Los Angeles Archdiocese Is Accused of Failing to Release All Abuse Records, Kesgrave/Stowmarket: Inquiries into historic child abuse allegations at three former schools, Ireland finally admits state collusion in Magdalene Laundry system
February 6, 2013 Comments Off on Los Angeles Archdiocese Is Accused of Failing to Release All Abuse Records, Kesgrave/Stowmarket: Inquiries into historic child abuse allegations at three former schools, Ireland finally admits state collusion in Magdalene Laundry system
Los Angeles Archdiocese Is Accused of Failing to Release All Abuse Records
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and JENNIFER MEDINA February 4, 2013
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles released 12,000 pages of internal files last Thursday on priests accused of sexually abusing children, saying that it was finally abiding by a settlement it signed with victims six years ago to make the painful history public.
But it now appears that the files the church released with much fanfare are incomplete and many are unaccounted for, according to the abuse victims’ lawyers. In addition, on many documents the names of church supervisors informed of abuse allegations were redacted by the archdiocese, in apparent violation of a judge’s order.
At issue is whether the survivors of abuse and the public will ever learn which church officials were responsible for mishandling or covering up allegations of sexual abuse.
Abuse victims had insisted that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles release the records as part of a settlement in 2007, which provided $660 million to more than 500 victims. Other Catholic dioceses that have settled with victims have released similar records.
“We know we have not gotten a complete disclosure,” said Jeff Anderson, who is among the lawyers representing the victims. “They have removed things that should not have been removed, some of which we have seen before, so we know that they exist. It’s more deception, deceit and secrecy.”
But J. Michael Hennigan, a lawyer for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, said in an interview that while there were probably a few errors, there was no intention to withhold information.
“I would be surprised if we did this job perfectly,” he said. “The team that worked on this worked under pressure sometimes late into the night.”
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles fought for six years all the way to the State Supreme Court to block the release of the documents. Early in January, Judge Emilie H. Elias overturned a previous decision, and ordered the archdiocese to lift the redactions of the names of certain kinds of officials: archbishops and bishops, vicars for clergy members and directors of treatment facilities, as well as pastors, “church agents” or employees who had supervisory responsibility over an accused priest and were made aware of complaints or suspicions about him.
But on many pages it appears that the names of supervisors, like pastors in parishes or the supervisors of religious orders, are missing.
For example, the file on Carlos Rodriguez, a priest serving in a parish in Central Los Angeles, includes a letter to him from his religious order, the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers, informing him that he is being sent to a treatment center in Maryland. Mr. Rodriguez was accused of molesting several teenage boys over the years. But while the letter makes clear that the writer is the priest’s religious superior, the name is redacted. Other documents in the file are similarly missing names of religious order supervisors….
Kesgrave/Stowmarket: Inquiries into historic child abuse allegations at three former schools
Colin Adwent Crime Correspondent Monday, February 4, 2013
THREE former Suffolk schools are now at the centre of criminal investigations into historic child abuse allegations.
The accusations, which relate to alleged physical and sexual assaults, are said to have occurred between the late 1970s and run through to the 1990s.
A solicitor representing ex-pupils of one of the schools – Oakwood School in Stowmarket – has said the number of claimants has reached three figures.
Andrew Grove, who is based in Cambridge, said: “We now have 100 complainants on the civil claim relating to Oakwood School.”
Last week detectives said they were re-opening the 1992 inquiry into alleged abuse at Kesgrave Hall independent school.
The investigation, codenamed Operation Garford, comes after former students’ calls for it to be re-opened were backed by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter.
Responding to the new inquiry, Dr Poulter said: “I am pleased that Suffolk Police are conducting a full and thorough investigation into the alleged child abuse at Kesgrave Hall school, following my intervention.
“A number of people have written to me raising concerns about abuse when they or their family members were pupils at the school, and I would again urge anyone who has been the victim of abuse to come forward and immediately contact Suffolk police.”
Four people were suspended in 1992 during the Kesgrave Hall inquiry. No charges were ever brought. The school closed in 1993.
However, a woodwork teacher Alan Stancliffe, was convicted and jailed in 1999 and again in 2007 for indecent assaults on three ex-pupils….
Ireland finally admits state collusion in Magdalene Laundry system
Taoiseach Enda Kenny fails to formally apologise for involvement over female enslavement causing more outrage
Henry McDonald in Dublin The Guardian, Tuesday 5 February 2013
After more than seven decades of exploitation and a 10-year struggle for justice, Ireland on Tuesday admitted its role in the enslavement of thousands of women and girls in the notorious Magdalene Laundry system, but stopped short of issuing a formal apology from the government.
A long-awaited report headed by Senator Martin McAleese said there was “significant state involvement” in how the laundries were run – a reversal of the official state line for years, which insisted the institutions were privately controlled and run by nuns.
But the Irish Premier Enda Kenny’s failure to give the women and their supporters a full, formal, public apology in the Dail on Tuesday afternoon has infuriated the victims and their supporters, who said such an approach risked undermining Ireland’s attempt to right a historic wrong. Instead Kenny stated his “regret” about the stigma hanging over the women.
“The stigma that the branding together of all the residents, all 10,000, in the Magdalene Laundries, needs to be removed, and should have been removed long before this,” Kenny said. “And I really am sorry that that never happened, and I regret that it never happened.”
Claire McGetterick of the Justice For Magdalenes group said last night: “Frankly their country has failed them again”.
Labelled the “Maggies”, the women and girls were stripped of their names and dumped in Irish Catholic church-run laundries where nuns treated them as slaves, simply because they were unmarried mothers, orphans or regarded as somehow morally wayward.
Over 74 years, 30,000 women were put to work in de facto detention, mostly in laundries run by nuns. At least 988 of the women who were buried in laundry grounds are thought to have spent most of their lives inside the institutions….