Expect numbers of women victimized by priests as children to rise over next few years, say lawyers Apr 24 2010 By Mary Ormsby
….But London-based lawyer Robert Talach, who represented McLauchlin and other Sylvestre victims, expects that male-female ratio to change within five to 10 years to reflect a trend that began in the 1970s when the church welcomed female altar servers. Researchers say disclosure of abuse is typically delayed for about 30 years, which means women assaulted as children are just starting to come to terms with what happened. “In some of our Sylvestre cases, which are (from) the `70s, many of the women were victimized under the pretenses of `I’m training you to be one of these new, upcoming female altar servers,’” said Talach, who has represented more than 100 victims of clergy abuse, most of them male…..
Father Donald Holmes, a modern cleric who rode a motorcycle, sported a beard, played hockey and preferred street clothes to his Roman collar, also preyed on girls as they began taking bigger roles in the church. He was convicted in 2002 of sexually abusing 12 girls around the Sudbury area between 1972 and 1984. In general, girls in Canada are four times more likely than boys to be victims of sexual offences, according to police figures reported to Stats Canada. Females are more likely to be attractive to clergy because the majority of priests are heterosexual – but some are psychologically and sexually immature, says former priest-turned-lawyer Patrick Wall.
“If they’re going to explore sexually, they’re going to explore with a little girl,” said Wall, a California-based expert on Catholic clergy abuse who now works with victims. Wall’s perspective on the degree of female abuse is unique. He was a Benedictine monk for 12 years, working as a “fixer” dispatched to tidy up messy sexual problems of priests and laymen at troubled parishes and schools. He said when a girl required surgery after rape, the code was that she needed a “hernia” operation.
In a bizarre twinning, he counselled accused priests and heard confessions from traumatized victims. He also worked on cases where priests impregnated girls then procured abortions for them. “That is so prevalent, it happens all the time,” he said of the abortion runs, which in part accounts for his belief that teenaged girls are the silent majority of priest-related sexual abuse. By age 33, Wall deduced most, if not all, of the 195 parishes and hundreds of religious orders in the U.S. employed “fixers” like him to wipe down crime scenes that involved children. He quit religious life in disgust and scoffs at the Vatican’s pledge to better protect boys and girls from its surpliced predators. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/800312–church-scandal-s-next-wave-abused-girls