Friday, April 3, 2009

Worldwide clergy abuse

CBC Worldwide Clergy Abuse

The Roman Catholic Church has had to deal with many accusations of sexual abuse by their clergy in dioceses all around the world. The following is a brief overview of some notable cases.
Charles Sylvestre might be one of the worst pedophile priests in Canadian history, but he's not the first.
Mount Cashel Orphanage in Newfoundland.
More than a dozen priests were convicted after decades of abusing young boys at the former Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John's, Newfoundland. The orphanage closed in 1989, just six months after allegations of sexual and physical abuse were published by the media.
In 2005, the Diocese of St. George in Newfoundland almost sold off all of its property after agreeing to pay $13 million to 40 victims of Reverend Kevin Bennett, who was convicted in 1990 of hundreds of sexual assaults dating back to 1961.
Another major Canadian scandal happened in Cornwall, Ontario, involving allegations that a ring of pedophiles had operated there since the late 1950s. In 1992, a former altar boy came forward to say he had been sexually abused by two Roman Catholic priests in the late 1960s.
Police followed up on the complaint, and in 2001, Ontario Provincial Police charged 15 people with 100 charges including gross indecency and sexual assault. Only one person was ever convicted in the scandal, but in 2005 Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty announced he was establishing the Cornwall Public Inquiry. It began on February 16, 2006, and continues today.
United States
Parishes throughout the U.S. have been rocked by sex abuse scandals in recent years. The most notorious, perhaps, is the Archdiocese of Boston, where in 2002 priest John Geoghan, facing accusations of abuse by more than a hundred alleged victims, was convicted for sexual abusing a ten-year-old boy.
His trial helped shine light on a systemic crisis of clergy sexual abuse and an institutional pattern of shuffling abusive priests from parish to parish instead of turning them over to police. Cardinal Bernard Law, who had been the Archbishop of Boston for almost 20 years, was forced to resign over his handling of the abuse allegations.
Even before 2002, however, American dioceses were discovering the widespread problem of clergy sexual abuse. Allegations that cropped up in Lafayette, Louisiana in 1985 are considered to be have provoked a wave of revelations about clergy sexual abuse that swept through dioceses in Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
In 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned a wide-ranging study into the nature and scope of the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. That 120-page study identified 4,392 priests accused of sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002, and estimated that American dioceses had paid out more than $420 million to compensate alleged victims.
The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales faced its own clergy sex abuse crisis in the late 1990s, when 25 priests (out of 5,600) were convicted.
Though the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales had established a fledgling sexual policy in 1994, it proved ineffective, and in 2000, Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, invited British judge Lord Nolan to help examine and review arrangements made for child protection and the prevention of abuse within the Church, and to make recommendations. Those recommendations came out in 2001 and were reviewed last year.There were 132 allegations of sexual abuse clergy in 2002, but according to the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Young Adults, that number has declined steadily ever since. In 2004, for example, 111 alleged victims came forward; 56 came forward in 2005.
At least 20 Irish priests were convicted between 1992 and 2002, according to BBC reports, forcing Cardinal Desmond Connell, then the head of Ireland's Roman Catholic Church, to express "deep regret" for "inadequacies" in church responses to allegations of child sex abuse by priests. Church officials agreed to investigate all complaints of sexual abuse dating back 60 years.
Ultimately, sex scandals would force all but one seminary to close and force one bishop to resign amidst criticism of his handling of abuse by clergy in his diocese.
In 2005, the Irish Bishops' Conference published Our Children, Our Church, a set of policies and procedures for protecting children and young people within the church that is to be put into effect in every diocese.

1 comment:

Tor said...

You forgot Australia !

Please Note
The Marist Brothers


The Vincentians

The Salesian Order

Knox Grammar School