As practicing Catholics, it is our responsibility to read the 2011 Grand Jury Report on clergy abuse. Please read it. Pray on it. And, then most importantly, I ask you to act on it. No real solution can be found until the entire Church addresses this issue. Pedophilia can and does occur anywhere. What doesn’t happen everywhere is the cover up – which has taken on global proportions.
The laity must stand up to protect their children and fight for their faith. If you sit in the pews silently, then you enable the cover up to continue. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and hope the hierarchy handles this. They’ve proven they can’t or won’t. For evidence of this, please read the 2005 report and ask yourself what they did between the two reports. Below is the opening of the 2011 Grand Jury Report. Catholics4Change will be posting excerpts as a series.
In September 2003, a grand jury of local citizens released a report detailing a sad history of sexual abuse by priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. That abuse was known, tolerated, and hidden by high church officials, up to and including the Cardinal himself. The previous grand jury was frustrated that it could not charge either the abusers or their protectors in the church, because the successful cover-up of the abuse resulted in the expiration of the statute of limitations.
Now, measures taken in response to the previous report have led to new information about more recent abuse, which this grand jury was empaneled to investigate. The fact that we received that information, and from the church itself, is some sign of progress; and this time there will be charges. The present grand jury, however, is frustrated to report that much has not changed. The rapist priests we accuse were well known to the Secretary of Clergy, but he cloaked their conduct and put them in place to do it again. The procedures implemented by the Archdiocese to help victims are in fact designed to help the abusers, and the Archdiocese itself. Worst of all, apparent abusers – dozens of them, we believe – remain on duty in the Archdiocese, today, with open access to new young prey. (C4C editor note: Despite stating that no abusive priests were in active ministry, the Archdiocese removed over 20 priests after the report was released. Investigations into those cases are ongoing.)
Billy and Mark
This grand jury case began because two men came forward, while still young, to say what was done to them as children. By no means do we believe that these are the only two parishioners who were abused during this period. It remains an extraordinarily difficult thing for adults to tell authorities that they were taken advantage of, in the most intimate, shameful ways, by people they trusted. Their stories must be told, however, because they reveal a great deal about the current treatment of sexual abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
Twelve years ago, Billy was a 10-year-old altar boy in the fifth grade at St. Jerome School in Philadelphia. “Billy” is a pseudonym; he is still reluctant to name himself publicly, although he knows he will have to do so soon. While alone with him in the sacristy, Father Charles Engelhardt began to show Billy pornographic magazines. Eventually, the priest directed Billy to take off his clothes, and to put his penis in the priest’s mouth. Then the priest reversed positions, until he ejaculated on the boy.
After that, Billy was in effect passed around to Engelhardt’s colleagues. Father Edward Avery undressed with the boy, told him that God loved him, had him engage in oral intercourse, and ejaculated on him. Next was the turn of Bernard Shero, a teacher in the school. Shero offered Billy a ride home, but instead stopped at a park, told Billy they were “going to have some fun,” took off the boy’s clothes, orally and anally raped him, and then made him walk the rest of the way home.
That was the beginning of a longer journey. Billy stopped talking with friends and started smoking marijuana. He would often gag and vomit for reasons the doctors could not discern. He checked books out of the library about sexual abuse. By high school he was taking pills, and then heroin.
The second victim, Mark, was only nine when he first met Father James Brennan, a parochial vicar at St. Andrew Church in Newtown. Father Brennan became a family “friend” who often visited the house. Mark, though, was the subject of special attention from the priest, who persistently wrestled with the boy, rubbed his back and shoulders, and openly brought up sex talk.
When Mark was 14, in 1996, Father Brennan was finally ready to make his move. He arranged with Mark’s mother for a “sleepover” at an apartment the priest was renting. Once he had the boy there, Brennan showed him pornographic pictures on his computer, bragged about his penis size, and insisted that Mark sleep together with him in his bed. Then he lay down behind the boy and put his penis into the boy’s buttocks.
Mark told his parents what happened, and they confronted Brennan, but he denied it and they believed the priest. From that point, Mark suffered depression, dramatic weight loss, and drug and alcohol addiction. Ultimately he attempted suicide.
For what they did, Father Avery, Father Engelhardt, Father Brennan, and teacher Shero will all be charged with rape and related offenses.
34 thoughts on “Summer Required Reading for Catholics: The 2011 Grand Jury Report”
It is The Power of The Church. The power from the top down – from the Vatican to the cardinals, to the bishops, to the priests, and unfortunately in all to many parents the Power of the local priests – parents who believed their child’s priest rather than their child. Why? For fear of eccliastical retribution, the belief that just because a man wears the garb and has the cross dangling on his chest, is otherwise seemingly holy – a “man” of God, and like some other men without the garb, can rape a child. These children, where the parents disbelieved their own flesh and blood, their own offspring, the “fruit of their womb” were raped by the priest(s) and then emotionally and morally raped by their disbelieving or scared parents. It is the raw, naked Power.
I believe that the PA LEGISLATURE SHOULD READ BOTH GRAND JURY REPORT’S ALONG WITH THE BOOK ‘RENDER UNTO ROME’ BY JASON BERRY , ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !
What is meant by “employed” by the AD? Could the Grand Jury define the religious priest and how it falls under the AD and the parish. In the case of Res, is this a group of religious priests or group of AD priests. Do religious answer to the Diocese or to their Provincial/ Superior General. Need to stop redefining these issues. Does the above report sound like a “boundary issue”. How many parishes are run by religious?
Inquiring minds want to know.
One of the speakers at this weekends DC SNAP Meeting, Dr. Christine Courtois, reported that approximately 75% of child sexual abuse was by Family Members and/or non-relatives who have family roles, such as priests who are taken in as honored family friends – “Family”.
Invariably, if there is some conflict between the priest and child, the position of the priest is favored by the parents, leaving the child wondering “Who can I trust?”
I will not forget the comment made a few years ago by a survivor after their case was settled and they had received a settlement check: “Where can I cash a check and get back my childhood”?
Of course that is not possible. He did not lose his Childhood or his Faith. They were stolen from him, just as they were from all the Victims/Survivors.
And the struggle to protect children from sexual rape and sodomy is never ending. There are still predators out there, and they are still grooming and raping children. Not just yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.
I competely agree that the GJ report should be required reading for Catholics. I have been disturbed to find so many have not read it. I also agree with speaking out, and letting your parish know how upset this makes you.
Maybe some of you can suggest then, how to handle the threatening letter I received with my childs tuition statement, from our parish. Our new acting pastor (because our pastor was arrested for his part in the abuse cover up), has sent a letter stating that we should be giving 3% of our income to the parish. This is not really new. However, if not, or if we chose to not support/donate to the parish for “various” reasons, then we are agreeing to an additional tuition fee of $1300 a year. The other irony here, is that we have been told that church and school are separate on a few different occassions (relating to probs with either or). If this is so, why does it fall back on tuition paying parents of the so called separate school, whenever donations are down in the parish?
Now, for those of you who would say, remove your kids from the school, please imagine if it was your child who had been in the same institution since Kindergarten and loved school and was afraid to change or the changes in school wouldn’t necessarily be good options. I am trying to keep the life of my kids as consistent as possible. I have had children in this school for the past 9 years. We made major decisions based on this parish.
I have talked to the pastor, attended the parish meeting, asked about how we can contribute to the parish without supporting the AD at the meeting. I have been extremely vocal (had to be really) in both the schools handling of the abuse cover ups, and the parish. No solution has been given. My husband and I are eduacted, working, middle class people. Because of the economy/job environment and forced job changes for my husband over the last 6 years, even with my return to working full time, we still make less now than we did 10 years ago, on one income. Yet the cost of everything goes up, for all of us, and that includes tuition.
I found this letter to be insulting and just one more manipulation on behalf of the church/AD. I always contributed what I could in time and money, but not addressing how parishoners can contribute to the parish and (and subsequently the AD)is insulting at best. Also the vieled threat that even if you are not able to give 3% of your income, that if they “review” records and subjectively feel what you are giving is not enough, then you aggree with the following statement: “A non-sustaining Catholic family is one who has chosen not to participate in supporting the financial health of the parish for various reasons and chooses to pay the full fare tuition to the school for the eduation of their child/ren”.
I don’t believe that statement at all. In fact all I really wanted was for someone to tell me how I can help the parish, without my money going to the AD. I won’t have an additional $1300 for tuition, when I will be spending close to $10,000 this year on Catholic education. Quite frankly, I’m still trying to figure out how we’re going to manage tuition, let alone other family financial issues (medical/dental/ortho), etc. and now having to “worry” about how much I have to give to the parish without my tuition getting raised? What would you do?
Seriously, I am looking for some real answers here, other than pull your kids out of school. I would appreciate suggestions. I have done what I feel in my conscience to be the right thing regarding this sitation. But I also am considering my kids. Their education, thier personal stability, etc. Thank you for your serious consideration.
Here’s an idea. Set up a Facebook “group” page for you and other parents. Start with 3-5 people, and start your discussion. Start demanding to know where the money is going. This is America, and you have freedom to start a revolution, and it’s a lot easier when the other parties that are involved are parents getting stuck with a $10,000 tab that don’t know where the money is going. You KNOW some of the money is going to places you wouldn’t want it to go, like attorney’s fees to defend some of the priests, or housing and food for those that have already been proven guilty.
That said, if you remove your children, or truly threaten to remove your children (along with the other parents), you will scare the heck out of the people running the school, especially if you do it as a unified force.
Remember, you aren’t working in a partnership with a loving, wonderful church and school run by trusted clergy. You are dealing with an arrogant, criminal institution that didn’t keep other children safe, and didn’t care. Now they prey upon your guilt, using well orchestrated phrases like “A non-sustaining Catholic family”. You should write back to them asking where the money is being spent by “A non-compliant Catholic institution that sexually abused children, lied about it, ignored the victims, and wants us to pay for them to hide their criminal activity”.
Here’s another idea. Take your kids out of the school. Take a stand. Tell everyone what you are doing. Be a hero to your kids, to the victims, and to God. Your kids will adjust. Someday, they are going to have to learn the lesson that they will have to move and make new friends. It will be a lot easier if you have an extra $10,000 a year to spend on activities for them.
Someday, you will be able to explain why you did it, and they will respect you for it.
I remember there were a few “underground” groups that allowed divorce and remarried catholics to receive communion by a priests in DC and many other diocese. I hope that that is happening in Philly with this abuse epidemic.
You should use the contact page (private) to find a support group for your issues. Facebook is too public especially with your concern for your children. There is al least one case where a person gave false info to join a group then bashed the members. Did anyone offer you support? If so, maybe you can start something informal for now to address those issues. I do believe in miracles, but we have no magic wand for this problem. I constantly ask God why are do we need to address a problem that should not exist in God’s Church? RCC will continue to try to make us feel guilty and many priests claim they are suffering for the crimes of a few, but the way predators pass around their victims is horrendous.So we are guilty of following our beliefs while these monsters are hiding behind their collars. You want to do what is right and you and your family suffers. They need to go to the shore and you are working hard to give your kids a catholic education. Who should feel guilty? God bless you as you struggle with protecting your family and reforming your church.
Deidre, I am a survivor of sex abuse from 3 catholic priests, first, please tell me you have spoken with your children about boundaries, how their bodies are off limit no matter who it is, especially authority figures. This is my first intent, second, I would suggest you speak to a lawyer, this does not sound legal just as when you are told that if you pull out of a contract e.g. alarm system co they cannot take you to court because you choose to cancel your alarm system. I see this as scare tacticson behalf of the AD.This would not hold up in court. Knowledge is power, see where you stand legally with this problem, hope it helps you.
People are too lazy, too apathetic, or too deep into denial to read the whole thing. I’ve been on a crusade, commenting on blogs to get them to just read the first 6 pages. If they do that, they will see the horrible stories, and they will see the arrogant, heartless cover up by the hierarchy.
If they have a Christian bone in their body, that should inspire them to rise up and fight for the victims.
Please sign “Caylee’s Law” which would make it a felony to not report a missing child within 24-hours, and the petition, if it came to law, would make it a felony to no report a child’s death within 1-hour. This is just another step in the process to protect children.
You can sign here: http://www.change.org/petitions/create-caylees-law
It takes just 2 minutes of your time. Please send this link to everyone you know.
Not a good idea as presently written, makes no allowance for the un-predicitable acts of children, especially teen age children. Passing laws as a knee-jerk reaction is not usually a good idea. This one has good intentions, but needs more work to be even handed.
Meeting Chat Room on my site http://www.Victims4Justice.org
Simply go to my site and click on the “Chat Room” category in the heading. Hope to see you there.
The chat meeting is on every Monday night, from 7pm- 9pm EST; victims and supporters are welcome.
Also, a support group meeting will be this coming Wednesday, from 7pm – 9pm:
Faith Lutheran Church
4150 Woodhaven Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154
This meeting is for victims and also supporters. Maybe some of you can join us.
Thanks and peace out!
What would St. Katherine Drexel say about this report? What would she say about the injustice to children in this state? Mother Thersa discussed the poverty of the soul in this country. I remember the nuns discussing what our souls look like. It the Catholic Church bankrupt? What does the church spiritual bankbook look like? I can’t sleep at night knowing what is happening to our children, how can these people?
Deidre, I am a survivor of sex abuse from 3 catholic priests, first, please tell me you have spoken with your children about boundaries, how their bodies are off limits no matter who it is, especially authority figures. This is my first intent, second, I would suggest you speak to a lawyer, this does not sound legal just as when you are told that if you pull out of a contract e.g. alarm system co they cannot take you to court because you choose to cancel your alarm system. I see this as scare tactics on behalf of the AD.This would not hold up in court. Knowledge is power, see where you stand legally with this problem, hope it helps you.
another priest that many of many friends mentioned along with Hermley was also arrested in Wilmington, charges on him were dropped to the dismay of many. This person(hermley) plead guilty of two counts – why was he assigned to Padua? Both priests were well known by my friends at a Philly school. We hear of the victims that are able to tell their story. How many can’t because of family, employment or personal considerations.
Vicky, I appreciate where your coming from. And I am so sorry for all you have suffered. There are no words.
Yes, I have had these discussions with my kids. I have made sure things were known about inappropriate behaviors at school (nothing serious, but who knew potentially). It got me ignored, then others had issues and something was done. This is my frustration. The ornaization sends all the pamphlets home, requires background checks, classes, talks a good talk, but ultimately don’t really want to deal with anything when it does or is suspected of happening.
And the suggestion of a lawyer might be reasonable, but considering the gravity of clergy sex abuse issues, I really don’t think my financial concerns would hold up. I think, they think, at least they can do whatever they want. It’s irritating and frustrating, but on the scale of things, very small considering what you and way too many have been through.
Deidre, Don’t concern yourself with the magnitude of the sexual abuse crises right now, your top concern is your children and keeping them in catholic school. I realize how important this is for you. Most lawyers give a free first consultation, just to see what your rights are. Thank you for your empathy and compassion towards me, it feels good to finally be heard.
I have read this report many times and each time I read it I wonder how people can be so Evil. The fact never changes that there are Evil people that do Evil things but the reason they get away with it is because good people fail to act. By seeing so much Evil personally in this world it only makes the good ,people have done for me shine even brighter in comparison.I have much hope because good people are starting to act and Evil when exposed in the light has no where to hide.
You wonder how people can be so evil. I wonder how people can follow them anymore, how people can believe anything at all that any of them say, and especially how people can leave their children with them.
You wonder how God could allow it to happen, and the only explanation for me is that God wants us to over throw the church and remove every single bishop (at least) and probably every priest, since they did nothing to stop the evil.
After reading this I would like to vomit……..these are sick people …all of them and need treatment and need to be removed from their jobs.
“The Rev. James J. Greenfield, provincial of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, recommended Dalton to Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia.
Dalton didn’t have to submit the traditional cover letter and resume with references or even sit down for an interview.
“I was a known quantity,” he said of his long service.
Rigali approved the recommendation on July 6, and Dalton started his new job immediately”
from cureent edition of the Northeast Times
Guess who approves these moves.
Many people think that Roman Catholic priests BECOME pedophiles. However, this is not the case. Fact is, pedophiles become Catholic priests because they know they will be protected. Think about that simple truth for a moment. Look around! If Joe Shmoe is caught in “AnyTown USA” for child molestation, what happens? He is arrested, brought to trial, convicted, and jailed.. right? What happens when a Catholic priest is caught? NOTHING! Sure you see an “occasional” Bishop or Cardinal in a bit of hot water for what he allowed his priests to do. But do you ever hear of a priest ending up in jail?? RARELY if at all… and why is that so? (From Truth Provided Newsletter)
This is so true. When did this all begin? Right at the inception of the Roman religion.
And, then most importantly, I ask you to act on it
help with assignment records
Would be nice to have records of other religions so they won’t be hiring pastors that have abused and show we are helping all victims of abuse.
Site to collect documents that has links to sex offenders and those whose are accused so other victims may come foward knowing others have suffered abuse. Just because they offended in Pa means they stay here.
Many of these documents are available online now, but only Bishopaccountability has an extensive achieve. Al least documenting links so others who have online subscriptions can research records. Believe that many Church have thier bulletins still online and list priests in residence.
On their home page, bishopaccountability has a few volunteer positions to help document these issues.
what about the other religions that have the same thing happening??? Why is it only the Catholic Church……because the devil is trying to destroy the Catholic Church and if we allow that…..we may not have a Catholic Church…..some have been abused…but some are putting in reports that aren’t true so that they can get money. That is wrong too.
Fran said, “What about the other religions that have the same thing happening?”
That’s a statement of immaturity…as if a 4 year on the playground gets in trouble and instead of doing what they need to do, they point to the kid next to them and say, “He did it tooooo!” Does that change the wrong? Does that make him any less accountable? It’s a spin the church leaders have spewed to congregations so they can deflect the heat that comes their way. It’s a way of acting like the victim in all of this, when in reality they have been the perpetrators. See how well it worked for you Fran? You believed them! They’ve got you right where they want you…questioning the victim’s motives and thinking the Catholic Church is being victimized.
It isn’t only the Catholic Church…BUT, the Catholic Church has lied about all of it…and then claim to be moral leaders.
How are you reaching out to your victims, Fran? What are you doing to help clean up this mess? When you learn that your leaders have lied to you, how do you go about holding them accountable? The laity have a responsibility that they have shirked for far too long.
I think you are right… the devil is destroying your church…he’s eating it from the inside out. Who are you following? Your leaders or your Lord?
The money? Sit in a room full of clergy abuse survivors, listen…and you will learn it’s not about the money. You will also learn that the MAJORITY sitting in those rooms haven’t come forward which means the scope of this criminal cover-up is much broader than we can even imagine. We also know that many, many victims will never speak of their abuse.
YEs, it’s wrong for anyone to falsely accuse someone of wrongdoing…that’s a given. But the reality of someone doing this for money…is statistically nil. What concerns me most about your comment is that one of the priests in our parish brought that up too and very few people saw it for what it was…smoke and mirrors. If they could keep the parishoners focus on how “wronged” the church was, they wouldn’t be held accountable for the glaring 99.9% of cases that were TRUE! Deflect the heat…keep the parishioners pacified.
I’m sorry you have been misled by your hierarchy…they have put a spin on this to save themselves.
You are very misinformed, Fran. Abuse victims don’t come forward for money. We come forward so we can save other children from abuse. We come forward so we can publicize many abusive priests, some who have been removed from active ministry because of credible allegations of abuse against them and are now working in other professions, many times around children. We victims come forward, demanding accountability from Church leaders, who knew about abusive clergy and yet, continued to employ them around children.
The burden of proof is all on the victims. We have to prove we were abused. I have met hundreds of victims who were abused by Catholic clergy and I have yet to find one person who came forward to “scam the church out of money.” The fact of the matter is that the only justice we can get is through lawsuits. Help us change the Statute of Limitation laws and every victim I know would be more than happy to charge their abusers criminally instead of civilly. Find me an alternative to this life because of being abused by a Catholic priest, and I will spend every dime I have to forget my past.
You can’t just sling bullshit around when you have not been informed of what abuse victims really want and what we consider justice. Instead of judging us, why not take some time to understand us? It’s true, abuse does occur outside of the Catholic Church, and it occurs more frequently and in higher numbers in other areas of society. However, there is no other institution where abuse allegations have been handled (or rather mishandled) so terribly. When a priest was accused of abusing a child, there was no investigation. The priest was simply transferred to another parish or school, with unsuspecting parents and children, where he could continue to abuse. To date, more than 4,900 US Catholic priests have been alleged or implicated in abusing children and vulnerable adults. More than 70% of those accused have been accused by more than one victim. The Catholic Church has, time-and-time again, proven to the world that they are unwilling to expose priests, nuns, and laypeople who have abused children. As a God-loving person that I think you are, you should be more concerned about the hurt children than the priests who have been implicated in abusing children. If you’re not, what’s that say about you?
I’m sure there are good priests. However, many who do not directly abuse children remain silent and are also unwilling to expose their comrades. As a Catholic, you should be demanding from the Catholic hierarchy to remove priests who abuse and stop paying their salaries. If you angry about victims seeking money, maybe you should stop contributing to your local parish and consider that most of your donations are being used for attorney fees and lobbyist, who fight in out state’s legislatures to keep the Statute of Limitations where they are, preventing child abuse victims from charging their abusers criminally and/or civilly, and it’s not just in the church. Why wouldn’t a moral-based religious institution not want to support laws that would protect children? Maybe you don’t care about protecting children either, because for all of those who claim “abuse victims are in it for the money,” it’s just another step backwards that allows deviant and evil men to flourish in our society. By denying these rights to children, you help harbor those who abuse them. I wonder if this makes you proud?
By the way, find me one victim who was abused by a Catholic priest who filed a false report. Just one!
Great post. I nod my head all the way through as I read.
Fran, If one just wanted money, it would be far easier to “slip” in Walmart. There is abuse in other religions, but no widespread cover up. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen – it could. However, that doesn’t remove the responsibility of dealing with it. As Catholics, it is our responsibility to end this abuse and protect our Catholic faith at the same time. They aren’t contradictory to each other. If the devil is trying to destroy the Catholic Church he seems to have a lot of help from the inside. The US Bishops Conference has stated in their own studies that false accusations are very low (one percent).
I’m sure you’ll think this is going over the deep end, but I think it’s clear that the devil is running the Catholic church.
Let’s imagine that the devil isn’t stupid. He doesn’t come down and burn up the whole world. Instead, he drops your standards so low that you aren’t following any of God’s laws or beliefs at all.
Here are the devil’s commandments, most of which are followed by the remaining Catholics:
– child rape isn’t that bad, and isn’t that big of a deal
– moving pedophiles around is ok if it keeps you out of immediate trouble
– lying to avoid getting in trouble is ok
– in cases, where you can’t get away with lying, stretch the truth as much as you can, or avoid the truth
– ignore the victims, or if they come forward, fight them viciously with the best lawyers you can find
– protect property and money at all costs. Money and big churches are the highest priority, and must be protected, even if it means breaking all of God’s laws combined
– use God’s name to allow you to get away with all of the previous items
Consider the following – you could cure hunger for one year if you sold St Patrick’s cathedral in New York. Catholics would laugh at you if you even suggested it. You could save 750,000 innocent children from starving for a year, and just by losing a single building. You could send an unprecedented message to the world.
Now tell me – What Would Jesus Do, and What Would Satan Do?
Satan is pretty smart, and he’s running this church.
Now tell me where I’m wrong
Very well said, Susan.
I might add that many abuse victims who were abused by the same priest have never met each other until they came forward, and even after coming forward, in some cases where there are 10 or more victims, ALL usually sound off the same tune of “how the priest groomed us.” Child abusers are very methodically. They find a method that works, that allows them to abuse the child and keep the abuse secret, then they employ the same tactics with other victims, over and over.
After I went public, six other victims of my abuser came forward. I never met any of them, yet my attorneys say that we all share almost EXACTLY the same story with how this priest abused us. You can’t make that up. How can you get 7 people who never met each other to all recite the same methods our abuser used to groom us and abuse us? I can’t see it being possible unless we were all abused. It isn’t logical any other way.
You make an excellent point about the same patterns of abuse reported by 7 individuals who did not know each other. The same can be said for the abuse and cover up that has taken place world wide within the Catholic Church. When you read the Cloyne and Murphy reports of Ireland,you can simply substitute the name “Archdiocese of Philadelphia” and it is like reading the Grand Jury reports.
Is it possible that some priests have been falsely accused? Yes it is,just as anyone else in society could be falsely accused. If the Church had reported every abuse case to the legal authorities then all would have their day in criminal court. That didn’t happen. So if some priests have been falsely accused then the Church has done them a disservice by not having their day in court to clear their name.
Another point I’d like to make about false accusations.
I know a victim who approached the diocese years ago, beyond statute of limitations…met with the diocese. They determined this victim wasn’t “credible,” because the story was so outlandish and involved a “group of good priests.” Victim filed a civil case…the diocese said the abuser was being falsely accused, connecting “non-credible” with “false accusation.” The victim could not handle the stress of sustaining the lawsuit…was struggling to put one foot in front of the other, so dropped it. YEARS later another victim finds the courage to reach out for help and lo and behold, has the same perpetrator as the victim who was deemed “non-credible,” and “false accusation.” Things have not ended well for either victim.
According to the diocese, the first victim was lying and the second one never came forward, so for their statistics…they believe the group of priests were falsely accused and never even knew about the other victim.
I don’t trust their numbers when it comes to the “false accusations” either.
If there were 100 victims and it turned out that 2 made false allegations,many Catholics would jump on that and ignore the 98 victims who were abused. Why? I have no idea,if I figure it out I will let you know!
There are some thing that just make me furious and I am not a victim. It is when people compare the abuse in the Catholic Church to others sectors of society and also when people use the word “only” There were “only” a few victims ,there were “only” a few abusive priests. One child abused is one child too many.