Sex Abuse in the Church

Suppressed Society of St. John Resurfaces in South America

The controversial Society of St. John which had been functioning in the Diocese of Scranton until its suppression in 2004, has resurfaced in Paraguay with two priests who’ve been accused of sexual abuse of minors. The Society which had been the subject of an abuse lawsuit in Scranton had been invited to function in the Diocese of Scranton by former Bishop James Timlin. The two priests, Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity and Rev. Eric Ensey, who were forbidden from exercising their priestly duties, are now with the society in Paraguay.

Jackson Mississippi Diocese Settles Abuse Claims

In spite of claiming protection under the First Amendment, the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, MI has settled 19 claims of sexual abuse brought against it. The Diocese had strenuously argued for the separation of church and state during the lengthy litigation. The church’s position that it is autonomous from civil law has been asserted by other diocese across the country as they sought to protect themselves from civil exposure and the damaging revelations internal church documents might uncover.

Sex Abuse Claims Mount Against Louisiana Orphanage

Madonna Manor, a Catholic run home for poor and troubled children, has been rocked by 8 more lawsuits filed against the institution as a result of physical and sexual abuse of the children dating back to the 1950’s and 1960’s. Unlike other areas of the country, Madonna Manor has faced more sex abuse complaints than any other Catholic institution in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

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Leaders of US Conference of Catholic Bishops Feel the Heat

Both the President and Vice President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops find themselves embroiled in the church’s sex abuse scandal. Vice President Francis Cardinal George has come under heavy fire for not removing an abusing priest when he learned of the abuse. President William Skylstad, Bishop of the beleaguered Spokane Diocese, has been accused of the sexual abuse of a woman 40 years ago. Skylstad has protested his innocence and George has apologized for not doing more to prevent abuse.
Both men have been asked to step down from their posts. Neither seem likely to do so, however.

Sex Abuse-Why in the Church?

I received a comment from another blogger about my post on the Irish Catholic Church abuse scandal. The person noted that people weren’t asking the right questions in order to find out why this happened and continues to happen.
Well, unfortunately, we can’t know the reasons until we get a look at the internal church documents. Until that time, we can only speculate about why this has occurred. Some blame celibacy, others the clerical culture. The truth is we really can’t do more than speculate unless we see what really happened. In order to do that, we need to look at the inner workings of the church. That’s what lawsuits can do. They can uncover the truth and expose it to the light of day. Hopefully, after such exposure, the evil of child abuse dies a quick death before victimizing anyone else!

Maryland Considers Helping Sex Abuse Victims

The Maryland Legislature is hearing public comments concerning two pending bills that would alter the present statute of limitations barring most sexual abuse victims from access to the courts and justice. One of the bills would open a two year window during which abuse victims could file a lawsuit against the perpetrator of the abuse.
The Catholic Church in Maryland strongly opposes such change to the present law. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed this tragedy since 2002.

Maryland Considering Opening Statute of Limitations on Sex Abuse

The Maryland House Judiciary Committee heard public comments on two bills that would alter the present statute of limitations laws concerning sexual abuse. One bill, sponsored by Pauline A. Menes, would allow victims to file a civil claim until they reached the age of 42. The other bill would open a two year window during which survivors of child sexual abuse could file lawsuits against the perpetrators.
Of course, the Maryland Catholic bishops oppose both bills.
I urge any survivors of sexual abuse, especially those abused in Maryland, to contact Maryland state legislators and ask them to give these bills a favorable hearing.

Irish Priest Abuse Scandal

While the priest abuse scandal is nothing new in Ireland-it’s been a subject in the news for the last 20 years-the latest news from none other than the Archbishop of Dublin has startled some observers. The Arbishop’s report counts 120 priests as having sex abuse allegations made against them from 350 victims. With no end in sight, the Irish Church continues to lose credibility and influence in what was once known as a bastion of Catholicism.