Broken Silence by Victoria Cubberley
Information being sought on Fr Michael Jerome Keating
Fr Michael Jerome Keating began his career as a Christian in a non-denominational sect calling itself the Sword of the Spirit. He was a member of the celibate brotherhood of the Sword of the Spirit, the Servants of the Word. Since his resignation a few days prior to ‘doe 20’ breaking her silence, he resigned his teaching position at St Thomas University and hasn’t been heard of since. Any information on his current whereabouts (it is 4-29-16) would be appreciated.
We are searching for possible victims in his pre-seminary days when he was a member of the Sword of the Spirit.
For more on the Sword of the Spirit, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/254976977856577/
BACKGROUND ON THIS PEDOPHILE PRIEST:
Rev. Michael Keating, popular St. Thomas prof, allegedly abused 13-year-old girl
Today, lawyer Jeff Anderson plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of a woman who claims she was abused when she was a teenage girl by popular priest and St. Thomas professor Michael Keating.
Keating, notified of the pending lawsuit over the weekend, has taken a voluntary leave of absence from St. Thomas, where he was teaching two classes this semester. He hasn’t yet publicly addressed the allegations.
Details about the lawsuit will be disclosed by Anderson during a news conference today, so stay tuned. But a Star Tribune report provides a bit of background:
Keating, 57, is 29 years older than the alleged victim, who Anderson said was 13 when the abuse began. That would mean the alleged abuse began about 15 years ago, before Keating completed his religious studies and was ordained as a priest in 2002…
Anderson said his client reported Keating’s actions to the archdiocese, which is not named in the lawsuit, in 2006. He said he would elaborate on the litigation Monday at a news conference, but said it is “deeply troubling” that the archdiocese has kept Keating in ministry.
The Pioneer Press reports that Anderson “will present photos and a statement” from the alleged victim during today’s presser.
Here’s Keating’s bio, via Crisis Magazine:
Fr. Michael Keating is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He is Associate Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. He received his BA and MA (Education) from the University of Michigan. He has an MA in Theology from the Angelicum in Rome, and a PhD in Modern European Intellectual History from the University of Notre Dame. In addition to teaching, he is the founder and current Director of the Habiger Institute for Catholic Leadership at the University of St. Thomas. Fr. Keating has been involved in many apostolic initiatives, especially with youth and university students, and has been a speaker and retreat director in national and international venues.
Keating gets rave reviews on his Rate My Professors page, with one St. Thomas student who took a class of his last spring writing that Keating “is such a wonderful teacher and priest!” Another writes that he is “Easily the best professor at UST,” and a third says it’s “Hard to conceive how he’s not one of the best teachers in the country.”
MPR interviewed the woman Keating allegedly sexually abused. In a report published today, she said that in the late 1990s, when the abuse allegedly took place, Keating was a regular guest at her family’s Sunday dinners.
The woman, whose name isn’t disclosed in the lawsuit (which was officially filed today) or the MPR report, says Keating would sometimes abuse her after dinner while she sat on his lap and he read books aloud. (Update — the Strib reports that the woman is now 28, married, and living in the Twin Cities. The woman told the Strib Keating gave her his car shortly after she first confronted him about the abuse in 2004.)
“I would be abused behind the book, behind Narnia,” she told MPR.
More from MPR:
She said that when Keating left to attend school in Rome, he kissed her on the lips to say goodbye. It was her first kiss.
Keating’s alleged advances left her confused, she said. “I remember thinking I must be perverted for thinking this is wrong,” she said.
It wasn’t until college that she realized that Keating’s behavior wasn’t her fault, she said.
The woman says the abuse, which took places from the ages of 13 to 15, left her so traumatized that she went through a suicidal stretch in college. She eventually told her family about the abuse, and her family notified the archdiocese. Then a whole new struggle began.
Before the case went before the clergy review board, Sawyer and other church officials asked her to tell her story over and over again, she said. At first, she agreed, but it soon became overwhelming, she said. “For me to just say I was abused by Michael Keating wasn’t enough,” she said…
No detail escaped scrutiny. Someone asked whether Keating’s penis was erect when he touched her. “I was like, does it matter?” she said.
She left the review board meeting with a familiar, terrible ache. “I felt like I was traumatized again by that,” she said. “I just felt numb.”
A few months later, the clergy review board reached its conclusion. Keating didn’t do it.
“Based on the record as a whole, the Board finds that there is insufficient evidence to support a finding of sexual abuse of a minor in violation of the Charter,” [Greta Sawyer, the woman’s archdiocese-appointed advocate], explained in a letter to the woman’s family member.
With the archdiocese refusing to take action, the woman, who still describes herself as Catholic, told MPR she’s proceeding with a lawsuit because “I feel that it’s my responsibility to say something to break the silence.”
Heya Gabriel Af, you psychotic, low-life, pedophile scumbag. Yeah I know all about you there Gabriel Af. As an example Gabriel Af let me show you a something. These are ALL of your Facebook profile links:
This is your businesses website:
This is a link to the story where YOU have been legally declared fucking insane and in need of guardianship.
GABRIEL AF, I HAVE ALL KINDS OF INFORMATION ON YOU, YOUR YOUTUBE ACCOUNTS, YOUR VARIOUS EMAILS, YOUR VARIOUS LOG INS AND COMMENT BOARDS YOU ARE ON. I HAVE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU, YOU LOW-LIFE, DISGUSTING, SCUMBAG, PIECE-OF-SHIT, PSYCHOTIC, PEW POLISHING PEDOPHILE OF YOUR UNHOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CULT OF PEDOPHILES. SEEING YOU JUST GOT MY FACEBOOK PROFILE BANNED AGAIN, CAUSE YOUR BITCH ASSED GOT PISSED OF MY POSTING TIM MINCHIN’S COME HOME CARDINAL PELL’S VIDEO ON MY ANTICATHOLICISM GROUP THERE? I AM NOW GOING TO POST IT TO YOU HERE CAUSE FUCKING FACEBOOK CANNOT BAN ME ON MY BLOG LIKE THEY CAN ON FACEBOOK FOR SPEAKING THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR DISGUSTING, DEGENERATE, PEDOPHILE PIMPS AND PRIESTS AND PEDOPHILES LIKE YOU DO NOT LIKE THE TRUTH BEING EXPOSED ABOUT YOUR HEAD PEDOPHILE PIMP POPE FRANKIE OR HIS SHIT STAIN PREDECESSOR POPE BENEDICKLESS XVI OR ALL THOSE DISGUSTING SHIT STAIN PEDOPHILE PIMPS LIKE CARDINALS GEORGE PELL, TIMOTHY DOLAN, DONALD WUERL, BERNARD LAW, JUSTIN RIGALI OR THE OTHERS.
SO YOU SHIT STAIN, SIT BACK AND ENJOY TIM MINCHIN’S COME HOME CARDINAL PELL AND I HAVE EVEN PROVIDED THE LYRICS SO YOU CAN SING ALONG….YOU DEGENERATE PEDOPHILE.
COME HOME CARDINAL PELL BY TIM MINCHIN
It’s a lovely day in Ballarat
I’m kicking back, thinking of you
I hear that you’ve been poorly
I am sorry that you’re feeling blue
I know what it’s like when you feel a little shitty
You just want to curl up and have an itty-bitty doona day
But a lot of people here really miss ya, Georgie
They really think you oughta just get on a plane
(Just get on a plane)
We all just want you to…
Come home, Cardinal Pell
I know you’re not feeling well
And being crook ain’t much fun
Even so, we think you should come
Home, Cardinal Pell
Come down from your citadel
It’s just the right thing to do
We have a right to know what you knew
And years later, when survivors, despite their shame and their fear
Stood up to tell their stories, you spent year after year
Working hard to protect the church’s assets
I mean, with all due respect, dude, I think you’re scum!
And I reckon you should…
Come home, Cardinal Pell
I know you’re not feeling well
Perhaps you just need some sun
It’s lovely here, you should come
Home, you pompous buffoon
And I suggest do it soon
I hear the tolling of the bell
And it has a Pellian knell
I want to be transparent here, George, I’m not the greatest fan of your religion
And I personally believe that those who cover up abuse should go to prison
But your ethical hypocrisy, your intellectual vacuity, and your arrogance don’t bother me as much
As the fact that you have turned out to be such a goddamn coward
You’re a coward, Georgie
(You’re a coward, George)
Come and face the music, Georgie
(Face the music, George)
You owe it to the victims, Georgie
(You owe it, George)
Come and face the music, the music
If the Lord God omnipotent reigneth
He would take one look at you and say:
(One look at you and say)
“Go home, Cardinal Pell
I’ve got a nice spot in hell
With your name on it and so
I suggest you toughen up and go
Come home, Cardinal Pell
I know you’re scared, Georgie-Poo
They have a right to know what you knew
Your time is running out to atone, Georgie
I think the Lord is calling ya home, Georgie
Perhaps he could forgive even you
If you just let them know what you knew
Oh, Cardinal Pell
My lawyer just rang me to tell
Me this song
Could get me in legal trouble
Oh well, Cardinal Pell
If you don’t feel compelled
To come home by
A sense of moral duty
Perhaps you will come home and frickin’ sue me
SO GABRIEL AF LISTEN UP AND LISTEN WELL. SURE YOUR NUTS, YOU BEEN DECLARED INSANE AND YOU HAVE FAR PROVEN IT TO ME YOU PEDOPHILE. BUT SEE? I AM INSANE TOO, GOOD INSANE, BUT INSANE NONE THE LESS.
SO GABRIEL AF? ENJOY YOUR FACEBOOK PROFILES, ENJOY YOUR YOUTUBE ACCOUNT, ENJOY YOUR COMPUTER AND PHONE EVEN…CAUSE IN A LITTLE WHILE? CERTAIN FRIENDS OF MINE? WHO KNOW A LOT ABOUT THIS? YOU WILL NO LONGER EVER HAVE ACCESS TO FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE OR ANYTHING ELSE ON THE INTERNET, CAUSE IF YOU DO NOT REALIZE IT YET? ANONYMOUS HATES PEDOPHILES AND THOSE WHO STAND UP AND DEFEND THEM.
French church hit by new paedophile priest scandal
Published: 28 Apr 2016 12:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Apr 2016 12:30 GMT+02:00
From the Link: http://www.thelocal.fr/20160428/french-catholic-church-hit-by-new-paedophile-priest-scandal
A priest in south-western France has been accused of sexually abusing a minor, the latest in a long line of alleged paedophilia in French churches.
Abuse responsibility not equal: Pell
In compelling evidence to the child abuse royal commission, George Pell has explained how responsibility for protecting children is shared in the church.
Cardinal George Pell says he had ‘no interest’ in Gerald Francis Ridsdale’s offending in the mid-1970s and was not told the priest was being moved because he was a pedophile
Cardinal Pell, who was then a Ballarat priest, says he did not know that Ridsdale’s offending was common knowledge in the Victorian parish of Inglewood in 1975 and did not know about the allegations.
“It’s a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me,” he told the child abuse royal commission from Rome, drawing gasps from some observers in the room.
“The suffering, of course, was real and I very much regret that, but I had no reason to turn my mind to the extent of the evils that Ridsdale had perpetrated.
He was asked if it was not necessary to avoid repeat offences to fully understand the circumstances of cases like Ridsdale.
The cardinal said that everyone in the church approached the task differently according to their level of responsibility.
Ms Furness asked him if he was saying it was not the case that if a parish priest heard of events dangerous to children happening in a neighbouring parish or a distant parish he had no responsibility to the children who were in danger.
Cardinal Pell: “Well, very obviously I said nothing of the sort. I said that a person from a neighbouring parish or distant parish has less responsibility for the care of children in those distant parishes than he does in his own.”
He told commission chair Justice Peter McClellan that he agreed that every member of the church had a responsibility to do what they could to protect children.
He also agreed that office bearers had a greater responsibility.
Cardinal Pell also said that Bishop Ronald Mulkearns lied to him about Ridsdale.
Former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns knew about complaints against Ridsdale when he moved him between parishes but Cardinal Pell said he was not told about it when he was an adviser to the bishop from 1977.
Cardinal Pell said the bishop and senior cleric Monsignor Leo Fiscalini deceived him and other advisers at meetings which discussed moving Ridsdale.
The commission has heard Ridsdale’s offending was common knowledge in at least two parishes but Cardinal Pell maintained he did not know.
Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said Cardinal Pell would be held to be culpable if he, like Bishop Mulkearns, did know about the offending.
Cardinal Pell said that was correct.
“It is very clear of course that the decision is one of the bishop’s, that the consultors only have an advisory capacity and of course all of us have to respect the evidence,” Cardinal Pell said.
Pell account unbelievable: Abuse survivors
Child sex abuse survivors say it’s unbelievable a man of Cardinal George Pell’s intelligence was unaware of a pedophile priest’s offending when two Victorian communities and local clergy knew about it.
The cardinal told the child abuse royal commission on Monday night that while he was on a Ballarat diocese committee that advised on the transfers of priests he was never told of the offending of pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale in the 1970s.
Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic, now head of the Vatican Treasury, met the pontiff after his initial grilling by the commission and told reporters before resuming his evidence on Tuesday: “I have the full backing of the Pope”.
By videolink from Hotel Quirinale in Rome he told the commission sitting in Sydney that then Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns and his advisor Monsignor Fiscalini had deceived him by not telling him Ridsdale was moved between parishes because of his offending.
Ridsdale was able to continue his offending as he was shifted from one parish to another as “talk” began among parishioners about his interfering with children.
His nephew David Ridsdale, who was sexually abused by his uncle, is among a group of survivors hearing the cardinal’s evidence in Rome and told reporters it appeared the Catholic Church was behaving “with lies and deceit” within its own structure.
He said he assumed Victorian Police would be taking up the matter in relation to church officials moving pedophile priests to parishes where they could continue their offending.
‘We’ve ended up with the ears of the world’: Abuse survivors adamant fight will go on
The abuse survivors who travelled to Rome to hear his evidence spoke to reporters moments after Cardinal Pell completed his final day on the stand in Rome.
David Ridsdale, a victim of pedophile priest, his uncle Gerald Francis Ridsdale, said the fight for justice was far from over.
“We wanted to make sure the commission [for Cardinal Pell] was the same process that we faced when in Australia,” Mr Ridsdale said.
“We feel that has been achieved. But so much more has happened. We’ve ended up with the ears of the world.
“So, please, understand that while we’re fighting one battle in Ballarat, we’re hoping to steamroll a whole deal more, and this is a worldwide institutional problem, not just the Catholic Church, this went on for so long and everybody knew, everybody knew.
“And it is about time that we addressed the past and look forward to the future, and I can assure you that is the goal of all the survivors that you have met.”
‘In the loop’
On his fourth day on the stand in Rome, Cardinal Pell said he would have been aware of concerns raised by parents from the Victorian parish of Doveton in a 1991 letter to the Catholic Education Office that said Searson was going into the boys’ toilets, watching boys in the shower and taking children into the presbytery without permission.
He said he did not investigate the matter because it was the responsibility of the CEO and the Vicar General.
“If they’d asked my opinion I would have given it,” he said.
He agreed that he was “in the loop as far as knowledge of Father Searson being a risk to children” but said the issue was the level of risk and “just what could be done within church and state law”.
The commission also heard that a student at St Patricks College in Ballarat told Cardinal Pell that Brother Edward Dowlan was “misbehaving” with boys in 1974.
Cardinal Pell said the boy “mentioned it casually in conversation” and did not ask him to do anything.
Asked by Commissioner Peter McClellan what he did with the information, Cardinal Pell replied: “I didn’t do anything about it”.
Eventually, he said, he inquired about the matter with the school chaplain but did not go immediately to the school to find out what was going on.
“With the experience of 40 years later, certainly I would agree that I should have done more,” Cardinal Pell said.
Lawyer Peter O’Brien, representing a former student of the Christian Brothers from Ballarat, asked Cardinal Pell “why on earth” he did not mention the complaint to police or insurance companies involved in cases brought against the Christian Brothers about Dowlan since the 1990s.
Cardinal Pell said it was because he had “no idea that the Christian Brothers were covering up in the way in which it’s now apparent”.
Dowlan continued to abuse dozens of children until 1985 but Cardinal Pell said he could not have done something to stop the crimes.
Pell denies offering bribe to keep abuse victim quiet
Earlier in proceedings, Cardinal Pell denied asking a nephew and victim of pedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale what it would take to keep him quiet.
David Ridsdale told the commission when he told Cardinal Pell in 1993 he had been abused by his uncle, the then Melbourne bishop asked him: “I want to know what it will take to keep you quiet.”
Cardinal Pell said he felt sorry for Ridsdale, but repeatedly denied the claim.
Mr Ridsdale’s lawyer Stephen Odgers SC asked: “Was it the case that you didn’t have much interest in what David Ridsdale told you about the crimes of Gerald Ridsdale?”
Cardinal Pell replied: “That’s completely untrue and David has never claimed that.”
Cardinal Pell said there was a radical misunderstanding between himself and Mr Ridsdale over their 1993 telephone conversation.
“I’m not even sure what keeping quiet means,” Pell said.
“I do dispute that.
“But for a man who was expressing a preference for a church hearing rather than going to the police, I wouldn’t have had any dispute with him on that score, although I have never impeded or discouraged anyone from going to the police.”
Pell said it was a “disastrous coincidence” that five pedophiles ended up at the one Victorian school and parish in the 1970s.
Four pedophile Christian Brothers taught at Ballarat East’s St Alipius Boys’ School and pedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale was the parish priest.
Pell also emphatically denied telling another priest that Fr Gerald Francis Ridsdale was abusing boys.
Former altar boy BWE has testified he overhead Cardinal Pell tell Fr Frank Madden before a funeral in Ballarat in 1983: “Ha, ha, I think Gerry’s been rooting boys again.”
“Let me begin by saying that nearly every detail in this allegation is manifestly false,” Pell said.
Fr Madden has previously told the inquiry Cardinal Pell never said that.
Cardinal Pell also said he deeply regretted the impact the abuse had on survivors’ faith, saying “Of course one of the other things I regret as a Catholic priest is the damage that these crimes do to the faith of the survivors, of the victims and their friends and family and generally throughout the society. I lament that”.
Cardinal Pell told the commission on Wednesday the church in the 1970s and 1980s was a world of crimes and cover ups and he was left in the dark about serious sex abuse allegations against priests and brothers in Ballarat and Melbourne.
Cardinal Pell also said he regretted his choice of words when he told the commission on Tuesday he had no interest in Father Ridsdale’s offending in the mid-1970s.
Cardinal Pell said he completely messed up the sequence of events while giving evidence and had believed he was responding to questions about when he was a Melbourne official in 1993.
Pell’s claim he was deceived ‘is wrong’
27 APR 2016 – 6:30PM
From the Link: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/04/27/pells-claim-he-was-deceived-wrong
A hearing into abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne winds up with former education officers expressing anger at Cardinal Pell’s allegations of deceit.
Three former Catholic education officers have denied Cardinal George Pell’s claims their office deceived him about the activities of a violent and sexually abusive priest.
Former Catholic Education Office director Monsignor Thomas Doyle and his deputy Peter Annett told the sex abuse royal commission of their shock, disappointment and anger on hearing Dr Pell allege the office withheld information about pedophile priest Peter Searson in the 1980s.
Cardinal Pell, an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne in the ’80s, told the royal commission in March education officials were fearful of telling him the full story about Searson because they knew he would be “decisive” and not accept the status quo.
In giving his evidence from Rome where he is now the Vatican’s finance chief, Dr Pell also said he thought the education office at the time was protecting Archbishop Frank Little.
But Mgr Doyle and other witnesses categorically denied this was the case.
“I don’t agree with that evidence. I don’t agree that the Catholic Education Office intended to deceive Bishop Pell, so I thought his statement was wrong,” the Monsignor told the commission on Wednesday.
He was disappointed with the Cardinal’s claims.
“I don’t think they were true,” he said.
The now retired priest also said the office would have welcomed then Bishop Pell’s assistance in removing Searson.
The commission has heard evidence Searson threatened one little girl by holding a knife to her chest, sexually molested children in confession and threatened people with a gun.
Searson died in 2009 without being charged.
He was suspended from duty in 1997, a year after Dr Pell became Archbishop of Melbourne.
The commission has also heard that Archbishop Little ignored repeated requests to remove Searson.
Mr Annett said on Wednesday at one stage in the late ’80s the number one priority for the office was to get Searson removed from the parish.
“I would have thought our staff would be completely frank with Bishop Pell and be cheering from the rooftops if he was able to take action,” he said.
He said he had to admit to “some shock” at what Dr Pell said in Rome.
“I was disappointed and perhaps angry, but certainly very disappointed,” Mr Annett said.
Mr Annett, Mgr Doyle and former education consultant Allan Dooley said there was never any instruction to keep information from then auxiliary bishop Pell.
A fourth witness, former education official Catherine Briant who in 1989 took over as zone officer with responsibility for Doveton from Mr Dooley, said she was not briefed on problems at the Holy Family school.
She dealt with complaints he was bullying and harassing staff. She had no dealing with Bishop Pell, nor was she ever instructed to keep information from him, she said.
The hearing into widespread clerical abuse in Melbourne, which started last November, concluded on Wednesday.
EXCLUSIVE: Victim raped by upstate priest wants N.Y. to fix sex abuse statute
Kevin Braney went through hell in the basement of a church rectory.
Braney says he was a devout 15-year-old altar boy when Msgr. Charles Eckermann first raped him in a rectory storage room at St. Ann’s Church in Manlius, a suburb of Syracuse. Braney says Eckermann assaulted him at least a dozen times in 1988 and 1989 on a mattress the priest had stashed in the storage room.
“I was taught to trust and believe priests because they were the closest thing to God on Earth, and he told me if I defied him, I was defying God,” Braney said. “He said he had a divine right to abuse me.
“He told me he would put my genitals in a vise if I resisted,” added Braney, now an executive at a mental health agency in Boulder, Colo., and an advocate for sexual abuse victims. “He said he would kill me if I said anything.”
Eckermann, now 84, was defrocked and sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican in October 2014 after an investigator hired by the Diocese of Syracuse deemed Braney’s allegations credible. But Braney, 43, is unable to pursue criminal charges or civil litigation against Eckermann or the church because New York’s statute of limitations bars child sex abuse victims from proceeding with cases after their 23rd birthday.
That’s why Braney supports the Child Victims Act, a bill sponsored by Queens Assemblywoman Margaret Markey that would eliminate the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases and open a one-year window for victims of past sexual abuse to file civil suits.
“The best thing for the Catholic Church would be for the law to change and let justice run its course,” Braney said. “It would bring closure for the victims and their families and it would let the church move forward and heal the damage caused by the sex-abuse scandal.”
The Child Victims Act faces stiff opposition from the Catholic Church, including the Diocese of Syracuse, but diocesan spokeswoman Danielle Cummings called Braney “courageous” for speaking out about the abuse.
Church officials weren’t always so sympathetic, Braney said. When he finally found the guts to tell another priest about Eckermann’s abuse, the priest hit him in the face.
Church officials were reportedly put on notice about sexual misconduct by Eckermann, who served on the Syracuse board of education and was a high school teacher and principal, four years before he began abusing Braney.
Braney says he was also raped by another priest, the Rev. James Quinn, in 1989 during a rehearsal for his confirmation.
“He took me to a room in the rectory and raped me,” Braney said. “I was frozen. I was disconnected from my body. I just wanted it to end. I remember I focused on a clock. It was 4:23 in the afternoon.”
Eckermann could not be reached for comment. Quinn died in 2013.
Braney says he dealt with the internal demons unleashed by the sexual abuse by throwing himself into sports and his studies. He became a star lacrosse player at Brown University and moved to the Denver area, where he earned a doctorate in education at the University of Colorado. He later became the principal of Boulder High School.
Braney was working with teens who had been abused — when the memories he repressed for decades came flooding back about four years ago.
Braney’s pain became public in March 2013, when police were called to his home during an argument with his former wife. He told the Boulder cops who arrested him on suspicion of domestic violence that he was dealing with the stress that came from his abuse. The police told Braney — who later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for damaging property — to contact Syracuse-area prosecutors or police.
The Onondaga DA’s office investigated Braney’s claims, but prosecutors told Braney they could not file charges because the statute of limitations had expired.
Current Syracuse bishop Robert Cunningham has apologized to Braney for the abuse and the diocese has paid for therapy. But Braney wants more: He wants transparency. He wants the diocese to publicly identify clergy who also face credible allegations of abuse.
Cummings said the diocese is reluctant to do so because other victims who have come forward have asked to keep details of their abuse — including identities of the abusers — private.
Braney said that practice puts the responsibility for transparency on victims and survivors.
“It perpetuates the shame and secrecy,” Braney said. “Most of all it protects pedophiles.”
EXCLUSIVE: Only 1 NYC district attorney supports fixing state law to help child abuse victims seek justice
EXCLUSIVE: Only 1 NYC district attorney supports fixing state law to help child abuse victims seek justice
One of the city’s district attorneys is in favor of extending the criminal statute of limitations on charges of sexual abuse of children — but the others refused to take a stand.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s support of overhauling the oft-maligned law barring criminal charges after the victim turns 23 years old comes as the state Senate considers a bill to do just that.
“We have long been supportive of extending the criminal statute of limitations for young victims of sexual abuse,” Kevin Ryan, a Brown spokesman, told the Daily News.
But other district attorneys were more reluctant to tackle the issue.
The offices of Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark all referred The News to the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York.
The association occasionally issues position statements on legislation under consideration in Albany.
But when it comes to victims of child sex abuse holding their abusers accountable, the association does not plan to take an official position, according to Executive Director Robyn Pangi.
“People want to be able to bring these prosecutions, but as you know, a lot of these cases are 30 or 40 years old. It’s very difficult to collect evidence, find appropriate witnesses and build a case,” Pangi said.
She vowed that district attorneys were committed to doing everything in their power, whatever the law may be.
“We certainly want to ensure the victims feel we will be able to prosecute their case effectively,” she said.
Doug Auer, a spokesman for Staten Island DA Michael McMahon, echoed that sentiment.
“Regardless of whether the statute is changed, we will continue to do our utmost to do justice for the victims of these crimes,” Auer said.
Individual district attorneys do often take stands on certain issues — just not this one.
In recent months Vance has been among the leading voices in the city calling for law enforcement to have access to encrypted smartphones.
The DAs’ reluctance to take an official position comes as the Senate considers a bill to do away with the statute of limitations to bring criminal cases or civil suits in cases involving adults abused as children.
Previous efforts to reform the law have failed as GOP lawmakers have signaled they are against the legislation. Advocates say that is in large part due to the opposition of the Catholic Church and a consortium of yeshivas.
The issue came to the fore recently after Suffolk County authorities charged Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu with sexually abusing seven foster children that had been in his care.
Authorities said at the time they couldn’t bring charges in connection to additional victims of Gonzales-Mugaburu, 59, because of the statute of limitations.
He has pleaded not guilty.