A year in the life of the Twin Cities archdiocese
Madeleine Baran · St. Paul, Minn. · Dec 26, 2014
From the link: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/12/24/archdiocese-cover-up
One of the biggest stories of 2014 was the MPR News investigation of the clergy sex abuse cover-up in the Twin Cities archdiocese.
A year ago this month, a Ramsey County judge forced Archbishop John Nienstedt to release the names of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children. In the months that followed, the archdiocese faced new revelations about how deep the cover-up went and who was involved.
What’s the current state of the scandal?
Much is still happening behind the scenes. Indications are that the archdiocese will file for bankruptcy, though it claims that it hasn’t decided yet. If the archdiocese does file for bankruptcy, all of the church’s finances would be under scrutiny by a federal judge. We don’t know where that would lead or how much money victims would end up receiving.
Has the archdiocese put procedures in place to ensure reform?
Not as far as we can tell. Over the past year and a half, the archdiocese has announced a new task force and appointed various priests and lay people to advise the church on handling abuse complaints, but the structure of the chancery remains the same. The archbishop holds all the power, and does not have to follow anyone’s recommendations. The structure that allowed this cover-up to happen is still in place.
It’s also important to note some context. This isn’t the first time this archdiocese has faced a clergy sex abuse cover-up. Each time, the scandal starts with an allegation that church leaders covered up abuse. Then the archdiocese apologizes, announces new policies, meets with victims and stresses the idea of healing and moving on. Bishops in the 1980s and ’90s said the same things that church leaders say now.
Is Archbishop John Nienstedt still in charge?
He is, but more of his subordinates are making statements and granting interviews on the scandal. In some ways, he is no longer the public face of the archdiocese.
About a year ago, Nienstedt authorized an investigation into his private life. It’s still not over. Nienstedt has promised transparency and accountability, yet the public knows almost nothing about this investigation. We recently learned that the archdiocese has hired another attorney to continue the investigation, but no one at the chancery will tell the public why.
What’s happened between the archdiocese and plaintiffs’ attorney Jeff Anderson?
No one had been a louder critic of the archdiocese for its handling of sex abuse cases than Jeff Anderson. He conducted news conferences where he condemned the leaders of the archdiocese and held up photos of priests accused of abuse. That’s not happening anymore. At a news conference, he shook hands with church officials and announced a new era of cooperation. There’s a more or less orderly process of working through claims from abuse victims.
What are victims saying?
We’re just halfway through a three-year window that allows victims of child sexual abuse a chance to sue for older claims. That window closes in May of 2016.
MPR News gets calls from victims who say they haven’t told anyone that they were abused, let alone decided whether to file a lawsuit. A lot of these people are men in their 60s, even their 70s and 80s. Almost every victim says he cannot understand why parishioners aren’t up in arms over the cover-up.
A MESSAGE TO “FATHER” LEON GAULIN, ST THOMAS MORE PARISH IN DURHAM NEW HAMPSHIRE AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
A MESSAGE TO “FATHER” LEON GAULIN, ST THOMAS MORE PARISH IN DURHAM NEW HAMPSHIRE AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Hey Leon, you pedophile psycho!!! How has been your life you disgusting piece of shit? Oh I know how your life has been. The investigator for Peter Hutchins told me quite a bit about your sorry ass.
Gee…like I know, unlike myself, you never missed one single meal, or had to worry where your next meal came from. Myself? Sometimes I had to dive into dumpsters and eat canned cat food.
I know how you NEVER had to worry about a roof over your head. While I have slept under bridges, houses, in parks, being homeless sometimes for months at a time.
We’re your dreams sweet Leon? Did you ever dream or have a nightmare about what you and the others did to me that night? I know now there were others with you Leon. I know why you gave me that drink of water. Funny how I do not remember pretty much anything after that…but I know something more horrifying happened to me at the hands of you and other priests that night. Did you dedicate me to the service of Satan? Did you sacrifice my soul on your altar? Is that why I felt I was a demon afterwards, so much so that I took the name of Damien from The Omen movies as my name? Why Leon, does Desmonds name stick in my head? Was he there? Did he rape me too along with a few others? I remember Desmond from St Charles. So tell me Leon, did you all seriously have to destroy everything about me that night? Do you feel proud of all the pain, suffering, horror that you brought and caused in my life?
As for myself Leon, I wish you could experience some of my nightmares, where I am in hell, being gang-raped by priests, and the very demons of hell. Typically Leon they end with you. See you now have the face of a demon, but I know it is you. You come over, rip off my dick and eat it. I feel EVERYTHING in these nightmares Leon. I sure wish you could experience them like I do.
WE KNOW YOU DID IT LEON GAULIN…WE KNOW IT. I KNOW WITH ALL OF MY HEART AND SOUL YOU RAPED ME, THAT EVERYTHING I SAID YOU DID TO ME THAT NIGHT, THAT NIGHT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO KEEP ME SAFE FROM HARM, THAT YOU FORCED ME INTO DOING THINGS THROUGH YOUR FUCKING PERVERSE USE OF YOUR PSYCHOTIC RELIGION. YOU RAPED ME LEON GAULIN, YOU SUCKED MY DICK TO SUCK THE DEMON OUT OF ME, YOU FORCED ME TO SUCK YOUR DICK TO TAKE YOUR SACRED SACRAMENT AND THEN YOU RAPED ME ANALLY WHILE FORCING ME TO DO PENNANCE WHILE YOU THREATENED ME WITH THE FIRES OF HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY IF I TOLD ANYONE ABOUT YOUR SPECIAL HEALINGS.
YOU PROVED YOUR DAMN GUILT THE MOMENT YOU DISCONNECTED YOUR PHONE AND PUT YOUR HOUSE UP FOR SALE IN MAINE AND LEFT FOR FLORIDA WITH YOUR HUSBAND, ESPECIALLY RIGHT AFTER THE INVESTIGATOR SAW YOU.
Here is my whole point of this Leon Gaulin and St Thomas More parish and all of you there, and to the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophiles along with that nasty, disgusting Bill Pig Face Donohue of the Catholic League.
ALL OF THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING YOUR ACTIONS HAVE CAUSED ME? I DON’T WANT IT ANYMORE!!! I DON’T WANT THE NIGHTMARES, I DON’T WANT ALL THIS EVIL YOU HAVE BROUGHT TO ME AND SCREWED MY LIFE WITH. I AM NOT THE DEMON, I AM NOT THE SATAN, I AM NOT THE ONE WHO WILL BE BOUND TO YOUR HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY. NO, NO MORE YOU LOW LIVES….NO MORE YOU SCUM….NO MORE YOU PEDOPILES, YOU DEFENDERS OF PEDOPHILES AND YOU WHO DARE CALL THEM HOLY MEN OF GOD!!!! NO MORE DO YOU FREAKING UNDERSTAND ME!!!
ALL OF THIS, ALL OF THIS EVIL YOU BROUGHT INTO MY LIFE, ALL OF THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING, ALL OF THIS TORMENT, ALL OF IT…..NOW BELONGS TO YOU LEON GAULIN, TO YOU THE OTHER PRIESTS OF ST THOMAS MORE WHO PARTICIPATED IN MY RAPE, ALL OF YOU PARISHIONERS OF THAT PARISH WHO STAND UP AND DEFEND THEM, ALL OF YOU PEDOPHILE PIMPS, LIKE CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, ET AL, AND YOU BILL DONOHUE OF THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE….ALL OF THIS IS NOW YOURS!!!!
YOU WILL ALL NOW SUFFER JUST LIKE I HAVE BECAUSE OF YOUR ACTIONS AGAINST ME. YOU ALL WILL NOW RECEIVE ALL THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING YOU CAUSED ME IN YOUR LIVES. ALL OF IT…..AND ALL THAT GOOD YOU ALL GET? THE BEING FED, HOUSED AND NEVER HAVING TO WORRY AGAIN ABOUT THOSE THINGS? NOW COME TO ME.
ALL OF THIS EVIL NOW RETURNS TO YOU ALL A HUNDRED FOLD. A THOUSAND FOLD. YOU ALL WILL NOW SUFFER THE NIGHTMARES I HAVE. YOU ALL WILL NOW SUFFER THE GUILT, THE PAIN AND THE EVIL I HAVE….IT NOW ALL BELONGS TO YOU. IT NOW ALL BELONGS ON YOUR HEADS, ON YOUR HEARTS IN YOUR SOULESS BODIES.
I CURSE AND CONDEMN YOU ALL, UNDER THE POWER OF RIGHT AND GOOD AND BEAUTY!!! I CURSE ALL OF YOU FOR STEALING MY LIFE AND GIVING ME ONE OF INCREDIBLE PAIN AND SUFFERING. I CURSE ALL OF YOU WITH THE VERY SAME THINGS YOU ALL DID TO ME. ALL OF THIS EVIL IS NOW YOURS…A HUNDRED FOLD, A THOUSAND FOLD…AND IT IS NO LONGER MINE. I REFUSE IT, I REJECT IT, I SEND IT ALL YOUR WAY, NEVER TO RETURN TO ME EVER AGAIN IN THIS LIFE OR ANY OTHER.
YOU ALL STAND CONDEMEND…BY THE POWER OF LIGHT AND RIGHT…..YOU ALL STAND CONDEMEND BY MY OWN POWER OF BEING MY OWN GOD!!!! I SEND THIS TO ALL OF YOU, TO YOU LEON GAULIN AND TO YOUR DISGUSTING PRIESTLY PSYCHOPATHS WHO RAPED ME THAT NIGHT. I SEND THIS TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF MANCHESTER…FOR DENYING ME MY RIGHT TO JUSTICE. I SEND THIS TO THEIR LAWYER….WHO USED A DISGUSTING LAW TO AVOID PAYING FOR THE CRIMES OF RAPE AND TORTURE AGAINST ME. I SEND THIS TO BILL DONOHUE AND CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN AND ALL THE REST OF THE PEDOPHILE PIMPS OF THE UNHOLY CHURCH, WHO KNOWINGLY COVERED UP THESE CRIMES AND PROTECTED AND DEFENDED THE RAPIST OVER US.
I RETURN ALL OF THIS EVIL TO YOU ALL, A HUNDRED FOLD, A THOUSAND FOLD, FOR IT IS JUST AND RIGHT FOR ALL THE LIVES YOU HAVE RUINED. FOR ALL THE CHILDREN RAPED, BEATEN, BRUTALIZED, FOR ALL THOSE YOU MURDERED, THROUGH YOUR FOUL DEEDS AND CRIMES. FOR ALL THE VICTIMS OF SUICIDE WHO KILLED THEMSELVES BECAUSE OF YOUR CHURCHES DISGUSTING ACTIONS I CONDEMN YOU ALL.
YOU STAND CONDEMEND BY THE LIGHT AND THE POWER OF A GOD YOU HAVE NO CLUE OR UNDERSTANDING OF. FOR I AM THAT GOD, AS ALL OF US ARE, AND I STAND IN THE LIGHT, NOT THE DARKNESS AS YOU DO AND I CONDEMN YOU ALL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO HUMANITY AND THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD!!!!
YOU STAND CONDEMNED, UNTIL YOU ADMIT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE AND YOU PAY FOR YOUR CRIMES!!!! OR WHEN YOU DIE? YOU WILL FIND OUT THAT HELL IS REAL AND THAT IS WHERE YOUR SOULS WILL BE UNTIL YOU ADMIT THERE WHAT YOU DID WRONG AND PAY FOR IT. THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL YOUR SOULS BE RELEASED FROM THIS CURSE, THIS CONDEMNATION OF ALL OF YOU.
FOR I AM THE LIGHT, I AM NOT THE EVIL YOU ALL ARE….AND I NO LONGER ACCEPT YOUR JUDGEMENT OF MY BEING SO. I THROW THIS BACK AT ALL OF YOU, WITH POWER AND MIGHT AND LIGHT THAT NONE OF YOU CAN EVER OVERCOME OR DEFEAT. FOR YOU ARE CURSED BY THIS LIGHT, BY THIS POWER BECAUSE OF YOUR EVIL AGAINST CHILDREN AND AGAINST MANKIND. YOU ARE JUDGED EVIL BY THIS LIGHT AND AS SUCH, YOU MUST PAY FOR YOUR EVILS AGAINST THE WORLD.
YOU CANNOT OVERCOME THIS. THIS BELONGS TO ALL OF YOU AS YOUR KARMA. FOR AS YOU SOW….SO SHALL YOU REAP.
YOU SOWED HORROR, YOU SOWED PAIN AND SUFFERING, TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF US AS CHILDREN AND TEENS AND NOW IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO REAP WHAT YOU HAVE SOWN. NOW IT IS TIME, FOR ALL OF THIS HORROR, ALL OF THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING OF MILLIONS FALL ONTO YOUR SHOULDERS. ONTO YOUR HEADS AND INTO YOUR LIVES.
SO BE PREPARED LEON GAULIN AND ALL THE REST. CAUSE HELL IS COMING FOR YOU. PAIN AND SUFFERING WILL BE YOUR LOT. YOU ALL WILL LOSE EVERYTHING YOU HOLD DEAR….JUST LIKE YOU ALL DID TO US. YOU ALL WILL PAY FOR YOUR CRIMES AGAINST US. YOU WILL KNOW THIS WITH A FRIGHTENED HEART AND YOUR DEAD SOULS WILL KNOW IT TOO. YOU KNOW IT NOW.
SO ONE MORE TIME…..
ALL THE EVIL THAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME, ALL THE PAIN AND SUFFERING, ALL THE HORROR, ALL THE NIGHTMARES, AND THAT OF THE MILLIONS OF OTHERS SO HARMED BY YOUR DISGUSTING PEDOPHILES…..NOW LEAVES ME AND MY LIFE AND THEIR LIVES AND COMES TO YOURS LEON GAULIN, AND ALL THE REST OF YOU. FOR IT IS NO LONGER MINE OR THEIRS….BUT YOURS.
SO MOTE IT IS….SO MOTE IT BE!!!!
¿Cómo han actuado otros papas ante los casos de abusos en la iglesia?
Históricamente, la pederastia no ha estado entre las preocupaciones de la iglesia, hasta que la verdad comenzó a ser pública. Esa verdad obligó al papa Juan Pablo a romper décadas de silencio, pero la iglesia española no se dio por aludida. El papa Benedicto tuvo que admitirlo y pedir perdón, sólo entonces el discurso de la iglesia española comenzó a sonar diferente. El papa Francisco es quien ha decidido firmemente enderezar los renglones torcidos.
Javier, víctima de abusos: “La iglesia me ofreció dinero a cambio de mi silencio”
Javier Paz sufrió abusos por parte de un párraco de Salamanca desde los 10 años hasta los 20. Marc Campdelacreu ha estado con él y ha escuchado su historia. “Mi memoria se desbloquea con 28 años, estando en la Facultad de Educación. Hasta esa fecha ni recuerdos ni nada”. Asegura que el proceso de denunciar fue muy doloroso, “porque vas recordando poco a poco”. El acusado confeso siguió trabajando con menores, hasta que fue apartado por sentencia canónica a raíz de la denuncia pública.
Javier Paz, víctima de abusos: “Lo tienes todo en contra, la sociedad y la legislación”
Javier Paz fue víctima de abusos sexuales por un párroco de Salamanca desde los 10 años hasta los 20. Decidió denunciar a los 28 años, cuando empezó a recordar lo ocurrido. “Lo tienes todo en contra, la sociedad y la legislación”. Presentó su denuncia al obispado con la intención de que, desde dentro, ‘movieran’ ficha. “Es la propia iglesia la que tiene que limpiar la casa de arriba abajo”. Sin embargo, su agresor confeso, previa jubilación forzosa, continuó trabajando en otra parroquia con menores.
St. Louis Archdiocese Dismisses Victim’s Abuse Claims as Lies, “Personal Issues” (VIDEO)
Immediately after the Archdiocese of St. Louis settled a civil lawsuit Monday from a woman who accuses a priest of molesting her as a child, church officials went after the alleged victim, discrediting her claims and dismissing her as mentally ill.
The archdiocese admits that the accused ex-priest, Joseph Ross, sexually assaulted at least one boy before being defrocked in 2002. But in Monday’s statement, executive director of communications Katie Pesha says the woman, known in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe 92, lied about her abuse and has “very personal issues” regarding her mental health.
“Jane Doe 92 has been diagnosed, by her own treating doctors, with a medical condition that causes her to falsify claims, exaggerate symptoms and make inconsistent statements,” Pesha says. “Her own doctors and expert witnesses voiced doubts about her allegations and noted that they contained multiple inconsistencies.
“We simply do not believe her allegations are true.”
Jane Doe’s attorney, Ken Chackes, the Circuit Attorney’s Office and several therapists have supported her allegations.
“We believe a jury would have ultimately found that Fr. Ross raped Jane Doe 92,” Chackes said Monday. “We must, however, take action to preserve her health and well-being. We agree with the archdiocese that there is no healing for Jane Doe 92 that would come from a three-week trial of these difficult and personal facts.”
Jane Doe is accusing Ross of sexual assault, sometimes while he babysat her as her mother attended choir practice. The lawsuit says Ross told the girl he was disciplining her on behalf of God and that she was helping him overcome his sexuality because he “liked boys more than girls.”
The lawsuit also accuses the archdiocese of knowingly placing Ross, an admitted sex offender, back into ministry at St. Cronan Church where he could abuse more victims. Ross moved to St. Cronan in 1989 after a year of inpatient therapy.
The criminal case against Ross and the archdiocese fell through in 2010. Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said that while her office had “full confidence in the victim’s allegations,” she didn’t have enough evidence to go to trial.
But things changed in January, when a judge in the civil lawsuit ruled that Jane Doe could have access to the archdiocese’s list of all the sex allegations filed against priests. The so-called “matrix” lists 115 employees accused of molesting children from 1983 to 2003.
Attorney Ken Chackes told Daily RFT then he hoped to use the matrix to establish a pattern of reckless disregard for the safety of parish children. But now that the civil case is settled out of court, the future of legal challenges against the church remains unclear.
SNAP, the leading group advocating for victims of clergy sexual abuse, denounced the archdiocese’s post-lawsuit statement, accusing it of using the resources and experience in “cover-up cases” to find experts who would “disparage this brave victim.”
“Katie Pesha should be ashamed of herself for savaging this brave young woman today,” the group says in a statement. “Years from now, we suspect that she will be. And we hope she will then try her best to make amends.”
SNAP is demanding an explanation or apology from the church for placing a known abuser in a local church. The archdiocese said Monday it relied on Ross’ doctors, who said in 1989 the priest was no longer a pedophile. Thirteen years later, the archdiocese revoked his religious standing “in the wake of clear changes in society’s and the medical community’s views on the ability to treat child abusers.”
Jane Doe’s case won’t go to trial, and both sides have agreed to keep details of the final settlement quiet. But that didn’t stop the archdiocese from one final attempt to poke as many holes in her story as it could.
Ex-Seminarian: Certain Clergy Have Embraced Demonology
By Matt C. Abbott
June 28, 2006
I received the following (edited) e-mail from Tom Barnes of Alexandria, Va.
I am a left-wing lapsed Catholic whom you would not agree with theologically, but I read your column every time it is posted on the Web site for the National Catholic Reporter Abuse Tracker. I am very impressed with your research and writing style. You have a lot of good, solid things to say and your point of view is usually right on.
I am 53, a grandfather, a retired Coast Guard warrant officer and retired federal worker. I was physically and sexually abused by nuns when I was a child, and later, as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (I was pursued by a nun when I was a seminarian). My best friend from childhood is today a priest serving in Kentucky. He was the best man at my wedding and we attended high school and college together.
I attended high school seminary my senior year and went to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary from my freshman year of college until the beginning of my junior year. I transferred to Mt. St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg and got my first degree there.
You are pretty close to being right most of the time, but you are just a tad off on taking a bearing on the problem as a whole. Your navigation is good enough to get you back to port, but you are just a degree or two off the beam on some issues, mostly on what is driving all of this sexual perversion among priests and bishops — and it ain’t sex. It never was. It is power.
The whole perverted sex thing with priests and bishops — and maybe with nuns — is about power, but even more than that, it is about demonology (in a psychological sense; I am not talking about theology here). You have to understand what the power of God does to the psyche of a human being who is accepted as a ‘priest’ by the people in the One True Church. He is, in the end analysis, a god. And he knows it. If he is emotionally stable and somewhat normal in his psychology he can rise above the abnormal psychology here that comes with being a god. If he is not, well, other things happen.
When a young man enters seminary, even today, he spends a few years in awe of his surroundings, the priests on the faculty, the occasional visit by the occasional bishop, the attention he gets from other people, and the odd, new way his own family treats him now. He is, in reality, different from the person he was when he entered seminary. The entire world treats him that way. To make a very long story short, this one thing changes his psyche. If he is even a little bit ‘off’ in his psychology, he begins to see himself as others see him: godly, different, powerful, and, most of all, entitled.
He is a priest or a seminarian and he is now entitled to the perks of that calling — and here is where the problem starts. What would those perks be? Whatever the faculty and mentors who are training him say they are. Period. And the training rarely takes place in the classroom. It is personal mentoring, usually taking place in the faculty wing of the seminary in the faculty member’s room. Now, it can be holy, wholesome and completely open and Christian — or, it can be something else. Whatever it is, thqt is where the young man learns about the priesthood. End of story.
Are you starting to see now how this continually gets passed down from generation to generation? ‘Classroom training’ in seminary is not where one learns to be a priest. One-on-one mentoring, usually in the faculty member’s room, is where most of these ‘priestly traditions’ get passed down to the next generation of priests, and there is more to consider here.
If the human psyche is willing to accept a special place in it for the Voice of God in the seminarian/priests’ life and the perks that go with that, how much more powerful would you be if you split the difference and also became a priest of satan — in other words, a demonologist?
I am not sure how many priests and bishops in the U.S. are in fact Black Mass participants or ‘demon priests,’ but I do know this: Child sodomy and forced child rape are sacraments in the demon church. So what I am saying is simply this: In my opinion, based on my own limited experience as a seminarian (from 1969-1972) in the Philadelphia area, I believe, at least to some extent and to some degree, demonology (in the psychological sense) is at the heart of this wave of perversion among Catholic priests and bishops.
One very famous and powerful American cardinal from my days in seminary was even noted by Malachi Martin as a well known demonologist who held black ceremonies in the Vatican. I do not know if that is true or not. I have no idea. But I do know one woman about my age who claims he sodomized her in the seminary basement during a devil worshipping rite attended by priests. This could be true, or this could be fantasy in the mind of a dying woman. All I know is, she told me this completely unsolicited and she does not know who Malachi Martin is or what he wrote. She told me of an incident that would fit with the profile that Martin outlines in his novels.
I have no facts. I cannot write a book or even an article. I moved on with my life after I left seminary and never looked back. But I hold five degrees — three of them are master’s degrees — and I have 26 credits toward a PhD in Education, so I am no dope.
And I have to tell you, even when I was a young man and a seminarian, I felt something was wrong with most of the priests I met. Not all of them, and even the ones I suspected of being grossly unbalanced, I could not really describe adequately what it was I feared about them. It was more of a ‘feeling’ than something I could elucidate. And it usually had nothing to do with sex. It was about some sort of soul-sucking, mind-wrenching perversion of the heart that they were involved in, a sort of psychological trap they seemed to be laying for us seminarians that I could never quite wrap my hands around.
To be sure, there were odd incidents of priests hugging seminarians too long and for odd reasons. There were also all male costume parties at Halloween that I found disconcerting to say the least. But there was no overt homosexuality I can actually state that I saw or heard about. It was more like an aura, an enveloping attitude about some of the priests and selected seminarians.
One of the most infamous child molesters in Philadelphia Catholic history, Father Jim Brzyski, was a year ahead of me in seminary. I remember him as a jovial, hale and farewell type who was always laughing and carrying on. I had no sense that he was the monster he apparently is — so much for my sense of insight.
Priests and nuns get drunk on ‘god’ power in their psyche, they get bent, and their minds, their souls, their lives can take a very bad turn. And because they affect so many people because of who they are and what they do for an avocation, they can do tremendous damage to an entire community. That is without perverted sex even entering the picture. Once perverted sex enters the picture, a bad situation turns downright evil.
Focusing on the sex is a start, but it is not the real story. The real story is that these men have literally sold their souls to the devil. They know it, and they would do it again if they had half a chance.
CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)
Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic journalist and commentator. He is a columnist for and/or contributor to RenewAmerica.us, TheConservativeVoice.com, MichNews.com, Catholic.org, Opeds.com, and Speroforum.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Timeline: Sex-abuse cases involving Rhode Island priests
The Rev. Louis E. Gelineau is named bishop of Providence, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.
The Rev. P. Henry Leech, an assistant pastor at St. Jude’s Parish in Lincoln, is arraigned on five counts of sexual assault on teenage boys.
The Rev. William C. O’Connell, pastor of Bristol’s St. Mary Church, is charged with sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy. Six felony charges are eventually brought.
After pleading no contest, Father Leech is sentenced to three years at the Adult Correctional Institutions. He tells a Superior Court judge that therapy helped him recognize that he himself was a childhood victim of sexual assault. “Now I understand why this has happened and swear to you and to all here present that this action will never happen again,” he says.
After additional police investigation, Father O’Connell is sentenced to a year in an ACI work-release program after pleading no contest to 26 counts of sexual contact with three boys.
In civil lawsuits, the Rev. James M. Silva is accused of sexually molesting three parochial school students between 1968 and 1970, when he was assigned to a Newport parish.
The Rev. Joseph A. Abruzzese, assistant pastor of St. Anthony Church in North Providence, is charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy and exposing himself in Providence’s Roger Williams Park.
A statewide grand jury indicts Father Silva on a count of second-degree sexual assault against an 18-year-old man in 1991.
Father Abruzzese pleads no contest to one count of sexual assault and is sentenced to five years’ probation. He is ordered to undergo counseling.
On the eve of his trial for sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man in August 1991, Father Silva changes his plea from not guilty to guilty. He receives a seven-year suspended sentence and is ordered to undergo counseling.
Bishop Gelineau retires as head of the Diocese of Providence. Some 50 state and federal lawsuits involving about a dozen Rhode Island priests remain in the courts. “The suits allege Bishop Gelineau and other church leaders covered up or failed to act when instances of sexual misconduct by priests were brought to their attention,” The Providence Journal reports.
Bishop Robert E. Mulvee announces that the Diocese of Providence has reached a $13.5-million settlement in 36 sexual-abuse lawsuits. Mulvee tells a news conference: “I reach out with deep sadness to the victims. Certainly in the name of the church, I ask their forgiveness and offer an apology for the harm that has been done to them.”
The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States, the so-called John Jay Report, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is published. From 1950 to 2002, the report found, about 4 percent of priests in Rhode Island had been accused of sexually abusing children. Fifty-six priests were the subject of 162 allegations.
The Providence Diocese announces that the Rev. Kevin R. Fisette has resigned as pastor of Pawtucket’s St. Leo the Great Church following a “credible allegation” of sexual abuse of a child more than 20 years before. He is suspended from performing public ministry and placed on administrative leave pending a review by the Vatican.
Through Auxiliary Bishop Robert C. Evans, the head of the Providence Diocese Bishop Thomas J. Tobin announces that the Rev. Barry Meehan has resigned as pastor of Warwick’s St. Timothy’s Parish and been placed on administrative leave following a “credible” allegation of sexual misconduct decades before involving teenage boys. The diocese reports the allegations to the state police.
The diocese reports that Monsignor John C. Allard has submitted his resignation as pastor of two Woonsocket parishes following a “credible allegation” of sexual misconduct with a minor two decades before. The diocese says that Monsignor Allard “has expressed profound remorse for the harm he has caused” and takes responsibility for his actions.
Father Meehan is charged with five counts of first-degree sexual assault dating to 1986, 1991 and 1992.
G. WAYNE MILLER
Former Palma students sue Christian Brothers over alleged sex abuse.
Posted: Friday, November 21, 2014 3:11 pm
A former Palma High School teacher is facing two separate lawsuits filed Thursday in Minnesota, alleging he sexually abused students there decades ago.
Steven Cantrell was a 13-year-old student at Palma High School in 1984 when Father Gerald Funcheon was assigned there.
When he was 14, Cantrell joined Funcheon on a camping trip, where he was sexually abused, according to the lawsuit.
Cantrell is suing Funcheon for sexual battery, and the religious order that employed him—Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross, also known as Crosier Fathers and Brothers Province, Inc.—for negligence and fraud.
Cantrell claims that by the time he went on that camping trip, the Crosiers already knew that Funcheon was dangerous to children, and had deliberately reassigned him.
“By the time the Crosiers assigned Fr. Funcheon to Palma, they knew that Fr. Funcheon had a history of molesting children,” the lawsuit states. “The Crosiers breached their duty to protect [Cantrell] from foreseeable harm by failing to warn him or his parents that Fr. Funcheon posed a danger to children.”
It was one of two lawsuits filed Thursday in the Second Judicial District Court in Ramsey County, Minnesota, both against the Crosier Fathers and Funcheon himself. (The Catholic order is headquartered in Minnesota.) Palma is not named as a defendant.
The other plaintiffs, identified in their separate lawsuit as Does 41-44, claim they were abused in the early ’70s, from ages 11-14. Each is seeking at least $50,000 plus attorney’s fees.
According to the complaint, Funcheon was moved frequently from 1959-1994 by the Christian Brothers as a teacher and priest, working in schools in Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, Florida, Hawaii and California, where he taught at Palma.
“Crosiers placed Funcheon in positions where he had access to and worked with children as an integral part of his work,” the suit states.
The plaintiffs say that the Christian Brothers knew by 1965 that Funcheon had allegedly molested a minor, but did not act until 1994, then restricting his ministry functions.
Dozens of claims of sex abuse by members of the Christian Brothers have surfaced in recent years, not just concerning Funcheon but other priests as well.
Facing increasing legal costs, the order filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and announced a $16.5 million settlement this year. Nine former Palma students were among 400 people who received a restitution payment in that settlement for sexual abuse while attending Catholic schools.
Officials at Palma High School and the Christian Brothers in Minnesota were not immediately available for comment Friday.
“Without transparency and accountability for a childhood victim of trauma, it’s impossible to heal,” plaintiffs’ attorney Mike Reck says. “The past is prologue to the future. Until we know what happened in the past, there is no way to prevent that from happening in the future.”
Reck is with the firm Jeff Anderson & Associates, which represented 92 survivors of childhood sex abuse who were parties to the bankruptcy settlement.
Priest charged with sexual assault in Cranston, Providence
Posted: Nov 21, 2014 12:30 PM EST Updated: Nov 21, 2014 5:18 PM EST