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Thursday, November 10, 2016

New York is a wicked state: Cardinal Timothy Dolan where is the Child Victims Act?

Cardinal Dolan - Who Cares About the Victims?
The catholic church, its lawyers and its supporting politicians think that victims of child abuse have short memories.  But we don’t  - here is a report of “Don” an 80 year old man who says, “the pain is fresh.”  Just like my pain is fresh – I relive it every day: rape by a catholic priest, beatings and being smothered by catholic nuns, the suicide of my brother who couldn’t live with the abuse we suffered. 

Don told a priest who ran St. Michael’s Home for Children on Staten Island that one of the church employees had molested him repeatedly for two years. All he got was a lecture about damaging the man’s reputation.

Don was beaten with a thick paddle: “He beat the back of my legs like he was really mad. I thought he would never stop,” Don told NY Daily News reporter Michael O’Keeffe. 

Even though Don reported the abuse to the Archdiocese of New York a few years ago it’s unlikely that he will receive any compensation or justice any time soon. Archdiocese officials told him they were not responsible because a religious order, the Sisters of Mercy, operated the orphanage during the seven years Don lived there in the 1940s.  The Dominican nuns who abused me ran the St. Agnes Home and School in Sparkill, NY in the 1940s.  This is the same old story from the Archdiocese – that they or the Pope have nothing to do with the actions of nuns.  The Vatican regulates what nuns do – how they pray, how they spend their money, how they conduct their lives.  But they are all of a sudden “not responsible” for nuns who are facing lawsuits.  

New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan set up an Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) supposedly to resolve the abuse scandal of the last 40 years. But there are strings attached:  only those victims who already reported the abuse are eligible now – others may be eligible sometime next year. The claim can’t be against a member of a religious order. The claim can only be against a priest and only a priest from the NY Archdiocese. There must be no previous settlements. It is up to the diocese to say the allegations are credible. The victim has to agree to never talk about the abusers, or ever bring another claim.  

So Don’s case was forwarded to the Sisters of Mercy. Because New York’s statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases bars victims from pursuing litigation after their 23rd birthdays, Don has no case with them.  Archdiocese Church officials said that Don was not eligible because he was sexually assaulted by a lay employee, not a priest or deacon.

 The Archdiocese says, “The IRCP has been established only to cover cases of abuse by clergy (priests or deacons) of the Archdiocese of New York. It does not cover members of religious communities, priests from other dioceses, or lay people.”

I made a report to the Archdiocese of the state where I live.  They said that since my abuse took place in New York, that it was New York’s problem.  The New York Archdiocese told me that unless I know the name of the priest who raped me and the nuns who beat and smothered me that they would not help me.  I was three and a half years old when I became a victim – too young to remember names.  The same run around and denial of responsibility.

Don’s case and my case shows that the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program is not the answer to child sexual abuse in New York. Getting rid of the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases in New York by passing the Child Victims Act is the only answer.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pope Francis came to the U.S., he saw and he did nothing

Robert Costello

Last April, before Pope Francis visited the U.S., some survivors of clergy abuse said that if he was truly interested in making reparations and healing, wasn’t Boston the best place to start? We haven’t yet seen help or justice for survivors anywhere. A few survivors wrote open letters to Pope Francis about his visit, asking if it would include Boston - Boston.com published them and here is one of the letters from Robert Costello:

Why the Sudden Change?

Dear Pope Francis,

I am sure you have a copy of the Book of Gomorrah by St. Peter Damian written around 1051. In several chapters he mentions his contempt of priests’ sexual contact with boys. He speaks of the damage done to the church by these offending priests. He asked Pope Leo IX to take some form of action but his pleadings were ignored.

We are now going on 964 years and 114 Popes later with no noteworthy attempts to change the rules regarding abusive child molesting priests. The carnage is now spread worldwide!

Just how many commissions has the Vatican appointed to investigate the centuries-old appalling, despicable, sexual, physical, and mental abuse by clergy?

And what of the results from these commissions? Other than the continued need for greed, and self-preservation at the sacrifice of millions of children.

I read that, prior to your election to the Holy See, you didn’t meet with victims, survivors, or their family members. Is this true?

Why the sudden change in your core belief system? Is it because your actions and words are now under a worldwide microscope? I find the fact that you would not be open to these meetings [with survivors] severely hypocritical since your advice or instruction to the newly appointed Cardinals is to meet with the marginalized. To be “compassionate’’ to seek to “reintegrate’’ the “marginalized’’, and to “respond immediately.’’

I am the marginalized you speak of; the church you now pilot has treated me as trivial and insignificant. This communication is exactly the kind of conversation that you have been asking for. Truth no matter the cost.

I have also been an advocate for other victims and survivors of clergy sex abuse. I mention the victims because many of them never reached the level of survivor. They are dead. Dead from drug overdoses, dead from accidents they had no control over because they were under the influence, trying to erase haunting memories. Dead from suicide, like five young men, all victims of Rev. Robert K. Larson in Kansas, who took their own lives unable to see past the pain.

Will you lead by example? Will you come to have a conversation with others and me when you come to the United States?

Your appointment of Cardinal O’Malley to head yet another commission to look into the Church’s response to the clergy sexual abuse scandal has many survivors worried that the ball will just be kicked, and kicked down the road for years and years to come. After all, the commission can only make recommendations. At its beginning, this commission had no offices and no funding. How am I to believe that you truly mean to help the marginalized?

Now let’s get back to the present. You need to know what happens to a survivor when you announce that you are planning an upcoming visit to the United States. I know I am not alone in saying this, however I will speak from my own personal experiences.

When I first heard about your plan, I felt a punch in my gut, my whole body became tense, and I began to sweat. My mind began racing as my body went numb. I physically felt ill. The first emotion was one of hope, feeling that you would finally address head-on the clergy abuse scandal and maybe, just maybe, after so many years I could speak with you, the Pope, share ideas and, yes, let out my frustration. However I then remembered the institution you lead and how it keeps its hierarchy sheltered from the world. I have firsthand experiences with this policy. Ask Cardinal Law about how Fr. McCormick kept him in the dark. You would never meet with me!

The next feeling was that I need a drink! Then came the tears and utter grief of my years of wretchedness because no one listened. Nor could I speak under the threat of harm by my perpetrators. I stifled my feelings in glasses of my grandfather’s Old Grand Dad and Pepsi.

Next came the shame, shame that was embedded into my soul by an evil man who was, to me, Jesus walking the earth. And then confusion that always comes rushing forward. Jesus did this to me! He hurt me. He penetrated my body over and over again for years, even in my own home. How could an all-knowing, all-seeing God allow this to happen? I needed an answer and still do.

Blinding rage comes next. The words “they knew, they knew’’ are still pounding in my head as I write this letter. After my perpetrator, Fr. John Cotter, was discovered and before he was reassigned to another parish to prey on its children, a large party was thrown. There he was, greeting all the parishioners just at the front of the hall next to the stage. He gave a wonderful performance laughing and joking with the church’s faithful as they dropped cards filled with money into either of the large boxes at his sides. To me it seemed they were thanking him, paying him for sexually abusing their children. All this went on with his superiors knowing what kind of monster he really was. How could I tell then, with everyone thinking he was such a Holy Man?

Then an infuriating rush of outrage, that you are coming to the U.S. for the Ordinary Synod on the Family. How was I to expect any meaningful change in Vatican policy when Extraordinary Synod in Vatican City seems to have missed the point that the Roman Catholic Church has played a role in destroying families?

My feelings also included disgust, desolation, misery, and depression. I had several sleepless nights and multiple calls and meetings with my therapist trying to contain my crippling emotions. I know that the physical abuse is not happening now. However the way I was treated is only magnified with your coming to the U.S.

I saw Pope John Paul II on the Boston Common when I was in high school. Even the rain did not dampen my spirit of joy. I had buried my sexual abuse deep inside.

When I went to New York City to see Pope Benedict XVI and demonstrate my frustration at the lack of action being taken, other like-minded people joined me. When the Pope’s entourage was about to come into view someone, somehow had arranged to have garbage trucks cross the intersection and block the pope’s view of us and ours of him. The fact that trash trucks were used was telling of how survivors have been and are treated by the Roman Catholic Church.

So now you are coming to the U.S. Will you come to Boston? Come to the epicenter of the current clergy sexual abuse crisis? Did you know that there is a group of people (STTOP — Speak Truth to Power) who support survivors and they have been standing in front of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross every Sunday for the last 13 years in support of the marginalized? Cardinal O’Malley must have mentioned this to you. They stand on the sidewalk in front of his Cathedral. You should pay them a visit. They are still strong Catholics trying to heal a broken Church and to support the marginalized you speak of.

Others may not want you to come to Boston because it would only stir up painful memories and they have moved on. This may be true, but when you come here to the U.S. it will be all over the media. There will be no escape from the torrent of coverage that will accompany you.

You will be repeatedly asked questions regarding the clergy sex abuse crisis in the U.S. Why not come to Boston? You could come to ground zero and work your way up.

Namaste,


Robert Costello

Monday, July 18, 2016

#DonaldTrump and #HillaryClinton: Is #childsexualabuse an #election issue?

Right or Left Children Don't Count


Hillary Clinton doesn’t talk directly about child sexual abuse but we can figure out what she may think by looking at her history. Hillary Clinton professes to be a champion of women and girls, but one woman who was raped as a 12-year-old in Arkansas told the Daily Beast she doesn’t think Hillary deserves that honor.  In fact, she says: “Hillary Clinton Took Me through Hell.”  The woman was the victim in a 1975 sexual abuse case that was Clinton’s first legal defense – for the rapist.  This woman says Hillary knew the accused rapist was guilty but used dishonest tactics to get her attacker off with a light sentence (one year) when he could have spent 30 years to life in prison.

The victim had only spoken to the media once about her attack in 2008. She is speaking out now after she heard Clinton talk about her case on newly discovered audio recordings from the 1980s. The Washington Free Beacon found the tapes archived at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, part of thousands of pieces of Clinton history being slowly released and made public. On the tapes, Clinton appears to say that she was aware of her client’s guilt, brags about successfully getting the only piece of physical evidence thrown out of court, and laughs about it.

“He took a lie detector test. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs,” Clinton says on the recording, failing to hold back some chuckles.

In a long, emotional interview with The Daily Beast,  the victim accused Clinton of intentionally lying about her in court documents, going to extraordinary lengths to discredit evidence of the rape, and later callously acknowledging and laughing about her attackers’ guilt on the recordings.

In the audio recordings, taped by Arkansas reporter Roy Reed, who for some reason never published them, Clinton tells how she discovered that investigators had cut out and lost a section of the rape suspect’s underwear that they said contained the victim’s blood. Clinton then brought the remaining piece of underwear to a blood expert in Brooklyn, NY, and tried to convince him to lend his heavyweight reputation and influence to her defense case.  Clinton said, “And so the, sort of the story through the grapevine was, if you get him interested in the case, then you know you had the foremost expert in the world willing to testify so that it came out the way you wanted it to come out.”  When she told the judge that the famous expert was willing to testify, instead of the original charge of first-degree rape, the prosecutors let the rapist plead to a lesser charge: unlawful fondling of a child. He was sentenced to one year behind bars, with two months reduced for time served. A second attacker was never charged.

In her interview with The Daily Beast, the victim told what the rape did for both her childhood and adult life. A virgin before the assault, she spent five days afterwards in a coma, months recovering from the beating that accompanied the rape, and over 10 years in therapy. She never married or had children. She turned to drugs, went to prison, but has been sober and stable for several years, living on disability.  She doesn’t believe that Clinton can be a role model for women or president of the United States.  She is concerned that speaking out will make her a target for attacks, but she no longer feels she is able to stay silent.

Some other facts give us an idea of Hillary’s mind set. Kathleen Willey is a former White House aide who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault. Willey told The Daily Caller about tactics she believes Hillary used to order the suppression of her deposition. Despite Hillary’s claims that she is a running a campaign of “love and kindness,” Willey said that in the months leading up to her deposition, “all I felt was fear and terror.”  She found a dead cat found on her porch, there was a man under her deck at night, and a stranger in her out-of-the-way neighborhood asking threateningly about how her children were doing.

So she was enraged when she hear Hillary Clinton say, “every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”  Willey said that nobody in the mainstream media has ever had the nerve to ask Clinton anything about what she was responsible for doing to all of the victims of Bill Clinton. Willey said, “And believe me, she is the one behind all of the terrorization, and the trashing of all of us who have suffered at his hands. She’s behind it all. She’s hired the private investigators, she’s done it all.”

Hillary has come out about campus sexual assault, saying that it needs to end. In this case she said, “I want to send a message to every survivor of sexual assault: Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have the right to be heard.”   We won’t find out whether this is just campaign speak or not – but it does sound contrary to some of her former comments.

Donald Trump

There is no specific information on Trump’s campaign website about his views on child sexual abuse. He has, however made comments that show that he puts his own interests above those of sexually abused people.  

At a rally in Pittsburgh last April, Donald Trump spoke to a group of football fans and said:

“I know a lot about Pennsylvania, and it’s great. How’s Joe Paterno?” he asked the crowd, reading from a piece of paper, “We gonna bring that back? Right? How about that whole deal?”  He was referring to the statue of football coach Joe Paterno that used to stand outside of Penn State’s football stadium.  That statue was removed when it was found that Paterno had helped cover up a sexual abuse scandal with the perpetrator his assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky. So Trump was saying that sexually abusing children or covering up for such abuse, can be forgiven as long as the criminals win enough football games.  He was trying to get the crowd on his side and they enjoyed it.

Palm Beach billionaire Jeffrey Epstein manages large amounts of money and gives a lot of it to politicians. He is also a convicted sex offender who is being sued by at least a dozen of his then-underage victims. Epstein was sentenced to 18 months in jail and served 13 before being released. If people are judged by the company they keep, then we should look at Trump’s relationship with Epstein and Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton traveled at least 10 times on Epstein's private jet, called the "Lolita Express" by tabloids, and he visited Little St. James, Epstein's private island in the US Virgin Islands. The island was where many of the worst crimes against minors were committed by Epstein and friends.

Trump, although he would like to drag Bill Clinton’s dirty laundry into Hillary’s spotlight will probably not talk about Epstein.  That is because links between Epstein and Trump exist. Trump's attorney Alan Garten says Trump had "no relationship" with Epstein, and only knew him because Epstein was a member of Mar-A-Lago, Trump's private club and residence in Palm Beach. "A lot of people hung out there, including Jeffrey Epstein," Garten said. "That is the only connection."

But there is some evidence that Trump and Epstein had a somewhat stronger connection. "I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,'' Trump told New York magazine in a 2002 profile of Epstein. This was three years before Epstein began to be investigated – so Trump may not have been aware of his escapades.  At that time Trump said, "He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

There is evidence that Trump once flew on Epstein’s private jet, that they had dinners together and Epstein knew Trump. The FBI had a copy of Epstein's private 194-page phone book with names of well-known political figures: Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, Tony Blair, former Utah governor and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, Senator Edward Kennedy, and Henry Kissinger. Epstein's telephone book also contained the names of Trump's former wife, Ivana, his daughter Ivanka, and his brother, Robert. Under Trump’s name there were 14 phone numbers, including emergency numbers, car numbers, and numbers to Trump's security guard and houseman. Since both Epstein and Trump were businessmen with many interests, we can’t say that the phone numbers represented other types of relationships.

During Epstein’s 2009 investigation one of the lawyers for the victims served Trump with a subpoena. Trump immediately contacted him. "During the conversation, Mr. Trump was open and forthright," The lawyer said. "I cannot discuss the substance of the conversation. But I will say that it was obvious to me that he was in no way involved in any untoward activity."  It was also found that in 2007, Trump’s club Mar-A-Lago had barred Epstein because Epstein tried to pick up the underage daughter of a Mar-A-Lago club member.


Candidates and Pope Francis

Clinton: “I am not a Catholic, but I am a great admirer of the Pope, because I think what he’s trying to do is to take the venerable institution, the Roman Catholic Church, and really once again place it on a firm foundation of the scriptures—Christ’s words.”  It’s difficult to imagine that Clinton has no idea of Pope Francis’ hidden agenda of putting the church first, covering up for bishops that hide pedophile priests and talking about but doing nothing to make children safe or bring justice to the victims. Maybe she wants to pander to the catholic “faithful” so they vote for her.

Trump went to the nation’s largest Christian university, Liberty University, in January to pledge, “I’m going to protect Christians,” who he said are losing their power in American society.  So like Hillary, Trump seems to be telling Christians just what they want to hear.  He also traded “words” with the pope in a political duel – most likely both of them were trying to increase their ratings.

In a presidential election year no candidate is brave enough to fly the “stop child sexual abuse” banner for fear of losing voters. That is a sad commentary on the priorities of the United States – that everything else is more important than the children.



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Time running out for New York to pass the #ChildVictimsAct


New York state law prohibits victims of child sexual abuse from bringing criminal charges or civil claims against abusers after the victim’s 23rd birthday. Abusers are many: teachers, coaches, family, religious clergy of all denominations.  One of the worst – the Catholic Church, is hiding behind enabler/abuser bishops and Pope Francis. What do Catholics think?


Many Catholic parishioners favor changing this unjust law and want the church to support New York legislation that allows child abuse victims to seek justice as adults.  From Catholics who attend Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral:

 “It should definitely be extended. It’s a terrible thing, and I know people who have had encounters and I feel very sorry for them. I don’t think that’s what our religion should be,” said Annette Gould.

Araceli Colato agreed, saying it's not fair that the law prohibits people from seeking justice as adults.

“This really is an issue of justice. They should do something for the victims, and there is a lack of transparency in how the church is handling this,” said John Murphy, who attends lunchtime Mass daily at St. Patrick’s.
 
“I don’t think there should be a statute of limitations. It doesn’t make sense to me. Why after a certain amount of time it’s as if the incident never happened?” asked Andrei Alcruz.

And in Brooklyn:

“The almighty dollar shouldn’t prevent the church from doing what’s right”, said Robyn Ventura, who attends the Church of St. Saviour in Park Slope, Brooklyn. 

Victims need a “window”  -- a time period where they could bring a lawsuit for abuse that happened when they were children.  This would be an expensive window for the Catholic Church, which has already paid out more than $2 billion in the U.S. – with most of the money not going to abuse survivors and their families – but for costs related to abuse allegations, which includes settlements, support for offenders, attorneys’ fees, and other costs.  The catholic church, caring only about their bottom line fights the laws that would help the abused.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan - This is not funny


Heading up the abuse of already abused victims is Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. He runs the New York Catholic Conference, which has spent big money to lobby against changing the state's child abuse laws.  Remember, he is not just hurting abused Catholics, he is stopping reform that would help ALL victims of child abuse in New York.  He is helped by New York politicians who are either in the pocket of the church or are enablers/abusers themselves:  Governor Andrew Cuomo,  Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

Flanagan, Cuomo, Heastie - Three of a kind
Bills to open a window and do away with the statute of limitations are sponsored by Senate Democratic Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Senator Brad Hoylman (D).  Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) who has been fighting for this bill for 10 years is hopeful a bill will get passed. Her aides expect to meet with people from Gov. Cuomo’s office and the state Senate this week.  “I really think we have a chance of getting this bill passed. At the end of the session a lot of things can happen, a lot of negotiations can go on,” she said.

Assemblywoman Markey, chief sponsor in the Assembly of the Child Victims Act, told advocates she decided to fight for reform because of a family member who was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. How many of you were or know someone who was a victim? 
Assembylwoman Markey
Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins 
Senator Brad Hoylman
Linda Fairstein
Another advocate, Linda Fairstein, former head of the sex crimes unit at the Manhattan District Attorney's office, slammed the Child Victims Act foes Cardinal Dolan and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan for obstructing the path to reform. “There is no reasonable opposition to this argument”, said Fairstein.

Walking to Win

On Sunday, more than 200 advocates for reform of the state’s statute of limitations for child abuse marched across the Brooklyn Bridge.  Marchers included Matt Sandusky, stepson of notorious Penn State pervert Jerry Sandusky, and Phil Saviano, who was portrayed in the movie “Spotlight.”

Marchers came from as far away as Ohio and Florida. Others came from Pennsylvania and New Jersey — where advocates are also fighting to reform those states’ statutes of limitations on child sex abuse.

Marching over the Brooklyn Bridge
“We need to send a message. We need statute of limitations reform round the country. It is so important for people to understand who the law is protecting — the lobbyists and the church and not the children,” said Annette Nestler of Cape May County, N.J., who wore a broken screen window around her neck — a symbol of opening the window of opportunity for justice.

How long do those of us abused in New York State have to wait for justice? Vote these cold hearted politicians out of office.  Don’t give your money to abusers so they can use it for high paid lawyers and lobbyists who will see to it that children never have rights in New York.  We have the power to stop the double abuse – first by the predator and second by the institution protecting the predator. Let’s do it.





Sunday, June 5, 2016

#PopeFrancis calls #CatholicChurch “loving mother” – what kind of mother promotes #childsexualabuse?

Bishops not showing their faces - guilty?
So Francis says that Catholic bishops guilty of negligence in child abuse cases can now be dismissed from office.  Is it a coincidence that Frances made this announcement just two weeks after he came under fire for meeting French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, accused of covering up for a pedophile priest in a scandal that has shaken France’s Catholic Church? Francis said then it would be “nonsensical and imprudent” to seek Barbarin’s resignation. 

French law officials are deciding whether to pursue charges against Barbarin for his handling of the allegations against Bernard Preynat, a priest in his diocese who has been charged with sex abuse. Police raided the offices of a clerical judicial adviser to the Lyon diocese and Barbarin will be questioned by police shortly, according to the French press. Good for the French police – let’s hope other countries follow their lead.

David Clohessy, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is, with good cause, very skeptical about this “new” plan working. In the case of the abuse of minors, “Popes and bishops have long had the power, but not the will, to oust those who protect predators and endanger kids. They refuse to do this, and the consequences are devastating,” Clohessy said. “When it’s advantageous to move quickly, Catholic officials move quickly. When they want to move slowly, or not at all, they set up commissions and ‘processes’ and the like.”

The bishops, according to Francis, can be sacked for “serious reasons.”  But who is deciding what is serious? We’ve seen for 2000 years that self-policing by the church hierarchy changes nothing when it comes to justice for child sex abuse victims.

How can Francis say, in the face of worldwide child sexual abuse by his church which has mostly gone unpunished that:

“The Church, like a loving mother, loves all her children, but treats and protects with special affection the smallest and most helpless.”   My brother and I were not protected from the priest who raped us and the nuns who beat us – so what is he talking about? Maybe he believes his own lies.

The Pope’s tribunal set up to discipline bishops did nothing for a year.  Now Francis has a “college of legal experts” — cardinals and bishops —to assist him in reaching a decision in a particular case. Sounds like more stone-walling to me: Roman Catholic bishops who have failed to properly handle sex abuse cases will be investigated by four Vatican offices -  of course decisions will have to wait until all four offices are done.

Canon (church) law already provides for the removal of bishops “for serious causes,” which the pope has acknowledged.  So how come no bishops were removed?  We are back to the “serious” acts that Francis and his minions will define. So far covering up child rape has not been serious enough to result in bishop dismissal.

Let’s see how soon Pope Francis’ “new” plan will produce action that will make a difference in the lives of those of us abused by the catholic church.  Let’s check back a year from now and see if this new committee did anything besides protect the reputation of the church and use parishioners’ money to defend criminal bishops and priests. 





Saturday, May 21, 2016

#Catholicchurch reports on their criminal activity and how much it costs the faithful

Are all the pedophiles and enablers ashamed to turn around?
A self-audit of the US Catholic church shows a sharp spike in the number of sex abuse reports. There are more new claims (up 35% from prior year) from people abused in the 1960s, '70s and '80s but also claims of more recent abuse. Contrary to rhetoric from the church the abuse did not all happen in the distant past.  The audit showed that 838 people came forward from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, to say they had been sexually abused by priests, deacons or members of religions orders while they were children, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said.  I wonder how accurate their figures are considering they are the perpetrators.


The report also found that US Catholic parishes and other orders spent $153.6 million on settlements, legal fees and other expenses related to claims of sex assault over the audit period, up 29 percent from $119.1 million a year earlier.  Similar patterns of abuse have since emerged at dioceses around the globe, undermining the church's moral authority and sapping its finances as it paid out billions of dollars in settlements. That’s a lot of coins in the collection basket – we know who pays for clergy crime – we do.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

#NewYork businessman to spend $100,000 to stop #NYGovCuomo minions from derailing #ChildVictimsActGary

Gary Greenberg cares
Gary Greenberg, a New York businessman who was molested as a child in the 1960s will spend $100,000 or more against incumbent state senators from both parties who refuse to support legislation to help child sexual assault victims.  Greenberg told the Daily News that he can’t understand why the New York Legislature won’t pass laws to give adults who were victimized as children more time to bring criminal and civil cases against their abusers. 

Several bills are up for votes to address the problem of limited legal recourse for adults who were victimized as children.  Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) and Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), would do away with the age of 23 limit to bring a civil lawsuit. The bill would provide a one-year window for those victims, like myself, where the statute of limitation has run out to get some justice for the abuse I suffered by a catholic priest and nuns at St. Agnes in NY state.  All previous efforts to get this law passed have died in the Senate.

Greenberg would spend the $100,000 against senators in both parties who don’t act. The money could go toward campaign contributions to their opponents or for ads in their districts. He said he’s also prepared to work with other abuse survivors to hold public events to “tell the residents (of the districts) that their senator voted for perpetrators over survivors and victims of sexual abuse.”

There are other bills up for vote and Greenberg said he could support any of the bills that include the one-year window. The Daily News Editorial Board has offered its own suggestions to spur the do-nothings in Albany — including the elimination of the criminal statute of limitations entirely, and opening the courts for one year to those who say they were victimized and had previously been turned away.

Greenberg disagrees with the Catholic Church and other groups that say they could be financially ruined if there is a one-year window to sue for past victims. So all the catholic church worries about is the money, not the children although it is in no danger of ever going broke. If the flow of cash from the faithful parishioners ever dries up, Pope Francis or his successor can start selling the gold and art work in the cellars of the Vatican.


Greenberg said for many victims, it’s more about healing than the money. “Not everybody wants money,” he said. “The majority want to heal and want to find out the true facts. In a lot of cases, to get the facts, you have to sue. These are not frivolous lawsuits. They’re lawsuits so people can get healing and get answers.”  Let’s do it now New York lawmakers – stop listening to enablers and criminals.

Friday, May 13, 2016

#CardinalPell too sick to testify in Australian #ChildAbuse hearing wolfs down steak, chips and beer


Australia's most senior Catholic pictured strolling through Piazza Navona in Rome with a colleague before they sit down at the Caffe Domiziano restaurant to enjoy a beer.
Cardinal Pell pictured enjoying meal of steak and chips in Rome - washed down his food with a tall glass of beer.

Drink Up Cardinal Pell - on Parishioner's Money
Daily Mail Australia reports that Cardinal George Pell said he was too ill to fly home to Australia to face questioning at the Child Abuse Royal Commission. Pell, 74, submitted a two-page medical report in February which stated a flight to Australia to give evidence would severely impact his health and possibly lead to 'heart failure'. So he gave his testimony via video link. A few weeks later Pell was seen eating a heavy meal and drinking beer.

Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell is considered the number three in the Vatican and in charge of their finances. He heads the Vatican’s Secretariat on the Economy. Cardinal Pell was questioned by the abuse royal commission over pedophile priests in the Ballarat and Melbourne dioceses when he was serving there in the 1970s and 80s. He turned a blind eye to the abuse of children by members of the clergy. Pell admitted that his denials of a cover-up angered abuse victims who said he must have known.

Cardinal Pell was questioned about notorious Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale, who was jailed on pedophile charges in 1994, and about other pedophile priests in the Ballarat and Melbourne dioceses. Pell admitted that, among other things, he knew first-hand a young boy was being abused by a cleric named Brother Edward Dowlan in 1974. Ridsdale was convicted between 1993 and 2013 of 130 incidents of child sexual abuse (including his own nephew) and indecent assault charges against children aged as young as four years. Pell said Ridsdale was “undoubtedly a capable man and was not someone people complained about to him at the time.”

Pell had to know what Ridsdale did. They were in seminary and working in parishes together for many years. In 1982, when Ridsdale had been abusing children for 20 years, a clergy committee (of which the then Father George Pell was a member) transferred Ridsdale away from Victoria to inflict victims in New South Wales. When detectives charged Ridsdale in court in 1993 he was accompanied to court by his support person, assistant bishop George Pell.

A mother of six children abused by a Ballarat clergyman 30 years ago says she was 'absolutely disgusted' when photos revealed Cardinal George Pell devouring a meal of steak and chips and drinking beer in a Rome restaurant. Mrs Lane's six children were all victims of abuse by family friend Brother Grant Ross, and her second son John took his life at age 19. 'He’s doing that even with a bad heart?' Mrs Lane told Daily Mail Australia.

Pell admitted to blatant accusations that he failed to act when he was told about one young girl who was made to kneel between the legs of a priest during weekly confession, and he claimed that the corroborated allegations of sexual abuse of young children against another priest were sad, but “weren’t of much interest to me.” In almost every case presented to him, and there were many, he explained away his inaction by victim blaming or offering what became his blanket excuse that “no one asked me” to intervene.

Pell has always refused to resign from his high-ranking position. 'I wouldn't resign as that would be taken as an admission of guilt,' Cardinal Pell said. Pell said he was in Rome trying to do with Vatican finances what he did to clean up pedophilia in Melbourne: which is nothing. He admitted that he would not point a finger at a cleric covering up abuse or committing it in Australia because he is a Vatican official and the problem is for Australian authorities to deal with.  Eat hearty, Cardinal Pell – your heart is already cold.