Abuse allegations grow against friar in Youngstown diocese


Abuse allegations grow against friar in Youngstown diocese

Associated Press

Published: January 25, 2013 – 09:58 PM

From the link: http://www.ohio.com/news/break-news/abuse-allegations-grow-against-friar-in-youngstown-diocese-1.367878

YOUNGSTOWN: A Catholic high school in Pennsylvania has hired an attorney to investigate allegations that a Franciscan friar named in Ohio sexual-abuse settlements molested students in Johnstown in the 1990s.

Attorney Susan Williams said three former students at Bishop McCort High School have talked to her in detail about the alleged abuse.

Brother Stephen Baker taught and coached at the church-run John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio, in the late 1980s and early 1990s and at Bishop McCort in Johnstown from 1992-2000.

Bishop McCort said in a news release that it hired a Pittsburgh law firm to investigate after school trustees became aware of the allegations last week.

In Ohio, Bishop George Murry of the Diocese of Youngstown has offered assurances that children will be protected in the wake of recent financial settlements dating from alleged abuse by Baker.

The pledge came Thursday and followed last week’s announcement of settlements with 11 men who say they were abused at Kennedy. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The Youngstown Vindicator said it was the third time in as many years that the diocese promised transparency, pledges increasingly met with skepticism from victim advocates.

In a news conference, Murry said the diocese first was alerted about the abuse in 2009 in a letter from the victims’ attorney.

A group that represents victims of clergy abuse alleged earlier in the week that there are other cases of abuse unrelated to Baker in the diocese. Murry said he knows of no other allegations but will investigate if any are known.

“We can only act on what we know,” he said.

All allegations immediately are reported to police, victims are offered pastoral or professional counseling and the person accused is placed on a leave of absence until it can be determined if the allegation is credible, Murry said.

A panel made up of lay people, including a retired police detective with experience in family issues, meets to review the evidence and decide if the allegations are credible, Murry said.

In the Kennedy case, mediation settlements involved the school, Baker’s Third Order Regular Franciscans and the diocese, which said it was unaware of the allegations until nearly 20 years after the alleged abuse. Franciscans said they responded compassionately when notified.

Because of statute-of-limitation issues, the cases were resolved without charges or lawsuits, an attorney for the former Kennedy students said.

Baker, who has been removed from public ministry, hasn’t responded to an interview request left at his Newry, Pa., monastery.

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About victimsofrapebythercc

The Catechism offers a clear moral teaching: "Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them." (no. 2356) Note that rape is "an intrinsically evil act," meaning that it is evil at its very root, nothing justifies it, and it is objectively a mortal sin. An evil act was done against me, a crime, by a priest at St Thomas More Parish in Durham, NH. An evil and a crime I will no longer keep silent about. Those who perpetrate crimes against children, especially those of the Roman Catholic Church, should all be punished for their crimes against children. Anything less would be criminal.

Posted on January 26, 2013, in Child Sex Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse, Pope Benedict, Pope Benedict XVI, Priest Child Sex Abuse, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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