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Europe’s Catholic Churches face wave of sex abuse charges

Europe’s Catholic Churches face wave of sex abuse charges, fear more to come

by Shawn Pogatchnik
3/14/2010/12:43 AM EST

DUBLIN — It often starts as a voice in the wilderness, but can swell into an entire nation’s demand for truth. From Ireland to Germany, Europe’s many victims of child abuse in the Roman Catholic church are finally breaking social taboos and confronting the clergy to face its demons.

Ireland was the first in Europe to confront the church’s worldwide custom of shielding pedophile priests from the law and public scandal. Now that legacy of suppressed childhood horror is being confronted in other parts of the Continent — nowhere more poignantly than in Germany, the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI.

The recent spread of claims into the Netherlands, Austria and Italy has analysts and churchmen wondering how deep the scandal runs, which nation will be affected next, and whether a tide of lawsuits will force European dioceses to declare bankruptcy like their American cousins.

“You have to presume that the cover-up of abuse exists everywhere, to one extent or another. A new case could appear in a new country tomorrow,” said David Quinn, director of a Christian think tank, the Iona Institute, that seeks to promote family values in an Ireland increasingly cool to Catholicism.

Quinn noted that stories of systemic physical, sexual and emotional abuse circulated privately in Irish society for decades, but only moved aboveground in the mid-1990s when former altar boy Andrew Madden and orphanage survivor Christine Buckley went public with lawsuits and exposes of how priests and nuns tormented them with impunity.

Floodgates opened for Irish complaints that have topped 15,000 in this country of 4 million. Three government-ordered investigations have shocked and disgusted the nation, which has footed most of the bill to settle legal claims topping euro1 billion (nearly $1.5 billion).

“A lot comes down to: When does that first victim gather the courage to come forward into the spotlight?” Quinn said. “It seems to take that trigger event, the lone voice who says what so many kept silent so long. That’s basically happening now in Germany. It could happen next in Spain, Poland, anywhere.”

In January, an elite Jesuit school in Berlin declared it was aware of seven child-abuse cases in its past and appointed an outside investigator, Ursula Raue, to seek testimony. Within weeks, she had gathered stories of long-suppressed woe from more than 100 ex-students abused by their Jesuit masters, and from 60 molested by parish priests. – <a href=”Europe’s Catholic Churches face wave of sex abuse charges, fear more to come by Shawn Pogatchnik 3/14/2010/12:43 AM EST DUBLIN — It often starts as a voice in the wilderness, but can swell into an entire nation’s demand for truth. From Ireland to Germany, Europe’s many victims of child abuse in the Roman Catholic church are finally breaking social taboos and confronting the clergy to face its demons. Ireland was the first in Europe to confront the church’s worldwide custom of shielding pedophile priests from the law and public scandal. Now that legacy of suppressed childhood horror is being confronted in other parts of the Continent — nowhere more poignantly than in Germany, the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI. The recent spread of claims into the Netherlands, Austria and Italy has analysts and churchmen wondering how deep the scandal runs, which nation will be affected next, and whether a tide of lawsuits will force European dioceses to declare bankruptcy like their American cousins. “You have to presume that the cover-up of abuse exists everywhere, to one extent or another. A new case could appear in a new country tomorrow,” said David Quinn, director of a Christian think tank, the Iona Institute, that seeks to promote family values in an Ireland increasingly cool to Catholicism. Quinn noted that stories of systemic physical, sexual and emotional abuse circulated privately in Irish society for decades, but only moved aboveground in the mid-1990s when former altar boy Andrew Madden and orphanage survivor Christine Buckley went public with lawsuits and exposes of how priests and nuns tormented them with impunity. Floodgates opened for Irish complaints that have topped 15,000 in this country of 4 million. Three government-ordered investigations have shocked and disgusted the nation, which has footed most of the bill to settle legal claims topping euro1 billion (nearly $1.5 billion). “A lot comes down to: When does that first victim gather the courage to come forward into the spotlight?” Quinn said. “It seems to take that trigger event, the lone voice who says what so many kept silent so long. That’s basically happening now in Germany. It could happen next in Spain, Poland, anywhere.” In January, an elite Jesuit school in Berlin declared it was aware of seven child-abuse cases in its past and appointed an outside investigator, Ursula Raue, to seek testimony. Within weeks, she had gathered stories of long-suppressed woe from more than 100 ex-students abused by their Jesuit masters, and from 60 molested by parish priests. More here.

Google’s hosted version of this article is much better: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h_cfU5TnimDgvhfygQBB2NlzikuQD9EE2MH00

Apparently the Catholic Church decided not to meet my challenge to stop abusing children.

One day God will give this command to those in that “Church” whom he plans to save:

Then I heard another voice from heaven say: ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues'” – Revelation 18:4

I wonder if the heretic Catholic and famous radio show host George Noory, will report this story tonight. Oh wait, I think George Knapp is the Coast to Coast AM host tonight.

Update, 11:07 P.M.:

To my disgust it’s Ian Punnet on tonight, and he said about his guest last night, the heretic and blasphemer Bart Ehrman, “Gosh I liked last night’s show.” On top of that he’s agreeing with Ehrman that there are contradictions in the original languages. What a disgusting jerk. There is no excuse for ignorance on the topic of contradictions in the Bible.

Update, 11:12 P.M.:

Ian is doing the news, but isn’t mentioning this Catholic child-abuse story. Instead his first story was on dog-growling, right now he’s talking about who D.B. Cooper might be yet again, and joking about being him. What an evil idiot.

Update 11:15 P.M.:

Ian didn’t mention anything about the Catholic child-abuse story in his very short list of Coast to Coast featured news stories.

from heraldsun.com:

Catholic schools at center of sexual abuse scandal

by Kirsten Grieshaber of the Associated Press
3/15/2010

BERLIN — It happened for years, again and again. Every morning before class, the boys had to undress and Father Ludger Stueper sprayed them with cold water from the hose, front and back.

The boys also had to lie down on Stueper’s couch where the Roman Catholic priest would take their temperature — rectally for seven minutes.

And then there were the photos.

“One time, Stueper took pictures of a friend and me while we were in the shower. He also made us go outside and we had to pose naked for him, lean against stones and trees in the park, the foam from the shampoo still in our hair,” recalled Miguel Abrantes, a former student at the Jesuit-run boarding school Aloisius Kolleg in Bonn.

Abrantes, now 37 and an actor in Duesseldorf, is one of the few victims willing to speak out about the abuse and humiliation he suffered as an 11-year-old boy at the school.

He is one of at least 150 victims in an ever-widening scandal involving allegations of priests sexually abusing their pupils at several Catholic high schools across Germany. The scandal has spiraled since seven alumni of the prestigious Catholic Canisius Kolleg in Berlin first came forward with allegations of abuse in January, shocking the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI.

While the focus of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church centered on the United States for several years, abuse scandals have in recent years erupted in other countries as well, including Ireland, the Philippines, Poland, Mexico, Italy, Canada and elsewhere. – More here.

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