Saturday, July 23, 2011

Catholic leaders shirked duty in sex abuse cases

via:The American Statesman

Here is an excerpt from a powerful article about clergy abuse written by a Catholic and former seminarian, documenting his own history of abuse which was handled in the typical pattern of collective denial and victim blaming by Church hierarchy ...

Whenever priest abuse happened in the seminary, it was covered up. One professor was a serial abuser. He just disappeared one night. Rumor had it he was transferred to New Mexico for therapy and then to a parish, as was the custom. Perhaps. The point is, the authorities never told us anything, never counseled us, never worked with us to understand the enormity of the transgression and its effects on victims. Nor did they ever tell us of any adverse consequences to the priest. We assumed there were none.

This was the same when I finally had the courage to report my abuser, who even stalked me. It was frightening, but I feared I would pay a price for reporting him. Others had experiences much worse than mine, but the officials' reaction was always the same and typical. The message they telegraphed was not the message they should have taught: Don't do it, and, if you do, there are consequences for the abuser and for the victim.