
Not one order cleric or brother, lay employee or nun is listed on the Archdiocese of New York’s website. But as the example of Fr. Boxelaar shows, there is simply no doubt that dozens, if not hundreds, of order priests abused children while working in the archdiocese. It is also beyond dispute that lay employees, religious brothers and nuns also abused while employed by the archdiocese.
We call on Cardinal Timothy Dolan to stop trying to hide the true scope of abuse in his archdiocese and live up to his promise to be open and transparent. He should update his list to include all the abusers in his files. Adding names to his list is a simple and straightforward task that would help create safer, more informed communities. If Catholic officials in New York really want to demonstrate to the public that they are taking abuse seriously, this step should be taken today.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)