Monday, September 6, 2010

Catholic Sexual Abuse Scandal Update; Pope Benedict to Have Secret Meeting with Victims in Britain

     The sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic church continues, even if it isn't on the news every night.

     Here are other secrets recently exposed:

     A grand jury in Sullivan County has indicted a former Roman Catholic priest on criminal sexual conduct and aggravated rape charges.  The charges are the latest against 76-year-old William Casey stemming from accusations of sexual abuse over 30 years ago.  Warren Tucker of Jeffersonville, Ind., has said Casey abused him for five years, beginning in 1975 when he was a fifth-grader at St. Dominic's church in Kingsport, Tenn.
     A Catholic priest convicted of sexually abusing three young sisters has been [sentenced to be] jailed for four years.  Father Eugene Lewis, 76, was found guilty of 11 charges of assault between 1963 and 1973. The sisters said the abuse began when they were as young as seven. He had denied the charges.  The abuse took place at their County Fermanagh home.  In May, a jury in Omagh unanimously convicted Lewis, who lived in Dublin before his six-week trial.The former provincial superior of the Society of Missionaries of Africa was also accused of raping one of the sisters, but since the alleged incident happened in Dublin he could not be tried for the offence in Northern Ireland.
     Father Owino, a native of Kenya, is a priest of the Apostles of Jesus, a religious community with regional headquarters in Philadelphia. He was arrested July 8 in Fairfax, Va., and charged with aggravated sexual battery involving the 11-year-old daughter of close friends in Herndon, Va. The abuse reportedly occurred in July, when he was staying with the family.
     A 51-year-old Catholic priest wanted in Texas for four counts of sexual abuse of a child was arrested Friday in Lawrence.  The U.S. Marshals Service tracked down John M. Fiala, 51, after receiving a tip on his whereabouts. Fiala was charged Tuesday in Edwards County, Texas, with the abuse, said Matt Cahill of the U.S. Marshals Service
     Vintage ceramic tile and linoleum in his new workplace led attorney Gregory Guggemos to recall his days at St. Vincent home for children in the 1950s, he said Tuesday. Guggemos said he was abused at that home by its founder, Msgr. John Slowey, who led Catholic Social Services of Lansing.  He settled a claim against the Catholic Diocese of Lansing for $225,000 last month. He said he hopes telling his story will help his healing process -- and other victims of clergy abuse.  "I know now I did nothing wrong when I was at the orphanage. I have no responsibility for being sexually abused. I am a victim," said Guggemos, who formerly lived in Haslett.
     In the dark, spartan room lit only by an oil lamp, the priest gave the little girl a piece of candy and told her to keep her mouth shut.  “He told me it was our secret,” that little girl said recently. “He told me to be quiet or I’d be in serious trouble.”  She was 7 and she’d just been raped.
     Shame and fear of ridicule kept him quiet about alleged sexual abuse by a Catholic priest in Eureka nearly 30 years ago, a Humboldt County man said Tuesday...  He is one of two Humboldt County men who filed lawsuits last month accusing the Santa Rosa Diocese of fraud and negligence for hiring the Rev. Patrick Joseph McCabe and failing to disclose his sexual misconduct to parishioners in Eureka.  The men, who both served as altar boys, were not identified in the lawsuits. They both allege they were repeatedly fondled by McCabe, now 74, at St. Bernard Church in Eureka in the early 1980s.

Belgian Cardinal Caught on Tape Urging Victim to Cover Up Sexual Abuse by Bishop

     A set of tapes from an April 8th meeting between one of Bishop Vangheluwe's victims (his own nephew!) and Cardinal Danneels reveals how the Catholic Church operates behind closed doors, while under fire.

    Reuters reports on the verbatim record:
     Leaked tapes of Belgium's Cardinal Godfried Danneels urging a victim not to reveal he was sexually abused by a bishop are some of the most damaging documents to emerge in the scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church.
     The tapes, made secretly by the victim and published in two Belgian newspapers on Saturday, show the former primate of Belgium exhorting him to accept a private apology or wait one year until the bishop retired before making his case public...
     Belgian Church spokesman Jurgen Mettepenningen confirmed to Reuters that the transcripts in the Flemish dailies De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad were genuine.  "From everything he says, it's clear that his only aim is to avoid having the case made public so many years after the facts. It is containment, nothing more," De Standaard wrote... 
     In their one-on-one meeting, the victim says he feels a duty to report the case to the Church hierarchy and asks Danneels to help. The cardinal responds by urging him not to go public.
     "The bishop will resign next year, so actually it would be better for you to wait," the cardinal says. "I don't think you'd do yourself or him a favor by shouting this from the rooftops."
     The man pleads for help but Danneels, 77, who had stepped down as Brussels archbishop in January, says he cannot discipline Vangheluwe or inform higher authorities, including Pope Benedict. The bishop should turn himself in, he says.
     Danneels warns the victim against trying to blackmail the Church and urges him to seek forgiveness, accept a private apology from the bishop and not drag "his name through the mud."
     "He has dragged my whole life through the mud, from 5 until 18 years old," says the victim, who denies he wants to blackmail anyone. "Why do you feel so sorry for him and not for me?"
     This is the way the church works.  It's the same thing I've heard repeatedly:  "Don't scandalize the faithful."  "You need to stop focusing on Father and forgive yourself."  "What will people say?"  "Jesus never got justice.  It takes a strong person to heal without justice."  "Bringing this up will only limit your potential and keep you in the past."  "Parishioners have such wonderful memories of Father, and it would be so hurtful to them to find out the truth. Do you want to rob those dear people of their memories?"

     After all that has been brought into the light concerning sexual abuse and cover up in the Catholic Church, the operating principle of many Catholics remains: hush everything under the guise of "protecting the faithful from scandal."

Pedophile Ring Tried and Convicted in Portugal

     Needy children were supposed to receive help from this Portuguese institution.  Instead they were raped at sex parties, attended by a retired ambassador, famous television anchor, and others.  

     Six people were convicted of child sexual abuse in a Lisbon court on Friday, in a trial that lasted nearly six years and shocked people in Portugal and beyond.
     A three-judge panel found the defendants guilty of raping and sexually abusing minors at a state-run institution for needy children, and of running a ring for pedophiles. A seventh defendant, charged with allowing her home to be used for sexual abuse, was acquitted.
     The charges involved the rape and sexual abuse of 32 children who were residents of the home in Lisbon, part of a network of institutions for children called Casa Pia. The crimes took place in the 1990s, but they first came to light in 2002, when a former resident accused Carlos Silvino, a former driver and gardener at the home, of raping him.
     The accusation prompted others to come forward to say that they, too, had been raped and sexually abused. The allegations included accounts of sex parties attended by prominent personalities. The defendants included Carlos Cruz, a former star television anchor, who was sentenced to seven years in prison, and Jorge Ritto, a retired ambassador, who received a sentence of six years and eight months