Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Silence

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/the-silence/?utm_campaign=homepage&utm_medium=proglist&utm_source=proglist

The SilenceOn air and online
April 19, 2011 at 9:00pmSUPPORT PROVIDED BY
PRESS RELEASE


FRONTLINE examines a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story -- decades of abuse of Native Americans by priests and other church workers in Alaska. Through candid interviews with survivors, this FRONTLINE report focuses on the abuse by a number of men who worked for the Church along Alaska's far west coast in the late 1960s and early 1970s. All told, they would leave behind a trail of hundreds of claims of abuse, making this one of the hardest hit regions in the country. As part of FRONTLINE's new magazine program, The Silence airs as the second segment on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS.

The Silence is a co-presentation with Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT).




Press Release
FRONTLINE INVESTIGATES CHURCH SEX ABUSE IN ALASKA
The Silence
Segment 2 of FRONTLINE's new multistory magazine hour
Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS

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Twitter: @frontlinepbs

FRONTLINE reveals a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story: decades of abuse of Native Americans by priests and other church workers in Alaska.

In The Silence, the second of two magazine segments airing Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS, FRONTLINE producer Tom Curran and reporter Mark Trahant examine the legacy of abuse by a number of men who worked for the Catholic Church along Alaska's far west coast in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They would leave behind a trail of hundreds of claims of abuse, making this one of the hardest hit regions in the country.

"I was just a kid," Ben Andrews tells FRONTLINE of the years of abuse he suffered at the hands of Father George Endal and Joseph Lundowski, a layman who was training to be a deacon. "Father Endal and Joseph Lundowski, they couldn't stop molesting me once they started. It was almost an everyday thing. Father Endal kept telling me that it would make me closer to God."

"I'm still having nightmares of Joseph Lundowski molesting, having sex with me," says Peter "Packy" Kobuk. "I get up sweating, angry, feel like I could hurt somebody, but I never meaned [sic] to get angry at my children, but the anger went on my children also."

"This was 1970," says Anchorage attorney Ken Roosa, who represented the Alaska victims against the church. "It was absolutely unthinkable that the Catholic Church could be involved in the sexual abuse of children. There was nowhere for the kids to hide. There was no one they could talk to. The adults believed the abusers over their own children. It was a perfect storm for molestation."

As part of the recent church settlement with the victims, the bishop of Fairbanks, Donald Kettler, was asked to do something that no other bishop in the country had done: return to all of the villages where the abuse occurred and apologize to the victims in person. In December 2010, FRONTLINE gained unique access to Bishop Kettler's visit to the village of St. Michael -- frequently referred to as "ground zero" for the abuse -- where the bishop would come face-to-face with the reality of the abuse that the church had refused to acknowledge for years.

"In St. Michael, we've had a great deal of our sexual abuse happen there," Bishop Kettler tells FRONTLINE. "So I am certainly conscious of the importance of this visit. I'm anxious insofar as I'm wondering how I will be received. What will happen? What I can do?"

In the days before the bishop arrives, Elsie Boudreau, one of the first Alaska survivors to file suit against the church, says: "I've seen how important it would be to have someone from the church say they're sorry. The bishop has that power to reach that little kid and say, 'It wasn't your fault; you did nothing wrong.' And I don't know if he's able to do that."

The Silence is a Lower 48 Films production for WGBH/FRONTLINE and Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT). The writer and producer is Tom Curran. The reporter is Mark Trahant. The executive producer for NAPT is Shirley K. Sneve. The series senior producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is David Fanning.

FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and by Reva and David Logan. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation and by the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund. Additional funding for FRONTLINE's expanded broadcast season is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. FRONTLINE is closed-captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by the Media Access Group at WGBH. FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of the WGBH Educational Foundation.


Read more: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/the-silence/?utm_campaign=homepage&utm_medium=proglist&utm_source=proglist#ixzz1If1p37YE

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