clergy abuse articles : Italy, Ireland, Belgium
Books of The Times – Violence Expert Visits Her Dark Past By DWIGHT GARNER
June 24, 2010 Jessica Stern is among the world’s experts on violence and evil, a woman who spends her time thinking about bad men and bad deeds. She has lectured at Harvard about terrorism and is the author of a respected book, “Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill” (2003). During the Clinton administration she was on the staff of the National Security Council….
“Denial” is Ms. Stern’s plainspoken and very raw account of why, long before 9/11, she was driven to study terrorism and to put herself repeatedly into danger as she flew around the world, like some scholarly twin of the former CNN war correspondent Christiane Amanpour, interviewing committed terrorists. Central among the reasons, it turns out, was her own experience of terror. On Oct. 1, 1973, when Ms. Stern was 15 and her sister 14, the two of them, alone in a suburban house in leafy Concord, Mass., were raped by a man who cut the house’s telephone lines before walking inside and leading them upstairs.
Ms. Stern describes that evening in brutal detail. It was a night that changed her and taught her a dire lesson: “Shame can be sexually transmitted.” The crime wasn’t properly investigated. The police didn’t believe her when she said the rapist was a stranger. Because her story and those of others were not publicized or taken seriously enough by the police, the same man was able to rape some 44 girls — an incredible, heart-collapsing number — from 1971 to 1973. “The entire community,” she writes, “was in denial.” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/25/books/25book.html
Terrorism Expert No Longer in ‘Denial’ About Her Rape Andrea Stone Senior Washington Correspondent 6/25/10 WASHINGTON (June 22) — Jessica Stern, one of the world’s foremost authorities on terrorism, never made the connection between her chosen profession and the terror she suffered as a teenager. Stern was 15 and her sister Sara 14 when a blue-eyed stranger carrying a small handgun entered their home in Concord, Mass., on the evening of Oct. 1, 1973. The man threatened to kill them. Then he raped them. There was no one for the girls to turn to — their mother was dead, their father on a business trip in Europe, the baby sitter had left them alone. The police refused to believe the girls didn’t know the man. They were in denial. Worse, their father refused to cut short his trip to rush home.
A few months later — his daughters’ rapist still at large — he told police they had gotten over it. He was in denial. But it took more than 30 years for Stern to discover that she, too, was in denial….Stern knew from therapy that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a diagnosis she had denied for years….Stern was not content to confine herself to the personal. She talked to a fellow victim and met a veteran who was injured in Iraq and suffers from PTSD. While she doesn’t equate rape with being maimed by a roadside bomb — “I was not a victim of terrorism. That is much more serious and has a political element” — she was struck by how many symptoms she shared with the soldier….
Connecting her trauma to a wider circle, she wrote: Denial helps the bystander. We don’t want to know what the boys we send to Iraq have done to others out of terror, or what others have done to them. We would rather not know about terror or be confronted with evil. This is as true about Abu Ghraib as it is about personal assaults and more private crimes, the crimes that occur inside families. But the victim, too, cannot bear to believe. She may bury or disassociate from or disown her pain.
Abuse Loosens Church’s Culture of Silence in Italy
By RACHEL DONADIO June 26, 2010 ROME — One afternoon last month, a rare thing happened in Rome’s main courthouse: for perhaps the first time ever, an Italian bishop took the witness stand in the case of a priest accused of the sexual abuse of children.
Soon after, another rare thing happened. The leader of the Italian bishops’ conference acknowledged at a news conference that it was “possible” that bishops in Italy had covered up abuse, while his deputy said that in the past decade, 100 Italian priests had faced church trials in connection with the sexual abuse of minors.
Irish priest resigns over abuse case 27 Jun 2010 A priest in charge of protecting children in a rural diocese in Northern Ireland has been forced to resign over a case of child sex abuse filed against another priest under his authority. Earlier, an Irish Examiner report said Fr Bermingham in charge of the Diocese of Cloyne, in County Cork had received a note from a woman claiming abuse by a priest under his ministration. Bermingham had hushed up the matter and let his colleague know of the note before referring him to the police.
Bermingham said he had turned in the abuse statement which he received in May 2009 to the police and the Health Service Executive in the Irish Republic right away….This spring, a group of deaf men in Verona were granted a rare hearing on national television to denounce the priests they said serially molested them as children in a school for the deaf. “We just want justice,” said one of the men, Gianni Bisoli.
Pope denounces ‘deplorable’ raid on Belgian church – Raids come amid fresh claims of sex abuse in Catholic Church Agence France-Presse June 27, 2010
VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday accused Belgian police of “deplorable methods” for raiding a bishops’ meeting as part of a pedophilia probe, as Brussels said the Vatican was overreacting….Thursday’s raids came amid new claims of child abuse by members of the Catholic Church in Belgium, one of the countries rocked by recent revelations of pedophilia by priests in Europe and North America. http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Pope+denounces+deplorable+raid+Belgian+church/3208676/story.html