Catholic Church Settles With 700 Abuse, Rape Victims For $250 Million
byon March 28, 2011
From the Link: http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/catholic-church-settles-with-700-abuse-rape-victims-for-250-million/news/2011/03/28/18311
“We were scared that if we uttered even one word, we would go to hell.”
The Roman Catholic Church, as part of ongoing lawsuits, will make payments to approximately 700 male and female sexual and psychological abuse, molestation, and rape victims who were living in Alaska Native villages and Indian reservations from Montana to Washington, Idaho and Oregon, and who were “sexually or psychologically abused as children by Jesuit missionaries in those states in the 1940s through the 1990s,” according to a statement by attorneys.
The latest agreement will financially compensate 524 victims with $166.1 million in cases including accusations against 140 Jesuit priests, brothers, and nuns from the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, in the Pacific Northwest. Only $48 million will come from the Catholic Church, the remainder will be paid by its insurance companies.
None of the Jesuit priests are being charged with any crime related to this abuse, rape, and molestation settlement.
The settlement comes through bankruptcy proceedings and is the largest by a religious order in the United States.
“These religious figures should have been responsible for protecting children, but instead raped and molested them,” plaintiffs’ attorney Blaine Tamaki noted, adding, “This settlement recognizes that the Jesuits betrayed the trust of hundreds of young children in their care, and inflicted terrible atrocities upon them.”
One victim, Katherine Mendez, according to The Oregonian, was “11 years old when she was raped at St. Mary’s Mission School in Omak, Wash., moments after she scuffled with another student and was then brought into the office of Father John J. Morse.
“The sexual abuse continued from sixth grade into eighth grade, she said.
“And even after Mendez left the school and moved in with a foster family in Selah, 200 miles away, the priest tracked her down to continue the abuse.
“Every day, every single day, it was a nightmare,” Mendez said today. “I was always looking over my shoulder.”
“The bankruptcy declaration seemed like a cheat,” she said. “I was really a victim of child rape. There was no face-to-face justice where I could see the accusations brought out in public, to say, ‘He’s the one who raped me.’”
Another victim, Theo Lawrence, who was molested by both a Jesuit priest and a nun, died two weeks ago, before the details of the settlement had been announced. Before his death, Lawrence said, “The nun or one of the Brothers would send me to the Rectory to see Father Freddy. He would give me candy or call me special — and then he would molest me. They all did at various times.”
Lawrence, explaining how priests kept their victims silent, said abused boys were told, “men of God don’t talk. We were scared that if we uttered even one word, we would go to hell.”
The abusers, often Jesuit priests, fathers, and nuns or nuns that worked with the Jesuits, abused boys and girls and were generally sent to Alaskan Native reservations and Indian reservations as punishment or to be hidden from prior misdeeds. The Order is accused of “dumping” “problem priests” on reservations over the course of about 50 years.
The Jesuits are the largest order within the Catholic Church and are considered the most-educated.
Allegations of sexual and psychological abuse, molestation, and rape of children by Catholic Church priests have been made in the United States, Ireland, Kenya, The Philippines, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Great Britain, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
The Jesuits refused to comment on this case.
Nuns ‘forced children as young as 5 to eat own vomit in exchange for holiday’
The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry also heard lamb stew was made but the meat was off and the nuns at Nazareth House, Belfast, forced them to eat it
Nuns allegedly forced children as young as five to ear their own vomit in exchange for a holiday.
The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry heard how youngsters at Nazareth House in South Belfast had been promised a holiday if they ate their dinner.
In a statement read to the hearing, a witness said a lamb stew had been made but the meat was off and the nuns forced them to eat it anyway, reports Belfast Live.
And with the 66-year-old ex-Nazareth House resident taking the stand on oath, she was challenged: “You have said the smell was horrendous but the nuns made you eat it otherwise no one would go on holidays.
“You were literally eating your own vomit. Each of the children as young as five were doing this.
“You said it seemed to go on for hours.
“If you didn’t eat your stew, somebody else ate it for you because you all wanted to go on your holidays.
“The congregation has said the food was the best they could provide in the circumstances but they had never made a child eat meat that had gone off and deny anyone would have had to eat their own vomit.”
The witness replied: “The congregation were not there. I dispute what they are saying. It’s not true.”
The inquiry also heard girls were forced to eat in silence and would be slapped with a cane, ruler, spoon or strap for talking.
The witness added: “I was beaten thousands of times. I remember so many punishments.
“I’d lie in bed and think it was just a nightmare and daddy was coming to take me out. But I was there for nine years.”
The congregation that formally responds to allegations made to the inquiry also refused to acknowledge the witness was made to empty a box containing soiled sanitary towels every week.
She further claimed she was beaten so fiercely by a nun she was left bruised and bloodied.
She ran away from the home and caught a train to an aunt and uncle in Lurgan, Co Armagh.
The inquiry heard how her aunt was shocked to see the 14-year-old’s back was seriously injured and bleeding.
She was taken to a police station and the nun was reported but a police officer suggested she had injured herself.
The witness said she was taken back to Nazareth House by her abuser and ordered to say a decade of the rosary by the mother superior but refused.
The Church congregation said they have no record of the incident.
The witness also stated the girls were bathed twice a week in water disinfected with Jeyes Fluid, an industrial cleaner.
And DDT, a toxic insecticide that causes nerve problems, was used on them if they had lice.
Years later she said she received a letter from a nun who told her: “My sincere apologies for any pain I have caused.”
The witness told the inquiry: “I do not accept an apology. It’s too late and it did not come until the wrongs were made public.
“And those who should be apologising are no longer here. I feel like their denials are calling us liars. We are not.
“It was unpaid labour to earn our keep. We were unpaid labourers, not children in care. It was nothing but humiliating and degrading.
“They did not love us, most of the time they did not like us. So no I don’t want an apology but redress, yes.”
The hearing continues.
Still protecting its own
From the Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/still-protecting-its-own/2016/05/15/dca095ec-194f-11e6-aa55-670cabef46e0_story.html
“In 1995, two individuals alleged sexual abuse by Father Robert Hopkins in the 1970s.”
“In 1999, an individual alleged sexual abuse by Father Timothy Murphy in the late 1960s to early 1970s.”
“In 2002, an individual alleged sexual abuse in the mid-1970s by Dennis Pecore, who was then a religious brother.”
ON AND ON it goes. These accounts, and several dozen others like them, now appear on the website of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, which recently published a list — or rather, republished one from 2002 with 14 additional names — of clergy alleged to have abused children. Similar lists have been published by other dioceses, which in recent years have taken steps to atone for years of sweeping such cases under the rug by adopting more forthcoming policies and providing counseling to victims of abusive priests.
The church says the publication of these names will provide acknowledgment to victims that they are not alone. By seeing their abusers publicly identified and shamed, victims may be “empowered to find out that other people have alleged against the same person,” according to Sean Caine, spokesman for the archdiocese.
That’s a fair point but an inadequate one. For while the archdiocese is extending one sort of validation to victims, it’s simultaneously pressing to deny most of them another sort: the opportunity to seek redress in the courts.
For years, even as it acknowledged having systematically enabled and covered up the abuse of children by priests, the church has also fought aggressively to maintain tight deadlines that limit the time in which survivors may file lawsuits against abusers and superiors who looked the other way.
In Maryland, the church, fearing the financial fallout of such suits, has lobbied so effectively that bills to extend the deadline, known as the statute of limitations, have not even been accorded a vote in the legislature. The result for the great majority of victims is that by the time they speak up about the abuse they suffered — typically, many years after the fact, as the examples at the top of this editorial illustrate — they no longer have the option of filing a lawsuit, which now ends at age 25. Youthful victims of abuse, whether in schools, churches or teams, must be given more leeway to seek justice, including compensation for the harm they have suffered.
The church argues that abusers are ill-equipped to defend themselves when alleged victims level their accusations many years after the fact; it cites fading memories, unreliable witnesses and fragile evidence. Yet Maryland, like most states, has no such deadline limiting when abusers can be criminally prosecuted. Just as in criminal cases, civil juries are qualified to judge the strength of a victim’s allegations and a defendant’s response.
It’s possible that the stigma of abuse may start to fade as a result of the publicity to which clergy sex abuse has been exposed. If victims come forward more quickly, owing to the Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight” and intensified public discussion of abuse, that would be a good thing. In the meantime, justice for victims must include the option of litigation — even if that proves costly for the Catholic Church and other institutions.
Forgotten Australians & British Children abused by Nuns
The Poor Sisters of Nazareth and the evil abuse they did against children in the name of their gawd.
Magdalene survivors to receive €11,500 to €100,000
By Joe Humphreys Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 20:24
Government provides at least €34.5 million to compensate women held in laundries
Survivors of the Magdalene laundries are to receive lump sum payments of between €11,500 and €100,000 for their time spent in the institutions, the Government has announced.
Under a new compensation scheme, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said approximately 600 women were expected qualify for the ex gratia payments, and “crucially payment of these sums of money is not dependent on proof of any hardship, injury or abuse”.
Members of one group representing survivors have rejected the offer. Magdalene Survivors Together want all the women detained to be given a basic payment of €50,000 and one member has called on the Government to go back to the drawing board.
While Mr Shatter said it was impossible to give an accurate prediction of total costs as the number of validated applicants had yet to be established “my officials estimate the total cost of these lump sum payments would be in the range of €34.5 million to €58 million.
A woman who spent any time of three months or less would receive a lump sum of €11,500, and the amount then increases. For one year it will be €20,500 and for five years €68,500. The maximum payment is €100,000 for women were in a laundry for 10 years or more.
Women who are entitled to more than €50,000 through the scheme will receive a €50,000 lump sum, plus an annual payment calculated from the remaining sum, which would be paid weekly.
Allowing for this condition, “one off payments in the range would total €24 million to €40 million with total weekly payments amounting to €70,000 to €1.26 million annually.”
To minimise further legal costs, Mr Justice Quirke, president of Law Reform Commission, recommended that before accepting any payment, the woman should agree not to make any further claim against the State and should have access to independent legal advice.
Mr Shatter said it was in discussions with the Legal Aid Board on how to provide that advice.
Mr Shatter has met the four religious congregations which ran the laundries and told them they are expected to contribute to the compensation. “There will be great disappointment within Cabinet if the congregations fail to make a contribution,” he said. Mr Shatter would not put a figure on how much they are expected to pay. During talks with the orders, some nuns said they still care for more than 100 Magdalene survivors at their own expense. “They are making a contribution by providing them with accommodation and supports,” he said. “Of course they are going to incur expense and work has to be done in providing us with the verifying records that are necessary.”
Women who were held in one of the Magdalene laundries rejected the offer and called on the Government to go back to the drawing board. Members of
Magdalene Survivors Together want all the women detained to be given a basic payment of €50,000 for the emotional and psychological damage suffered, with additional compensation sought for work at the laundries. They also want all the money paid in one bulk, instead of an initial lump sum followed by weekly amounts making up the balance.
Maureen Sullivan, the youngest known survivor admitted to one of the laundries, said women were forced to work from morning till night — washing floors from 7.30am, in a laundry throughout the day, and then making rosary beads at night. “I think they totted it up all wrong,” she said. “They need to go back to the drawing board.”
But Sally Mulready of the Irish Women Survivors Network, which represents around 60 UK based survivors, said it welcomed the scheme as a “fair, fast and just settlement, without endless lawyers and legal costs”.
She particularly welcomed the provision for enhanced pension which was fitting recognition of the time women spent working in the laundries.
The Sisters of Mercy ran two laundries, one in Dun Laoghaire which closed in 1963 and one in Galway which closed in 1984. It said its archives will be open for women to check how long they spent in the institutions.
The congregation also said it supported the possibility of mediation between nuns and surviving women. “We will welcome the opportunity for such interaction mindful that all Sisters who held positions of responsibility and worked in Galway or Dun Laoghaire are now deceased,” they said.
Other recommendations made by Judge Quirke include:
* Magdalene women will be granted free access to services — including GP, hospital care, drugs and dental counselling — by way of an enhanced medical card.
* All Magdalene women who have reached pensionable age will have income equivalent to the state contributory pension.
* Those who have not reached pensionable age will have income of 100 euro per week.
* All cash payments will be exempt from income tax and other taxes and will not be taken into account in means testing for social welfare or other benefits.
* A dedicated unit will be created to provide advice and support, assistance in meeting with religious congregations and social opportunities to meet other such women.
Magdalene Laundries: Women who have lost their way
By Rachael Romero – posted Thursday, 20 June 2013
From the link: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15148
The Washington Times article: “A Magdalene Laundry survivor speaks out,” reminds us that Magdalene Laundries were not only in Ireland but replicated all over the world.
Was the Irish State’s recent apology for their complicity with the church in the enslavement of young women for years inside the notorious Magdalene Laundries, (or workhouses for girls, many of which were run by Good Shepherd nuns) – and subsequent calls for restorative justice for survivors – the impetus for the Good Shepherd Sisters in Australia putting a new spin on the history they share with Irish nuns?
By recasting themselves online as seekers of justice they hope you don’t know of their role in more than a century of hidden imprisonment of vulnerable girls in Australia’s infamous Magdalene Laundries. When they say their doctrines promote freedom, do we infer that hypocrisy is their policy as a means to deceive and deflect criticism? Their new website says they’ve commissioned Anti-Slavery Australia to route out “hidden exploitation.” The Australian Good Shepherd’s historical perpetration of “hidden exploitation” in Magdalene Laundries no doubt informs their expertise. Disclosure: As a recipient of ‘hidden exploitation’ in their hands, so does mine!
In 1967, inside the dark-walled Dickensian world they ruled supreme, the Good Shepherd nuns suggested that I might just as well give up school. I was just fourteen. It occurred to me that school was mandatory till age fifteen so I claimed it not only as my right, but also as a way to get a few hours out of forced labor in their thundering, antiquated laundry. How had I come to this dreadful place?
Like so many others I’d run away from home following a particularly brutal and life threatening attack by my father, (who had abused me physically, psychologically and sexually for years). Having turned myself into the Welfare I was subsequently dispatched (under the signature of my parents) to endure extra-judicial imprisonment and forced labor in a Magdalene Laundry run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in suburban North Plympton, South Australia (1941-74.)
There, I was treated as defiled and forced to work in the laundry under the blind eye of the State of South Australia and the noses of god-fearing South Australian citizens. Out-of-sight-out-of-mind.
I was just one of tens of thousands of vulnerable girls stigmatized as “fallen,” herded like sheep to the slaughterhouse that was the Catholic solution. Those in charge of the Convent of the Good Shepherd were carrying out a mandate to get wanton, lost girls and women off the streets where they might contaminate society. The nuns’ constant vilification branded us-as livestock are branded-by fire. We were treated as mere objects of contempt, there to earn our wretched keep in Magdalene Infernos around the world.
The advocacy group, Justice for Magdalenes, brought the issue to the attention of the United Nations Committee Against Torture eventually resulting in the Irish State’s recognition of culpability this year. (Australia has yet to address this, other than the 2009-sweeping apology to all of those mistreated in care during the last century.) Imagine my disbelief when I find the Good Shepherds using words like: Hope, Action, Justice to obscure their unpardonable history as slave-drivers of the most vulnerable girls society could serve up to them, presumably hoping to gain cred by awarding the writer Sushi Das (well placed as the Opinion Editor of The Age,) an award-on International Woman’s Day.
Have the Good Shepherds Nuns “lost their way?” Their idea of themselves as altruistic shepherds saving young “fallen” girls from themselves by herding them into hard labor was and is condescending, antiquated, disingenuous and the results have been horrific and gravely injurious. Why don’t they come clean about their dirty laundry? I believe the church is afraid that survivors seeking restorative justice will cause the revelation of hard facts resulting in potential donors to beginning to see their current Anti Slavery crusade as same old… sanitized with PC language.
On their newly branded Good Shepherd website, Noelene White writes: “…the work of Good Shepherd Sisters and mission partners […], isn’t that different to what Good Shepherd has done since the Order began in France in 1835.” [Italics mine]
I suggest that the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Good Shepherd nuns’ arrival in Australia be seized as a time for the Good Shepherd Sisters to explore how they lost their way and an opportunity to taste the penitence and humility they so zealously forced upon those in their care. Let their archives be opened and those pitiful records studied. Let there be restorative justice for all those who suffered in the Good Shepherds’ Magdalene Laundries worldwide!
Give the laundry girls their compo
Rights watchdog: State acted wrongfully
SURVIVORS of the Magdalene Laundries should get compensation including unpaid wages, pensions and rehab, a watchdog has insisted.
In yesterday’s follow-up report to Martin McAleese’s laundries probe, the Irish Human Rights Commission said the State failed to protect women and girls sent to the institutions.
And IHRC commissioner Professor Siobhan Mullally said the McAleese inquiry fell short of drawing conclusions on the State’s obligations.
She added: “The State acted wrongfully in failing to protect these women by not putting in place adequate mechanisms to prevent such violations, and by failing to respond to their allegations over a protracted period.”
Good Shepherd Sisters denying history
By Adele Chynoweth – posted Wednesday, 19 June 2013
From the link: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15140
The recent claims, by lawyer and lobbyist Bryan Keon-Cohen, that the Catholic Church is a law unto itself in its resistance of governmental responses to child abuse, could be applied to Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand.
On the 22nd of this month, Good Shepherd, an organisation established by the Good Shepherd Sisters has scheduled a Festival at Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne in order to celebrate 150 years since the Good Shepherd Sisters arrived in Australia. The problem is that the summary, by Trish Carroll, Good Shepherd Mission Leader, of the history of the organisation, conveniently excludes the work of the Sisters in the twentieth century. So allow me to fill in the resounding gap.
There are no precise figures for the number of girls who slaved in the eight Magdalene laundries, run by the Good Shepherd Sisters, in twentieth century Australia because Good Shepherd has not released their records. We do know, as a result of the Federal Senate reportForgotten Australians (2004) that the Good Shepherd laundries in Australia acted as prisons for the girls who were forced to labour in workhouses laundering linen for local hospitals or commercial premises. The report alsodescribed the conditions as characterised by inedible food, unhygienic living conditions and little or no education. In 2008, in Federal Parliament, Senator Andrew Murray likened the Convent of the Good Shepherd ‘The Pines’, Adelaide to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Post-war Australia was categorised by a new era of nation building led by the conservative Robert Menzies as Prime Minister. There was a perceived need for strict discipline for juveniles. Children could be placed in juvenile detention centres despite not having committed a criminal offence. Further, during this period there was a concern that ‘sexually depraved girls’ could be a cause of delinquency and therefore needed to be separated from the mainstream. As a result of these attitudes, many vulnerable children were criminalised.
Rachael Romero, at the age of 14 in 1967, was incarcerated in ‘The Pines’ for running away from her violent father who had sexually abused her. Rachael could not speak about it publicly for forty years because the Good Shepherd Sisters had branded her as ‘fallen’ and so Rachael had felt besmirched as a result of the abuse that she had endured. Wendy Sutton was admitted to ‘The Pines’ at the age of 13 having suffered physical abuse at the hands of her stepfather and having been sexually molested by a friend of the family.
Janice Konstantinidis was sent, by whom she describes as her ‘sadistic alcoholic father’ at the age of 12 to work in the laundry at Mount Saint Canice, run by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Tasmania. Janice remembers the girl who broke her back in an escape attempt by jumping through a window. The girls were told later that after being discharged from hospital that she was sent to Lachlan Park Hospital, a secure mental asylum.
Maureen Cuskelly was sent to Abbotsford Convent at the age of three because her mother was suffering from a mental illness. Later at the age of 13, in 1968, she was sent to work in the laundry at St Aidan’s Bendigo, run by the Good Shepherd Sisters. When she left, at the age of 17, her hands were damaged from years of repetitive sheet folding, in the afternoons, and her being forced to clean floors with an industrial polisher every morning.
The Good Shepherd Festival at Abbotsford this month also includes a ‘ReunionAfternoon Tea for all former residents of Good Shepherd institutions’.
I asked Maureen if she would be going, “I don’t know about that. There is not one plaque at Abbotsford about us. It’s all about them. They make me so mad. There has been no apology. No acknowledgement”.
“I went to a reunion before and they say ‘The nuns did their best at the time’. But they didn’t do their best. They were cruel. We were always hungry and cold. Girls were beaten or locked on their own in dark cells. But the worse thing they did was not let me see my brother and sister in the other section of the Convent. I got punished for waving at them”.
The Senate Inquiry into Forgotten Australians (2004) revealed that the abuse of children continued throughout institutions because a nation espoused an uncritical admiration of the work of charities and churches. Who was watching those charged with the care of Australia’s vulnerable children? We can take account now. Many Forgotten Australians have fought emotional adversity and physical scars or injuries to participate in a society that abandoned them as children. Our history needs to acknowledge the causal factors that produced such adversity so as to deflect the shame and stigma from survivors. Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, whose slogan is “Justice, Compassion, Reconciliation, Respect, Dignity” can assist this reparation by focusing less on their public relations campaign, more on writing an authentic record and through the initiation of a genuine reconciliation process with former child slaves of their twentieth century laundries.
Maureen reminds us the significance of the current Good Shepherd’s edited history, “They’re burying what they did. They’re burying our history. They’re burying the truth”.
State ward regularly beaten by nuns, inquiry told
A former ward of the state say she and other young girls were regularly beaten by nuns at a convent in Ballarat in the 1950s and 60s.
Gabrielle Short told the Victorian child abuse inquiry she thought she was going to die from the abuse at Nazareth House.
She says many girls who spent time there have significant health and psychological issues as a result of their treatment.
“Many times a nun would come out of nowhere and just start belting into us with her stick, across the head and kicking us at the same time,” she said.
“I remember many times being beaten so bad I could not get back up off the floor.
“My head head would be spinning and my legs would feel so weak I felt like I had no blood in my head.”
The inquiry also heard from Gordon Hill, who spent 15 years in the St Joseph’s boys home in Ballarat from the age of two.
He told the inquiry he was also sexually abused and beaten by nuns and priests.
Mr Hill says the abuse started when he was five.
“It went on until I was about 11. Then I went on to the next section and thank god it stopped,” he said.
“But a couple of priests who were there used to love certain kids.”