Dozens of parents said they are left scrambling to find a school for their children after leaders at New Birth Christian Academy said the campus will not reopen next week.
School officials told Channel 2 Action News that money and not enough students are the main issues, but some parents said they believe it’s more than that.
How much more than that?
The academy is housed inside the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. A spokesperson made it clear that the school closure has nothing to do with the sex abuse allegations against Bishop Eddie Long.
“I don’t believe that. I believe that this last straw with the divorce, the sealed settlement, it just does not look good,” said the parent.
Parents received the letter on Dec. 22. School reopens there on Jan. 4. The DeKalb County, Ga., school system has said it will help place the refugee students.
Catholic coverup in another country. The Los Angeles Times reported:
Tens of thousands of Dutch children were sexually abused by priests and other Roman Catholic religious figures in the last 65 years, but church officials failed to take adequate action or report problems to police, an independent commission said Friday.
Many of the victims spent part of their childhood in Catholic institutions such as schools and orphanages, where the risk of abuse was twice as high as in the general population, the commission said. But complaints were often ignored or covered up by authorities who were more intent on protecting the church’s reputation than providing care for abuse victims.
Efforts are being made to give the victims legal recourse, says The Irish Times:
THE POSSIBILITY of changing the law to allow prosecutions against Catholic clergy believed to have been involved in child abuse is being examined by the Dutch cabinet. This is despite the fact that the statute of limitations on their alleged crimes has run out, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said last night.
The 1,100-page report of the Deetman Commission revealed last Friday that more than 800 Catholic priests and monks – 105 of whom are still alive – had systematically abused as many as 20,000 children, many of them sexually, in church-run institutions, between 1945 and 1985.
Holy Cross religion professor Mathew N. Schmalz sees the scandal as a requiem for Dutch Catholicism
But for some Catholics of my generation, the press conference was a coda, a requiem of sorts. Back in the ’70s, Dutch Catholicism represented an open and engaged Catholicism. It embodied a vision of what Catholicism could become in the wake of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
More apologies, too late and without credibility.
They aren’t moving with superluminal speed, but there is no “church reputation first” here:
LONDON — Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has set up an inquiry in Chichester diocese in southern England, reportedly after allegations that paedophile priests were allowed to continue working despite being accused of sexual abuse.
The archbishop’s decision to investigate the diocese will throw the spotlight on abuse by clergy in the Church of England, raising an issue which has already rocked the Catholic Church in a number of countries.
A spokeswoman for Lambeth Palace refused to say whether the concerns related to current or historic child protection issues.
In May, a review found serious failings in the senior clergy after two priests were allowed to continue working despite being accused of serious child abuse offences.
An earlier investigation found a history of problems, BBC reported:
Lambeth Palace said it would ensure recommendations of the report by Baroness Butler-Sloss were implemented.
She was appointed by the Church of England to examine how senior clergy dealt with historical claims of abuse.
Her report last May found there had been “a lack of understanding of the seriousness of historic child abuse”.
The report looked into the cases of Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard, who abused children in the 1970s and 1980s.
Pritchard served as the vicar of St Barnabas, Bexhill, until 2007, when he was arrested over sex abuse claims. In 2008 he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys and was jailed for five years.
Cotton was ordained in 1966, despite having a conviction for indecently assaulting a choirboy in the 1950s, and went on to abuse at least 10 boys from Eastbourne.
Baroness Butler-Sloss’s report found senior clergy, including bishops, were slow to act on information available to them and to assess the potential risk to children in the diocese.
There were some mumbling excuses in response to a BBC invesgitation.
Christa Brown rightly blisters Southern Baptist Theological Seminary head Al Mohler for “nothing but talk” while not acting to make it safe at church for the suffering little children.
In what is probably the Catholic Church’s third largest sex abuse settlement, the Northwest Jesuits “agreed Friday to pay $166.1 million” to some 500 Native Americans and Alaska Natives who were abused at the order’s schools in the Pacific Northwest in the 1940s to the 1990s.
There have been two larger settlements. The Los Angeles Diocese, agreed to pay $660 million to 508 victims in 2007, and the San Diego Diocese agreed a $198 million settlement to 144 victims, also in 2007.
As Janet I. Tu of the Seattle Times explains the Northwest Jesuits’ payments are part of a bankruptcy settlement:
The order has also agreed to no longer call the victims “alleged victims,” to write apologies to them and to enforce new practices designed to prevent abuse, according to plaintiffs’ attorneys.
“It’s a day of reckoning and justice,” said Clarita Vargas, 51, of Tacoma, who was abused while a student at St. Mary’s Mission and School, a former Jesuit-run Indian boarding school on the Colville Indian Reservation near Omak.
Of the 500 victims, about 470 suffered sexual abuse. About two dozen others were physically abused.
Insurance companies will pay $118 million of the settlement, with the Jesuits paying $48.1 million.
Including this week’s settlement, the Northwest Jesuits, formally called the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, and their insurers have agreed to pay about $250 million total to some 700 victims. Victims’ lawyers say they’ve identified about 57 Jesuit priests or brothers who have abused.
According to Evi Pulkkinen of the Seattle Seattle Post Intelligencer:
It was, attorney for the plaintiffs said, “spiritual incest” on a staggering scale.
. . .
“Instead of teaching these Native American children about the love of God, these pedeophile priests were molesting these children,” said Blaine Tamaki, a Yakima attorney whose firm represented about a third of the non-Alaskan plaintiffs in a suit filed in 2009.
“It was a culture of abuse of Native American children,” Tamaki continued. “Today is the day where they are acknowledging guilt.
“The $166.1 million is the largest settlement by a religious order in the history of the world,” lawyer Blaine Tamaki said. “Over 450 Native American children – infants, toddlers to teenagers – were sexually abused repeatedly, from rape to sodomy, for decades throughout the Northwest. Instead of teaching these children how to read and write, Jesuit priests were teaching them distrust and shame.
“No amount of money can bring back a lost childhood, a destroyed culture or a shattered faith,” said Tamaki, who represented about 90 of the victims.
A sense of the horror of the underlying events is captured by a 2009 feature written by Brendan Kiley for theStranger. In a passage about Father James Poole. Kiley writes:
In a 2005 deposition, Rachel testified that she had been molested by Father Poole in 1975, while in Nome for her second suicide attempt, an attempted overdose of alcohol and pills. He’d come sit by her bed, put his hand under the hospital blanket, and fondle her, she said.
She traveled between Stebbins and Nome several times in the late 1970s, spending time in hospitals and receiving homes. By 1977, Rachel testified, Poole had given her gonorrhea, and by 1978 she was pregnant with his child. In an interview with The Stranger, she said Poole encouraged her to get an abortion and tell the doctors she had been raped by her father. She followed his advice. “He brainwashed me,” she said. “He messed up my head, man.”
This settlement does not cover all grievances or conclude the legal actions, as the Catholic Sentinel points out:
The settlement does not dismiss 37 lawsuits filed last month against entities, including Jesuit High School and Gonzaga University, on behalf of abuse victims. Those lawsuits were seeking about $3.1 million that the province had paid out prior to declaring bankruptcy two years ago.
In addition, the settlement does not include five to seven claims the lawyers are pursuing against two other insurers for the Jesuits — Travelers Insurance and Atlantic Mutual.
We saw this pattern in the recent case in Port Orchard, Washington. “We want the truth to come out,” said senior pastor Jamie Greening, after another minister in his church was arrested on child sex charges and after police said he had “confessed on tape to raping a 12-year-old.”
Failure to protect other potential victims while awaiting an outcome at trial is negligent. As Brown explains:
Just because a man hasn’t been criminally convicted doesn’t mean that he hasn’t sexually abused a child. In fact, many experts estimate that 90 percent of active sex offenders have no criminal record. This is consistent with FBI data, which indicates that only about 1 to 10 percent of child molestation crimes are ever even disclosed, much less prosecuted or convicted.
Children and other potential victims are put at undue risk when a criminal conviction is a faith group’s only measure of “the truth” in these cases. The widespread Southern Baptist standard in these matters is wrong.
The National Catholic Reporter’s Michael Sean Winters responded to the first “filing criminal charges against a high-ranking Roman Catholic official for allegedly failing to protect children” by concluding:
When the scandal broke in 2002, I wrote these words: “The Church’s lack of credibility on questions of sexual ethics is especially disheartening because the Church has a lot to say to a culture in which sexuality is dehumanized, commodified, and generally seen as less than the beautiful thing the Catholic Church’s best theology insists it is. It is more than a little ironic that a culture awash in images of underage sexuality–the same culture that gave Oscars to American Beauty and where Britney Spears albums go multi-platinum–is now struck with horror at the revelation of priestly molestation. The irony, however, is grim. When the Church is most needed to remind our culture that sexuality can and should be humanizing, a giving of self in freedom and love, a participation in God’s ongoing creative work, the Church instead finds itself in court.” I would not change a word.
The lesson from Philadelphia is as clear as day: Every bishop in America must do what the grand jury did, investigate the facts and remove those who not only perpetrated the crimes of sexual abuse, which I suspect has been largely done, but also remove those who perpetrated the crime of endangering children by covering that abuse up. They must invite outside scrutiny of the record. If they themselves were a party to any cover-ups, they must resign. The time for prevarications and obfuscations is over. And, at their forthcoming ad limina visits in Rome, the bishops must have the courage to raise the crisis of belief over the Church’s sexual teachings with the Vatican. This crisis will not go away.
I remember that girl — the girl whose whole sense of self disintegrated after she was molested, sexually abused and raped by a Southern Baptist minister when she was a 16-year-old church kid. I’m grateful that Trish remembers her, too.
In truth, I have no memory of sitting on the floor in Bruce Hall and telling Trish about “my affair.” But I expect Trish’s memory is more accurate than mine. I was probably totally sloshed.
What I do remember is that, several years after college, Trish had the misfortune of calling me on the phone one night when I had the pills on the counter and was already half-drunk and was trying to get up my gumption to down them. Trish figured out what was going on and she stayed on the phone with me for hours. No telling how things would have turned out if she hadn’t.