Church Whistle-Blowers Join Forces on Abuse
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN May 20, 2013
They call themselves Catholic Whistleblowers, a newly formed cadre of priests and nuns who say the Roman Catholic Church is still protecting sexual predators.
Although they know they could face repercussions, they have banded together to push the new pope to clean house and the American bishops to enforce the zero-tolerance policies they adopted more than a decade ago.
The group began organizing quietly nine months ago without the knowledge of their superiors or their peers, and plan to make their campaign public this week. Most in the steering group of 12 have blown the whistle on abusers in the past, and three are canon lawyers who once handled abuse cases on the church’s behalf. Four say they were sexually abused as children.
Their aim, they say, is to support both victims and fellow whistle-blowers, and identify shortcomings in church policies….
But the whistle-blowers’ group contends that vigilance is necessary because some bishops are violating the zero-tolerance policies, and abusive clergy (who now number 6,275, according to the bishops’ count of those accusations that they deem credible) still have access to children. They point to the revelations in the last month that a priest in Newark who was a convicted sex offender restricted by a court order from working with children had been ministering in a Catholic parish in Trenton, taking confessions from children and going on weekend youth retreats….
The whistle-blowers’ group plans to hold its first news conference this week in New York, and some members are bracing for the reaction. They said they know priests who spoke up and were removed from their parishes, hustled into retirement or declared “unstable” and sent to treatment centers for clergy with substance-abuse problems or sexual addictions…..
Ex-swim coach accused of abuse appears in court
By Peter Schworm Globe Staff May 20, 2013
MEDFORD — When the young boy joined the Arlington Boys & Girls Club swim team in the late 1970s, his coach was Paul Collins, who also dated his family’s neighbor and would sometimes fill in as baby sitter.
On those occasions, when the boy went to sleep, Collins would sit at his bedside and “begin rubbing his back and chest,” according to allegations detailed in court documents released Monday. Collins would then massage the boy below the waist and tell him he should not talk about it to anyone else.
It was, he told the boy, “our little secret.”
The boy, now a middle-aged man, is one of four adults who in recent weeks have accused Collins of sexual assault, part of an expanding investigation into child abuse at the youth club. The men came forward after club officials announced in February that another former employee, William Sullivan, had allegedly sexually abused children at the club between the 1970s and 1990s. Sullivan is deceased.
On Monday, two days after being arrested in his Long Island home, Collins, 62, was arraigned in Cambridge District Court on charges of sexually assaulting the boys and ordered held on $250,000 bail. Collins pleaded not guilty to the accusations, but prosecutors said he had admitted to sexual contact with two accusers and told investigators he may also have had contact with the other two….