Latest News 2010 September New and Old Abuse From the U.S. Catholic Church

New and Old Abuse From the U.S. Catholic Church

As reported by the AFP, the United States branch of the Roman Catholic Church is facing new charges of abuse that occurred over a 30 year span of time. 

The new pedophilia scandal involves six women and one man - all from the same priest - alleging sexual abuse.  One of the women is in her forties and claims that the priest's abuse occurred up into her thirties.

The lawsuit, filed in Oakland, California on August 11, 2010, accuses father Stephen Kiesle of sexual abuse acts between 1972 and 2001.  The suit further alleges that the Catholic Church officials knew of the crimes and didn't do anything to prevent them.

In 2004, allegations of high level cover ups over pedophile priest allegations engulfed both the United States and Australia.  Since last year, lawsuits have once again rocketed in both the United States and parts of Europe.

A copy of the current lawsuit has been obtained by AFP and reads, "The Catholic bishops in the United States of America and the Holy See have long facilitated the sexual molestation of children by engaging in the harboring and protection of known child molesting priests.  The bishops and Catholic hierarchs have done so to prevent the priests from being prosecuted and to avoid scandal."

The document also states that church officials "have subjected Catholic families and children in these communities to known pedophiles, counting on the devotion and reverence in the communities to keep any further abuse by the priests secret."

The six recent plaintiffs contend that Father Kiesle abused them from childhood through to adolescence. Victim Teresa Rosson, 48, alleges that her abuse only ended a decade ago.

The U.S. Roman Catholic church has been enmeshed in lawsuits - this suit is only the latest in a long line - where they have been accused of turning a blind eye to the abuse of children by both their church officials and priests.

Just last month the Vatican responded by issuing new rules against pedophile priests.  The Vatican has promised to accelerate internal investigations and to extend the statue of limitations by a full decade.

In it's official 2009 report, the church paid out 436 million dollars in 2008 for sexual abuse cases.  More than 374 million dollars of this was paid to victims in settlements.

The floodgates opened in 2002 when the Archbishop of Boston admitted that he had protected a priest - which he knew had sexually abused more than one young member of his church.

The leader of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics, Pope Benedict XVl, visited the United States in 2008 and sought pardon from victims.  He said he felt deeply ashamed by the sex scandals.

Pope Benedict XVl has also faced his own allegations.  As Archbishop of Munich he was accused of helping to protect a priest accused of being a predator.

If you, or someone you love, have been a victim of priest abuse, click here for a confidential consultation with an attorney.

Categories: Sexual Abuse