February 21, 2006

Forgotten Victims of Clerical Sexual and Psychological Abuse

The Epoch Times

Bishop James Alan Wilkowski
Special to The Epoch Times Feb 21, 2006

In recent weeks, the Chicago metropolitan and suburban Catholic community has again been besieged by the latest wave of the clerical sex abuse scandal. In reporting this latest chapter, the media has focused on the issue of hierarchal protection of clergy whose acts of abuse have been documented. The question that seems to be begged is why those guilty were being protected while innocent victims were not. As a survivor of clerical sexual abuse I have often asked myself that same question.

I believe that it is the ecumenical moral obligation of every pastoral leader to protect their local congregations from predators. This is an obligation from which no person in a position of jurisdictional leadership can be relieved. Yet, we continue to hear some jurisdictional leaders striving to find ways to relieve themselves of this obligation.

I would like to speak on behalf of another group of individuals who have also been victims of a related form of clerical sexual and psychological abuse—seminarians who have struggled against lecherous priests on staff in seminary formation programs, only to have themselves forced out of their seminary programs because they refused to "put out."

Posted by kshaw at February 21, 2006 01:15 PM