Monday, January 14, 2008


More Catholic Sexual Abuse

Sex Abuse in Alaska Church Newsweek National News "It is one of the darkest chapters of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. More than 110 children in Eskimo villages claim they were molested between 1959 and 1986, raped or assaulted by 12 priests and three church volunteers. Families and victims believe that another 22 people were sexually abused by clergy members but have since killed themselves. The Jesuit Oregon Province, which includes Alaska, has agreed to pay $50 million in damages. It is believed to be the largest settlement ever against a religious order...
Only three priests covered in the settlement are still living. They include Father James Jacobson and Father Jim Poole, both in their 80s. Jacobsen is accused of fathering a total of four children with four women, as well as impregnating a 16-year-old who had an abortion. Poole, who founded a popular Catholic radio station in Nome that can still be heard in the villages, also allegedly impregnated a girl. According to court filings, Poole told her to abort the fetus and blame it on her father. According to Father John Whitney, the head of the Jesuit Oregon Province, the priests are under close monitoring at a senior care facility run by the order in Spokane, Wash. Neither could be reached for comment.
Patrick Wall, a former Benedictine monk and Catholic priest who has served as a consultant to Roosa and other lawyers in the Alaska suits, said the Jesuits knew these missionaries were predators. These priests "had abused elsewhere," he said, "and then were unleashed in the most uncontrolled environment.""

I know that anyone who reads through the many rants on Catholic sexual abuse posted here probably understand why I stay so furious about this issue. I had not even heard of this set of cases in Alaska, and it felt overwhelming long before I heard about most of the ones that I post about on here. I ask again, if this were anything but a Church, would we ignore it so fully and unabashedly as a society? If this was an oil company, another non-profit, a hospital, a school, would we give them the pass that we have given the Catholic Church? Would we not stay outraged, each and every one of us, that a whole organization with the power greater than any government could intentionally send predators into communities all over the world to continue raping children over decades and decades? I know that there are some that say the worst is behind us, but I suspect that has been said before. After all, this is not new to the Catholic Church. This is age-old. Why isn't this a cover story? Why aren't there journalists there from all over the world, setting an example of these men despite their age and occupation? Why aren't we telling the next generation of priests that this will be met with jail terms? Why are we not using the Catholic pedophiles as examples of what will happen to ordinary pedophiles? The victims seem to experience the same kind of anguish. The public, however, seems to be just fine continuing to turn a blind eye, which unfortunately means that the new generation believe that this power given them through the Church will relieve them of any responsibility. I am not so sure parents won't hold some responsibility if they leave their children with priests now that we know the pattern. That is, of course, an entirely different matter. For today, I will limit my outrage to the Church, a filthy institution that has never rid itself of this evil.

Thank you for this! As a survivor of (heterosexual) priest abuse, I continue to ask, "Where's the outrage?"

As a society we should be outraged that a moral institution can not only behave so immorally (and illegally) but get away with it decade after decade after decade...
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