Category: Priest Sexual Abuse

The #MeToo Effect: Childhood Sexual Abuse Claims Against the Catholic Church

by John McKiggan

The Catholic Church, for many, is a place of sanctuary, family and faith; for others, however, it is a painful reminder of systemic sexual abuse that has affected the lives of children for decades. While the Church actively condemns sexual abuse in every form in its public schools, survivors of child abuse are still driven to silence over what happened to them—either recently, or decades in the past.

George-Epoch-Class-Action-Claim-Nova-Scotia

Courtesy CBC

The #MeToo movement, in recent years, has empowered those who have previously been silenced to speak up—and speak out—against their abusers, and in some cases, the organizations responsible for shielding these abusers from legal repercussions.

Pope decides not to prosecute Bishops who covered up for priest sex abusers

by John McKiggan

For years now the Catholic Church has been facing criticism around the world for its inaction in failing to prevent sexual abuse of children by Catholic Priests. Furthermore, the Church has been criticized for failing to hold Bishops who failed to prevent the abuse accountable.

Pope FrancisTherefore, advocates for sexual abuse survivors were cautiously optimistic when Pope Francis announced plans to create a tribunal to prosecute Bishop’s under Canon law who covered up sexual abuse by Priests.

However, last week the Pope backed off on his proposal to criminally prosecute Bishops. Instead the Pope issued an apostolic letter to “clarify” the proper procedures available under Canon law to punish Bishops who have been found to have violated the Canon code.

3 Priests to stand trial for covering up sex abuse: Now what about the rest?

by John McKiggan

Three Franciscan priests have been ordered by a Judge in Pennsylvania to stand trial on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy for covering up sexual abuse by a fourth Priest.

The priests are charged with enabling Brother Stephen Baker to sexually abuse a number of boys at Bishop McCort High School. According to witness testimony during the priests’ preliminary inquiry, the accused, Father Giles Schinelli, Father Robert D’Aversa and Father Anthony Criscitelli knew that Baker was a pedophile and yet the accused priests continued to assign Baker to jobs where he would have contact with children.

Systemic cover up?

How Will Pope Francis Respond to the Catholic Sexual Abuse Crisis?

by John McKiggan

Newly ordained Pope Francis has certainly started his papacy by making the headlines. He turned down the luxurious Papal housing in the Apostolic Palace in favour of a simple hotel room, he travelled to a juvenile detention centre to wash the feet of the inmates, and he has issued what is seen as a strong statement against sex abusers in the clergy.

Pope Francis, the head of 1.2 billion followers of the Roman Catholic faith, called on the Church to act against clergy sex abuse. He demanded that the Bishops’ conferences around the world need to step up to disciplining the priests and assisting the victims. USA Today reports, :

“This could be an indication that he will move from a strongly centralized government of the church of 1.2 billion people to one that places increased authority locally.”

Breaking the Silence

by John McKiggan

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God

For those of you that have not seen the “Explosive” Documentary About Sexual Abuse at a School for the Deaf CBC is now showing the documentary Mea Maxima Culpa online.

Given the widespread media attention given to priest sexual abuse scandals around the globe I am concerned that the public is becoming desensitized to the issue.

Did the Moncton Archdiocese Break the Law by not Reporting Priest Sexual Abuse?

by John McKiggan

Priests Suspended After Alleged Child Abuse

Last week the Archdiocese of Moncton announced that two of it’s priests Rev. Yvon Arsenault and Rev. Irois Despres had been removed: “from any ministry whatsoever following allegations of serious sexual abuse on minors on their part.”

Concern Over Failure to Report

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Updating Guidelines on Priest Sexual Abuse

by John McKiggan

Canadian Catholic Bishops are attending their annual Conference this week. The Conference (the CCCB) runs from Sept. 24-28th and is expected to include approximately 90 Bishops from across Canada.

New Rules?

One of the important items on their agenda is the updating of their guidelines for the prevention of clerical sexual abuse. On their approach to the new guidelines the CCCB president, Archbishop Richard Smith told The Catholic Register:

Irish Bishop’s Apology: Evidence of a much bigger problem?

by John McKiggan

Sexual Abuse Was “Friendship”?!

Dr. John Kirby, a Catholic Bishop in Ireland, recently apologized for the role he played in transferring abusive priests from one parish to another. In an attempt to explain his decisions he stated:

“I was unaware of the recidivist nature, or the compulsive nature of sexual abuse and I felt that it was a friendship that had gone astray, and was wrong.”

What Does Monsignor Lynn’s Conviction Mean for the Catholic Church?

by John McKiggan

On Friday, June 22, 2012, Monsignor William Lynn was convicted by a jury on charges of criminal endangerment. The case marks the first time that any official within the Catholic Church has been held criminally responsible for sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

Landmark Decision

I don’t believe the importance of this conviction can be overstated. Every province in Canada and every state in the United States have laws that require persons in authority to report suspected cases of child abuse. The website BishopAccountability.org has a huge database of American priests who have been publicly accused of sexual abuse.

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