Category Archives: Fr. John Tulipana
Sex Crimes and the Vatican Documentary
Created in 1962, a now infamous document was issued in secret to bishops. Called Crimen Sollicitationis, it outlined procedures to be followed by bishops when dealing with allegations of child abuse, homosexuality and bestiality by members of the clergy. It swore all parties involved to secrecy on pain of excommunication from the Catholic Church.
This document was reissued in 2001 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and sent to all bishops. Yet rather than ordering more openness and cooperation with the authorities as demanded by both law enforcers and the victims, he reiterated its policies and ensured that the Code of Silence be applied to all cases of child abuse involving a priest. Cardinal Ratzinger also instructed that all cases should now be referred to his office directly and that he would maintain ‘exclusive competence’ over the handling of allegations. This is the Catholic Church’s policy to this day and Cardinal Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI.
The policy laid out in the above document has led to systemic failure by the result that a significant number of priest have, in effect, been allowed to abuse again, and further children have been put at risk.
As the documentary explores, Colm O’Gorman is the man responsible for breaking open decades of abuse by Catholic Priests in Ireland in the BAFTA award-winning BBC special Suing the Pope. He links international ‘systemic evidence’ to argue the Vatican has a policy to cover up the sexual abuse of thousands of children across the world.
In Sex Crimes and the Vatican O’Gorman explores four separate cases internationally of widespread clerical abuse, putting the Roman Catholic Church on trial for the reckless endangerment of children. O’Gorman raises the question, ‘Is the Church in default of its obligation as a signatory to the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child?’
A link to the documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MwOV8QF9d88
The church-installed Deetman Commission says there were up to 20,000 victims of abuse between the end of World War II and 1981.
Roman Catholic bishops in the Netherlands protected sexual abusers and covered up their crimes, according to a major new report released today. The church-installed Deetman Commission says there were up to 20,000 victims of abuse between the end of World War II and 1981.
Radio Netherlands Worldwide journalist Robert Chesal – together with NRC Handelsblad’s Joep Dohmen – brought to light the abuse that led to a national scandal. Robert Chesal looks back at how the story unfolded.
You could say that 2010 was the year when the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal went viral. Until February of that year, abuse of youngsters by Catholic clergy was primarily seen as a problem in Ireland and the United States.
But that month, as northern Europe lay buried in snow, a simmering problem began to reach boiling point. Reports from a Catholic boarding school run by Jesuits in the German capital Berlin spoke first of a few, then of a dozen, and then of over a hundred victims of abuse by priests.
One of those reports reached me at the RNW newsroom in mid-February. That same day I read that Pope Benedict XVI had ordered the entire Irish bishops’ conference to appear at the Vatican, where they would receive a dressing down for failing to tackle abuse in their dioceses. I decided to investigate what, if anything, had happened in the Netherlands.
On the internet I quickly found a testimony by a man named Janne Geraets, now in his late 50s, who claimed to have been abused at a boarding school in the early 1960s. I arranged to meet him the following day and heard his story of the painful and deeply damaging abuse he suffered at the hands of a Salesian father.
As I walked to the bus stop after that interview, my head still filled with the disturbing images Geraets had described, I started thinking about where to look next.
I discovered that there were some worrying trends in the Netherlands which were as yet unreported in the mainstream media. For instance, a prominent Dutch jurist told me why he had stepped down as chairman of the assessment board of the Roman Catholic abuse hotline.
In fact, he said, the entire board had resigned because their recommendations on how to deal with known abusers in the church were repeatedly being ignored by the Dutch bishops.
I was confronted with another ominous sign when I rang up the Protestant counterpart to the Catholic hotline and was told that all cooperation between the Protestant and Catholic centres for abuse notification had ceased years earlier.
The representative I spoke to suspected the reason the partnership had broken down was that the Catholic side “had something to hide”. Another hotline employee lamented the fact that the Catholics showed no interest in a new protocol established by the Protestant abuse notification centre which the Protestants were more than willing to share.
Hotbed of abuse
Spurred on by Janne Geraets’ insistence that he was just one of many children abused at his school, I enlisted the help of experienced investigative journalist Joep Dohmen at the NRC Handelsblad newspaper. Together, Dohmen and I pieced together a story that revealed the abuse of three minors by Salesians from the same boarding school.
We also brought to light the fact that one of the most respected bishops in the Netherlands, monsignor Ad van Luyn, had taught at that same school, in close proximity to what later appeared to be a hotbed of sexual abuse.
Our first publication, on 26 February 2010, sparked an avalanche of abuse reports from former boarding school pupils throughout the Netherlands. The Catholic hotline was completely unable to handle the workload and within weeks the first steps were taken to create a commission of inquiry led by former government minister Wim Deetman.
Pope angers Europe
Meanwhile, it was rapidly becoming clear that the Catholic Church had a scandal of epidemic proportions on its hands in Europe. From Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria, shocking testimonies of abuse and allegations of church cover-ups were making headlines.
There was an angry reaction when Pope Benedict apologised to churchgoers in Ireland for decades of abuse that went unpunished. Why, the Germans and Dutch asked, should we be treated any differently from Irish victims?
The Vatican never gave a satisfactory answer to that question. On the contrary. A cardinal close to the pope called the scandal “petty gossip” and even some bishops who acknowledged wide-scale abuse blamed it on the freemasons, on homosexuality and on the loosening of society’s sexual morals following the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s (a particularly odd fallacy, since so many cases of abuse stem from the 1950s and earlier).
On Good Friday, Pope Benedict’s own preacher compared the incrimination of priests in the sex abuse scandal to past examples of persecution of Europe’s Jews. Public relations are not exactly a strong point in Rome.
The church in the Netherlands hardly made a better impression. The top Catholic figure here, Cardinal Simonis, left mouths agape when he denied that Dutch church leaders were aware of the wide-scale abuse by priests in their midst.
He chose a historically loaded phrase the Dutch normally use to mock feigned German ignorance of the Nazi concentration camps, saying “Wir haben es nicht gewusst”.
But Simonis’ words sounded decidedly hollow when we reported, months later, that he had helped move a pedophile priest from one parish to another, allowing abuse of minors to continue.
Incidents like these are among the many disconcerting facts that the Deetman Commission had to grapple with in its inquiry. Of the estimated 10,000 to 20,000 victims in institutional care between 1945 and the early 1980s, approximately half were repeatedly subjected to sexual abuse for longer than a year, the commission says.
Personal accounts reveal that the physical and psychological damage caused by such extended periods of victimisation is immense and long-lasting.
The commission singled out Roman Catholic boarding schools, orphanages, seminaries and other institutions, reporting that children there ran a greater risk of being abused. The inquiry blasted the institutions’ failure to monitor the well-being of minors in their care.
In a first reaction to the 1,200-page Deetman report, Bishop Gerard de Korte said the church leadership had made wrong choices by protecting abusive priests and putting the reputation of the church before the well-being of victims. It’s unlikely to be the last word we hear from the bishops on that sensitive point.
Justice a step closer
Along with many other journalists, I crowded into a meeting room in the Dutch political capital The Hague this morning for the official presentation of the report. Afterwards, colleagues asked me if this was a crowning moment in my career. I had to think about that. And my answer was no. Because I did not become a journalist to hold the Roman Catholic Church accountable for sexual abuse.
I did, however, become a journalist out of some kind of desire for justice and truth. And in that sense, I would have to conclude that with the Deetman Commission report, we’ve gotten one step closer to that goal.
Again Roman Catholic Church leaders knew of the abuse and hid it in the Dutch Roman Catholic horror mental facilities
Roman Catholic orders, congregations and dioceses knew about the abuse of minors in Catholic institutions, but failed to help the victims or take action against the abusers.
This is the conclusion of the Deetman Inquiry which on Friday published its final report on abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands.
The report points to the inadequate organisation, and the closed culture of the Dutch archdiocese as the main reason for its inadequate response to the widespread abuse. The church also sought to avoid a scandal.
Inquiry chair Wim Deetman, a former education minister, estimates that between 10,000 and 20,000 minors were abused in Catholic boarding schools, children’s homes and orphanages. In several thousands of cases the abuse could be characterised as very serious.
The Deetman Inquiry was able to identify 800 of the abusers. It received more than 2,000 reports, 1,800 of which involved sexual abuse. The abusers were, or are, active in dioceses, congregations and orders. At least 105 of them are still alive. Mr Deetman could not say how many of these 105 are still active in the Roman Catholic Church. In the report, Mr Deetman argues for a government-controlled approach to sexual and physical abuse of minors.
The report says that the Roman Catholic Church’s compulsory celibacy was not a crucial factor in the abuse, but was an additional risk factor. Mr Deetman writes that this requirement makes priests vulnerable to transgressive behaviour. The inquiry feels that those who, often in their formative years, decided to become priests did not fully realise what their choice would entail.
For its investigation, the Deetman Inquiry studied the archives of dioceses, religious orders and congregations. It held a large-scale survey, studied international literature on the subject and met numerous current and former church officials.
Chesal and Dohmen
The inquiry was prompted by reports published by investigative journalists Robert Chesal from Radio Netherlands Worldwide and his colleague Joep Dohmen from national newspaper NRC Handelsblad. In February 2010, they published a report on abuse by the Salesian Fathers at the Don Rua boarding school in ‘s-Heerenberg in the 1960s. It was later followed by reports on other Catholic institutions.
“Little promise for the future”
Victims’ organisation Klokk says the conclusions of the Deetman Inquiry are even more shocking than they had expected. Klokk says the passive attitude of the Roman Catholic Church “holds little promise for the future.”
The Dutch bishops and the Conference of Members of Dutch Religious Orders have announced they will hold a press conference on Friday afternoon.
Serious abuses went on unreported for years in Dutch Roman Catholic homes for the mentally disabled. They included sex offences, castration, secret medical experiments and possibly murder. One Catholic brother was banished to Africa for doing unethical brain research. Radio Netherlands Worldwide tracked him down.
Until recent years, most abuses in Dutch institutional care were kept out of the public eye. One exception was a scandal in 1978 involving medical experiments at ‘Huize Assisië’, a Roman Catholic boarding school for mentally handicapped boys in the southern town of Udenhout.
The home’s medical doctor and a Catholic nurse known as Brother Dionysius performed spinal taps on approximately 180 patients, including minors. They injected fluid and air into the patients’ brains in order to take x-rays of the cerebral cortex. These were used for brain research which was quietly being carried out. After the injections, the patients suffered nausea and headaches for days. Their parents were neither asked for permission nor notified of the procedures.
Sent to Africa
When former employees blew the whistle, the doctor was sacked and ordered to pay a fine. Brother Dionysius was sent to Tanzania by his congregation. The case was discussed in the Dutch parliament, where MPs complained that the health inspector had given private institutions such as Huize Assisië a free hand.
Radio Netherlands Worldwide has discovered that Brother Dionysius is still working as a hospital nurse in the Tanzanian village of Sengerema, near Lake Victoria. Speaking to RNW by telephone, the 76-year-old brother said he had done “nothing untoward”.
“What we did was happening at other institutions too,” he said. “As the x-ray technician, I was carrying out the doctor’s orders. It was none of my business whether the parents knew. I was fired after the story got out, but that was just to put a stop to all the fuss.”
It was a rare example of institutional abuse becoming public knowledge. More often than not, such cases are swept under the rug where they remain for decades. But lately, some lurid secrets have come out in the open.
In a Dutch TV investigation, a former head nurse at ‘Huize Sint Joseph’, a Catholic home for mentally disabled boys, alleged that one of his predecessors had fatally poisoned at least 20 patients in the early 1950s. The story caused ripples well beyond Heel, the small southern Dutch village where the institution has stood proud since the 19th century.
Aside from alleged multiple murders, the media have revealed that there was both sexual and physical abuse at Huize Sint Joseph. The latest news dug up by investigative reporters: a rector at the home was convicted of indecent assault of minors in 1967. Two nurses who reported him were sacked and ordered to remain silent. Following his conviction, the rector requested a pardon so he could remain employed at a vocational school where he held a job as a teacher of Child Protection. The judge refused and gave him a short prison sentence.
Several people who formerly lived in Huize Sint Joseph say the Catholic brothers often beat the children in their care and locked them up in solitary confinement. Historian Annemieke Klijn wrote about the violence in a book about the home. She described the many forms of restraint and coercion the brothers used, including “a perhaps somewhat unrestrained smack”.
Dr Klijn describes Huize Sint Joseph as an institution where many religious men worked with great dedication, but where the quality of care had grave faults. This was partly due to overcrowding and a lack of well-trained personnel.
Like many Roman Catholic care facilities in its day, it suffered from a lack of funds. Catholic homes for the disabled also resisted outside attempts to impose training to professionalize the quality of care. It is not known how widespread similar abuses to those at Huize Sint Joseph were at other Catholic care institutions.
A practice which was fairly widespread but not widely publicized until recent years was the chemical castration of patients. One of the institutions where this took place was the Sint Willibrordus home, a Catholic facility for the mentally ill in the Dutch town of Heiloo, north of Amsterdam. Among those castrated were priests who had committed sexual offences and seminary students who were thought unable to keep their libido in check.
So far, there appears to be little interest in a wide-ranging inquiry into abuses in Roman Catholic care for the mentally disabled. Member of the Upper House and medical ethics expert Heleen Dupuis questions the need for an inquiry. Dr Dupuis, who chairs the main Dutch trade organisation for providers of care to the disabled, says anyone found guilty of abuse must be punished. But she prefers to emphasize how much Dutch care has improved since decades past when so many abuses took place. “Thank God we no longer live in those times,” she says.
I Frank J LaFerriere challenge Pope Benedict, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Bishop John McCormack and William A Donohue to a meeting
AFTER READING POPE BENEDICTS, CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, BISHOP JOHN MCCORMACK AND WILLIAM A DONOHUE WORDS, I FRANK J LAFERRIERE CHALLENGE ALL FOUR OF THESE RELIGIOUS PEOPLE TO A MEETING AND A DEBATE ABOUT VICTIMS OF PRIEST PEDOPHILE RAPE AND THE COVER UP BY THE LEADERS OF THE CRIMINAL RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION KNOWN AS THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
I know that none of these supposed men of god got the balls to face me in a room. To really look one of the victims of their perverted pedophile priests in the eye and listen to the horror and hell that his life has been since this priest stole his soul, body and mind.
These supposed men, these supposed human beings, these supposed protectors of the faith and the leaders of the church have no balls to sit down with one of the victims and speak their trash talk to his face because basically they are spineless jelly fish who can talk their lies and spread their false bullshit all over their pages, and then have the balls to call us victims liars only out seeking a money pay day from their church and the organizations that help us such as SNAP are nothing more than shrills for lawyers seeking to get money from their church of pedophile criminals and protectors of pedophile criminals.
My main questions would be:
Pope Benedict: Why do you believe that child pornography is considered normal and that sex between an adult and a child not evil? Why is it you believe this when child pornography is considered a felony crime and so is sex between an adult and a child. Why did you use this to explain the problem of your priests who raped children with impunity and when found out, you and your leaders did not defrock them and have them prosecuted under our laws, but moved them to other parishes so they could rape again. Why will you not submit to the World Court for Crimes Against Humanity and Children for your protecting two well known pedophile priests who raped dozens of children. Why instead of defrocking these priests did you just move them to another parish, allowed them to continue their duties and rape more children.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Why do you insist the church and it’s leaders should not suffer for their crimes against children and humanity? Why do you care more about the suffering the church would go through if you just got off your asses, admitted this was a wide spread problem and instead of fighting and denigrating the victims of your priests, you do what is right and help us fix our ruined lives? Why do you believe that just because these priests. who committed felony level crimes against children and would put them in prison, if convicted, for up to 20 years for each charge, are dead, the bishops and the leaders who moved these priests around, instead of defrocking them and having them prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows for aggravated felonious sexual assault, so these priests could continue to rape these children are dead, YOU believe the church should not suffer. That the suffering of the victims of your pedophile priests matter less than the suffering of the church and it’s parishioners in paying off the lawsuits bought against your church of criminal pedophile perverts and leaders? That your words show, you do not care one iota about the victims of your pedophile priests, but you care about the church and its wealth more?
Bishop John McCormack: I want to know why you had a hand in the destruction of records of priests in the Manchester New Hampshire Diocese and why do you stand in the way of healing and repair for the victims of your perverted pedophile priests?
William A Donohue: I have so many questions for your sorry pedophile pimp loving ass that it would take probably six blog pages just to ask them all. So I will make my own observations about you straight out to your face.
To William A Donohue, President of the Catholic League
After reading your attack on SNAP: Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, I DARE YOU TO SAY THE SAME THING TO THIS PRIEST RAPE VICTIM THAT YOU HAVE BEEN SPEWING OUT OF YOUR EVIL MOUTH. I CHALLENGE YOU TO COME TO MY HOUSE AND LOOK ME RIGHT SQUARE IN THE EYES AND SAY THE WORDS YOU KEEP SAYING AGAINST ME, A RAPE VICTIM OF A PRIEST AT ST THOMAS MOORE PARISH IN DURHAM NH.
YOU LOWLIFE PIECE OF HUMAN WASTE. I NOW TELL YOU STRAIGHT FROM THE VOICE OF JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, YOU ARE NO CHRISTIAN, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO ENTER HEAVEN. YOU ARE GOING TO GO STRAIGHT TO THE 6TH LEVEL OF DANTE’S HELL TRUST ME. YOU WILL PAY FOR YOUR EVIL AND YOUR SINS AGAINST THE CHILDREN OF YOUR PERVERTED CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF PEDOPHILE PIMPS AND PERVERTS.
WHY AM I PISSED OFF AT THIS WASTE OF HUMAN DOG DUNG? READ HIS WORDS AGAINST WE THE VICTIMS OF PEDOPHILE PERVERTED PRIEST RAPE AND AGAINST ONE OF THE MOST INCREDIBLE ORGANIZATIONS TO STAND UP FOR US VICTIMS OF PRIEST RAPE: SNAP SURVIVORS NETWORK FOR THOSE ABUSED BY PRIESTS.
THIS PIECE OF CRAP SLAMS SNAP AND IT’S LEADERS AND TWISTS FACTS AND TRUTHS TO FIT HIS APOLOGIST STANCE FOR HIS PROTECTION OF THE PERVERTED PEDOPHILE PRIESTS, THE CARDINALS SUCH AS TIMOTHY DOLAN AND OF COURSE HIS POPE, THE PAPAL BULLSHITTER.
WHERE WERE YOU DONOHUE WHEN YOUR POPE STATED THAT CHILD PORNOGRAPHY WAS NORMAL AND THAT SEX BETWEEN AN ADULT AND A CHILD IS NOT EVIL? DO YOU AGREE WITH YOUR POPES STATEMENTS? ARE YOU A CLOSET PEDOPHILE WHO WAITS ACROSS THE STREET FROM MIDDLE SCHOOLS, WAITING FOR LITTLE BOYS TO COME OUT SO YOU CAN TAKE THEM HOME AND RAPE THEM? OR DO YOU JUST GO TO YOUR LOCAL ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND SEE ONE OF THE PERVERTED PEDOPHILE PRIESTS AND TELL HIM TO SLIP YOU AN ALTAR BOY OR TWO SO YOU CAN GIVE THEM YOUR SACRED SPERM?
I KNOW, YOU, THE PAPAL BULLSHITTER POPE BENEDICT, CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, BISHOP JOHN MCCORMACK, ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE FOR RELIGIOUS AND CIVIL RIGHTS, AND ALL YOUR FELLOW PERVERTED PEDOPHILE PRIESTS GET TOGETHER AFTER SUNDAY MASS, GET NAKED AND JERK OFF TO ALL THE CHILD PORN THAT YOUR POPE AND YOUR PRIESTS DOWNLOAD, THEN GO TO THE NEAREST CHURCH, GET ALL THE CHOIR BOYS AND ALTAR BOYS AND GANG RAPE THEM ON THE ALTAR OF YOUR CHURCHES. HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT FOR MY COMING TO THIS CONCLUSION BECAUSE YOU ALL STAND UP FOR YOUR PEDOPHILE PRIESTS, THE LEADERS WHO COVERED THIS UP AND ALLOWED THESE PRIESTS TO GO RAPE MORE CHILDREN AND YOUR POPE WHO BELIEVES THAT CHILD PORNOGRAPHY IS NORMAL AND SEX BETWEEN AN ADULT AND A CHILD IS NOT EVIL!
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
At the end of 2011, a Missouri judge ordered David Clohessy, the president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), to be deposed regarding his role in cases of priestly sexual abuse. Clohessy fought the order vigorously, but lost. On January 2, 2012, he was deposed; the deposition was made public only recently [click here]. [NOTE: all pages cited are taken from the deposition.]
Clohessy proved to be uncooperative, refusing to comply with a request for internal documents; he only released a small portion of them. On the stand, he was similarly recalcitrant, refusing to answer many questions. He took refuge in a Missouri law which protects the confidentiality of rape crisis centers. But there are serious reasons to doubt whether SNAP meets the test of a rape crisis center.
Clohessy was asked point blank, “Did you identify yourself as a rape crisis center?” His reply, “I don’t know.” [p. 87.] At another point, he admitted, “I don’t know under the Missouri statutes exactly what constitutes a rape crisis center.” [p. 112.] The lawyers for an accused priest were not impressed. From their questions, and from subsequent statements they’ve made, it is clear that they do not believe that SNAP qualifies as a rape crisis center. They have plenty of reasons for reaching this conclusion.
When asked what training he has as a rape crisis counselor, Clohessy said, “You know, I’ve done—I’ve provided support to victims of sexual assault for 20—roughly 23 or 24 years. I do not have a—no.” He was then asked, “Do you have any formal education or training with regard to rape crisis counseling?” He answered, “I do not.” [p. 19].
Clohessy has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science. He is not a licensed counselor, yet counseling alleged victims of sexual abuse is what he does for a living. When asked, “Did you have any classes at all in counseling sexual abuse victims?”, he answered, “Any formal classes?” The attorney affirmed his question, answering, “Yes.” To which Clohessy replied, “No, sir.” [p. 191.]
The defense attorneys wanted to know if anyone at SNAP is licensed to counsel abuse victims. Clohessy was asked, “Does SNAP have any licensed counselors in the State of Missouri?” He said, “We are a—as I said at the beginning, we’re a self-help group. We are not—we don’t hold ourselves out to be formal licensed counselors.” [pp. 19-20.]
Clohessy then maintained that SNAP has support groups that “meet on a regular basis and offer support and comfort and consolation and guidance” to alleged victims. The lawyers picked up on this by asking, “Are there any licensed social workers or counselors on the staff at any of those meetings in the state of Missouri?” Clohessy was able to mention the founder of SNAP, Barbara Blaine, who is “a licensed—as I said, she has a Master’s degree in social work.” The attorneys were curious. “Is Barbara Blaine licensed as a counselor or social worker in the State of Missouri or the State of Illinois?” Clohessy answered, “I don’t know.” [p. 20.]
(There is a difference between someone who holds a Master’s in Social Work and someone with a Master’s in Counseling. It is expected that if someone wants to practice independently, he obtains licensure. Typically, this means at least two years of clinical work in a supervised setting. No one at SNAP is a licensed counselor.)
The attorneys for the defense sought to find out where the counseling takes place. Clohessy said, “We meet people wherever they want to meet, in Starbucks, at, you know—wherever people feel comfortable, that’s where we meet.” [p. 22.] When they meet at Starbucks for their “counseling” sessions, they mostly just talk. “You know, the overwhelming bulk of our work is talking to, listening to, supporting sex abuse victims,” he admitted. [p. 23.]
Of interest to the defense attorneys was the amount of money SNAP spends on “counseling.” “How much annually does SNAP spend for individuals in individual therapy sessions?” Clohessy offered a straight-forward answer: “I have no idea.” [p. 26]. He then dug himself in deeper. He was asked how much money has been paid “to an individual counselor for an individual victim.” Explicitly, “out of that $3 million that’s in the tax return,” how much was spent on individual counselors? Clohessy confessed, “Don’t know.” [p. 30.] Regarding the $3 million in SNAP’s bank account, he was asked, “Where is that money kept?” He wasn’t sure. “I’m assuming it’s in Chicago.” [p. 29.]
Clohessy explained what he does for a living. He says SNAP has a business address in Chicago, but that he doesn’t know the zip code. Having no office—he works out of his home in the St. Louis area—he fields phone calls. [p. 9.] “Individuals call me and they share their pain with me.” So what does he do about it? “I console them and I may be on the phone with them for an hour.” He said he doesn’t charge them a fee for his consolation over the phone. [p. 26].
Declaring one’s home to be a place of business raises legal questions. Clohessy was asked whether “at your house do you have an occupational license or a business license to do business out of your house.” He simply said, “No.” [p. 98.]
Clohessy refused to disclose his source of funding. When asked, “You won’t tell us the sources of your funding; isn’t that correct?”, he said, “That’s correct.” [p. 85.] Now it is well known that Church-suing lawyers have generously given to SNAP over the years [see my 2011 report, SNAP EXPOSED: Unmasking the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests; it is available by clicking here].
When asked specifically about monies SNAP receives from lawyers, once again Clohessy refused to answer. What really set him off was the question, “Does SNAP have any agreements with attorneys regarding referral of victims to those attorneys?” Clohessy snapped, “Can I say I’m offended at the question?” [p. 32.]
Given the type of work SNAP does, it is mandated by law to give a portion of its funds to charity. “As a director of SNAP,” Clohessy was asked, “do you understand that SNAP is required by federal law to contribute so much of their assets every year for charitable purposes.” His reply, “I’m not aware of that.” [p. 82.]
So what does SNAP do with its money? In 2007, it spent a total of $593 for “survivor support.” [pp. 102-03.] The following year it spent $92,000 on travel. [p. 107.]
SNAP says it pursues priests who are “credibly accused.” It may interest bishops and priests what Clohessy means by this. “How would you define the word ‘credibly accused?’” (This is important because many accused priests have been railroaded by those who have made false claims.) Clohessy replied, “You know, there’s all kinds of criteria.” All kinds of criteria? He continued by saying sometimes there are multiple accusers, but at no time did he say what the criteria were. [p. 110.]
Anyone who has followed SNAP is aware how often it holds a press conference condemning a diocese before a lawsuit is filed. By working with its attorneys, and some reporters, SNAP is able to get on the evening news making the diocese look bad (lawyers for the diocese are usually the last ones to receive the lawsuits). So it was not surprising that the defense lawyers would ask Clohessy about this tactic.
For example, in one case, where a lawsuit had a file stamp of October 20, 2011, the time was recorded as 2:44 p.m. When asked how SNAP could have had this information before it was filed in court, Clohessy refused to answer. [pp. 52-53.] In another case, a lawsuit had a file stamp of November 8, 2011 at 1:28 p.m., yet Clohessy was able to post information about this before it was filed with the court. When asked to explain himself, he refused. [pp. 62-63.]
Apparently, Clohessy knows next to nothing about his staff. When asked about his staff, he mentioned the founder, Barbara Blaine. He also said, “We have an administrative person who is new,” but he could only remember the person’s first name. He admitted that they also had a fundraising person but “I apologize, I don’t know the spelling of her last name.” [pp. 13-14.] Later, he was asked, “Who is in charge of SNAP’s website? Is there a specific company or is it done in-house?” Clohessy was blunt: “I don’t know.” [pp.165-66.]
Finally, Clohessy admitted that he has lied about some of his statements to the press. “Has SNAP to your knowledge ever issued a press release that contained false information?” He didn’t blink: “Sure.” [p. 39.] Did he lie about priests he knew to be innocent, or at least thought may have been innocent? We don’t know.
So is David Clohessy a sincere man driven by the pursuit of justice? Or is he a con artist driven by revenge? It may very well be that the former description aptly explains how he started, while the latter describes what he has become.
Whenever church officials are promoted, we always hope for the best. We hope that church officials will bring in an outsider who has not been involved in an institution that has been marred by cover-ups, or that a priest is promoted instead of a monsignor or fellow bishop. Today, when a Jesuit priest Fr. Thomas Smolich was tapped to head the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, church officials did exactly the opposite of what we hope for. They elevated a man with a horrific record on child sex abuse and who has been allegedly involved in many cover ups.
Smolich, who has worked as President of the Jesuit Conference of the United States since 2006, has a history rife with excusals of predator priests. In 2002, Smolich was working as the Provincial for the California province of the Jesuits. When Angel Crisostomo Mariano was sued in civil court for abusing a mentally disabled man, Smolich denied knowing much about Mariano at all, despite the fact that, at that point, Smolich had been roommates with Mariano for two years.
Beyond living with credibly accused predator priests, Smolich has housed other convicted and accused predators at the Sacred Heart Center in Los Gatos, CA where these predators have been able to mix with vulnerable adults, in some cases abusing them. Fr. James Chevedden was wheelchair-bound and living at Sacred Heart when he was abused by serial predator Br. Charles Leonard Connor (http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/12309408.htm).
Tragically, Fr. Chevedden died by suicide or a staged suicide three years after reporting the abuse, and the Jesuits later settled with Chevedden’s surviving family in a wrongful death suit.
Smolich has housed and protected more than just Br. Connor, however. At least five credibly-accused or convicted predators have lived at Sacred Heart (Fr. Connor, Fr. Jerold Lidner, Fr. Edward Thomas Burke, Fr. Mariano, and Br. John Moniz) (http://www.detnews.com/2002/religion/0207/01/religion-526386.htm). These men were afforded the opportunity to not only avoid responsibility for their crimes, but also the chance to abuse others.
Clearly, Smolich is more focused on protecting his fellow Jesuits than he is deterring them from abusing children and vulnerable adults or making sure that citizens are safe from other predators within the Society of Jesus. We are deeply concerned that Smolich is the type of man who is, at least according to the Catholic hierarchy, worthy of promotion. We wonder how many more people have been or will be abused by his protection of predator priests, and we worry about how this promotion will allow this type of behavior to continue.
Smolich should be demoted, not promoted.
We urge anyone who has been abused by any priest, Jesuit or otherwise, to immediately go to the police and work to put the predator in jail. That’s the best way to keep kids safe. The Jesuits are still not doing what they should to safeguard the vulnerable and expose child molesting clerics.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
THE BIG BAD BULLIES AND APOLOGISTS FOR THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH’S CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION OF PERVERTED CHILD MOLESTING PRIESTS, CARDINAL AND PAPAL PEDOPHILE PIMPS, THEIR LAWYERS AND OTHER SUPPORTERS DO THEIR BEST TO SILENCE SNAP: SURVIVORS NETWORK OF THOSE ABUSED BY PRIESTS.
Catholic Church now trying to silence victims’ support group
Published: Monday, March 19, 2012, 6:00 AM
Ten years after Catholic bishops swore to clean up their act after decades of sexual abuse by priests and cover-ups by their leaders, the Catholic Church is proving that old habits die hard.
The New York Times reported last week that attorneys for the church have subpoenaed records from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known to most people as SNAP, as part of sex abuse lawsuits in St. Louis and Kansas City. The subpoenas demand e-mail records and, in some cases, testimony — even though SNAP isn’t directly involved in the suits.
The church demanded 23 years of SNAP’s communication with victims, though the victim in the suit is only 19. They’ve wasted hundreds of hours of staff time and cost SNAP $50,000. Now, SNAP is begging lawyers to work pro bono.
William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, outlined the strategy to the Times: “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church,” he said. “There’s a growing consensus on the part of the bishops that they had better … buy some good lawyers and get tough.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops denied turning up the heat, but the Missouri strategy is clear: Make victims afraid to talk to SNAP and bury them under legal fees — the tactic corporations such as tobacco firms use to silence smaller opponents: Intimidate, outspend.
For decades, the Catholic hierarchy — behind the backs of its innocent clergy and millions of parishioners — used intimidation and secrecy to hide accusations that priests molested children. Now, it’s using the same tactics to silence a group that gives aid and comfort to the priests’ victims.
So far, the new tactics appear limited to Missouri. None of SNAP’s four New Jersey chapters has been targeted.
SNAP is a support group, a referral center for victims. But the church sees SNAP as ringleaders and organizers. They want to bust SNAP the way sweatshops busted labor unions.
The church’s new legal assault on SNAP is unconscionable. For decades, pedophile priests created thousands of voiceless victims. SNAP gives those victims a voice — and now the bishops want to silence that, too.
- Unusual new abuse & cover up lawsuit is filed
- Accused predator priest violated four boys in one family
- The alleged crimes happened in Independence over two decades
For the first time, a KC area Catholic priest is being accused sexually violating four boys in one family, according to a new civil lawsuit. The case will be disclosed and discussed at a news conference today at which clergy sex abuse victims will also hold signs and childhood photos.
TODAY, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 1:30 p.m.
Outside the KC chancery (diocesan headquarters) 20 West Ninth Street (at Baltimore) in KC MO
Two child sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis man who is the organization’s long-time director
A new civil lawsuit charges that Fr. John Tulipana sexually assaulted four boys (ranging in age from 10 – 16) in one family in/around St. Catherine’s parish between roughly 1976 and 1992. Most of the alleged crimes happened between 1979-81, sometimes on camping and fishing trips and sometimes at the family’s home. Some of the boys repressed the memories of the abuse, according to the suit.
Tulipana left active ministry in the mid-1990s because of credible abuse allegations.
In 1989, Richard Durocher told church officials Tulipana had abused him as a child. The diocese gave him $150,000 but demanded that he sign a “gag order” preventing him from discussing the abuse. Durocher was promised that Tulipana would receive therapy and children would be protected. But Tulipana was allowed to stay in active ministry with access to kids. In 1994, Durocher broke his silence, the KC Star wrote about the case, and Tulipana resigned. Since then, the diocese has admitted that others have come forward with sex abuse charges and they have settled with at least “several” of them.
Tulipana was ordained in 1972 and worked in at least eight parishes including Independence (Nativity of Mary), Grandview (Coronation of Our Lady), Clinton (Holy Rosary), and Kansas City (St. Catherine’s at 4101 E. 105th Terrace; St. Augustine’s at 7801 the Paseo; Christ the King at 85th Street & Wornall Road; Holy Trinity at 934 Norton Ave., and, in the mid-1990s, at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception). He also taught at the University of Dallas.
Tulipana is believed to be in his mid- 60s, working as an insurance agent, and living at 301 S. Shrank in Independence. A photo of Tulipana is available at http://bishop-accountability.org/member/psearch.jsp.
According to 2010 lawsuit “multiple priests and lay persons (knew) that Tulipana (and another priest, Fr. Thomas Cronin) were sexually abusing children, providing liquor to children and spending inordinate amounts of time with children.” http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2010/09_10/2010_10_05_Hart_TwoExpriests.htm
That suit also says that the KC diocese “aided and abetted” Cronin and Tulipana “by moving the priests from church to church following reports of his sexual abuse of minors,” by forcing the victims to be silent by representing that the priests were in good standing.Jack
The new suit seeks unspecified damages and is filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.
SNAP worries that others who have been hurt by Fr. Tulipana may still be “suffering in shame, isolation and self blame” and want Catholic officials to “aggressively reach out to others in pain.”
KC attorney Rebecca Randles represents the victim. KC lawyer Jon Haden represents the diocese (which is also named as a defendant.) SNAP doesn’t know if Tulipana has a lawyer.
Earlier this month, similar suits were filed against two other KC priests – Fr. Thomas Ford (who hadn’t been publicly accused of abuse before) and Fr. James Urbanic (who was suspended from active ministry at Sacred Heart parish in Warrensburg last summer).
His Unholiness, the Papal Bullshitter, Pope Benedict, said he wanted to do all he could to make sure the church took care of us victims. Yet he is full of shit plain and simple. He is more concerned with protecting his own damn ass and the church than he ever was protecting children from the perverted priests he has running his churches.
By his own damn words he convicts himself as one of the true perverts of the Roman Catholic Church. I am copying this report directly from http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/popersquos-child-porn-normal-claim-sparks-outrage-among-victims-15035449.html#ixzz1p7tlkhj3 and I am going to make comments as the sections go.
Victims of clerical sex abuse have reacted furiously to Pope Benedict’s claim yesterday that paedophilia wasn’t considered an “absolute evil” as recently as the 1970s.
In his traditional Christmas address yesterday to cardinals and officials working in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI also claimed that child pornography was increasingly considered “normal” by society.
How dare you, you sick and disgusting pervert leader of the Roman Catholic Church to claim that child pornography was considered “normal” by society. Which freaking society are YOU living in you sick and twisted pervert? I don’t know about you, but in the United States of America, you possess child pornography, YOU GO TO PRISON FOR IT, so is that normal to YOU, your Unholiness?
“In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,” the Pope said.
This just goes to show this pope more than likely molested children himself. He protects his child molesting priests, so what makes me think, with his reasoning and his words, that he himself does not molest children? How in the hell can he even call himself a man of god when he agrees that child porn and sex between an adult and children as normal and in full conformity? You are one sick and twisted individual Pope to be saying this crap out of your pie hole.
The Pope said abuse revelations in 2010 reached “an unimaginable dimension” which brought “humiliation” on the Church.
The ONLY humiliation that has been bought on the church is us victims. You could give two shits less about the victims, your Unholiness. You only care about protecting your ass, the asses of your pedophile priests and the billions the church has. You do not care one iota about us victims of your sick and twisted priests.
Asking how abuse exploded within the Church, the Pontiff called on senior clerics “to repair as much as possible the injustices that occurred” and to help victims heal through a better presentation of the Christian message.
First off how did this abuse explode within the church? Because the leaders knew about it and they freaking hid it. When they knew a priest was sexually abusing a child, what did they do? Did they turn them into the police department for prosecution like they should have? NO. Did they defrock the priest? NO. Did they bend over backwards to help the victim? HELL NO. What they did, these marvelous church leaders, including the present perverted Papal Bullshitter Benedict, was transfer these priests to other parishes so they could continue raping and molesting other children.
The leaders fought any and all attempts to bring this to light and they did everything they could to avoid prosecution of these priests and the leaders who covered it all up. They still are doing this. Yeah for about one year when this really broke out, they worked with the victims, mostly offering them as recompense for the horrors we went through, to pay for therapy and if the victim was lucky, they got about 20 grand for their ruined lives.
N.H. is a prime example of this. There was a Bishop named McConnell who actually cared about the victims and did what he could for them. Yet the Pope and all the other officials hate these kinds of Bishops. They want them to settle with the victims as little as possible.
Yet what price do you put on the pain and suffering we victims have been through?
I know what I am demanding. $25,000.00 per year for pain and suffering for 37 years of horror and nightmares, For all the suicide attempts and my undying hatred towards the christians and the christian god. I am also demanding $15,000.00 per year for 34 years for lost wages. Plus they are going to pay my lawyers fees and any and all money paid back to Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare for all the money they spent thanks to my insanity caused by the priest raping me. I am also demanding that the Roman Catholic Church set up at least six half way houses for abused men. Abused women have all the help they can get, but abused men have no where to turn to for real help. Well the RCC is going to help me rectify this at least in the state of NH. Either they settle for what I want or I will take their sorry asses to court and let a jury award me ten times this amount.
What better presentation will be the christian message? That the Papal Bullshitter, his bishops and priests can get away with raping children, covering it up, torturing us victims with your false bullshit? I do not want to hear a better presentation of the Christian message because as far as I am concerned, your Christian message is that you are special in that you can rape children with no punishment at all and think your god and jesus christ can protect you and when you die you are going to spend an eternity in heaven???? Bullshit, Papal Bullshitter, you, your bishops and your perverted priests will burn in hell for what you did to us children.
“We cannot remain silent about the context of these times in which these events have come to light,” he said, citing the growth of child pornography “that seems in some way to be considered more and more normal by society” he said.