A group of Catholic priests and nuns in the U.S. have recently formed a groundbreaking new group known as the Catholic Whistleblowers in an effort to rid the church of sexual predators, end Catholic Church sex abuse, and enforce the zero-tolerance policy on sex abuse that the Catholic Church put in place more than 10 years ago.
The Catholic Whistleblowers, which has been 9 months in the making, consists of priests and nuns throughout the U.S. who are committed to supporting victims sexually abused by Catholic clergy, as well as the whistleblowers themselves who have been the targets of harsh backlash for shedding light on alleged sexual abusers in the Church.
Among the 12 leaders of this reform-oriented group include clergy members who have been whistleblowers in past sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church, a few clergy lawyers who had previously defended the Catholic Church in sexual abuse lawsuits and some clergy members who were themselves the victims of sexual abuse as children. These leaders of the Catholic Whistleblowers met in Manhattan in early May and have recently sent a letter to Pope Francis and several Vatican officials requesting specific steps that the Church should take to support sexual abuse victims and restore the Church’s credibility.
Among the policy recommendations made by the Catholic Whistleblowers in this letter were that the Church abolish its oaths of secrecy, unseal its files on sexual abuse cases, immediately remove any bishops or other clergy who enabled sexual abuse by trying to cover it up from their positions and establish a worldwide forum in which sexual abuse survivors and Catholic Church leaders could share an open dialogue. The Catholic Whistleblowers have yet to receive a response from the Pope or any member of the Vatican.
At Alonso Krangle LLP, our sexual abuse lawyers do everything they can to hold sexual predators, including priests, teachers and their enablers, accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Our sexual abuse attorneys can help victims obtain the justice that they need and deserve.
The Catholic Whistleblowers
Among the primary goals of the Catholic Whistleblowers is maintaining a vigilant eye on Church leaders who are failing to uphold the zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse and the alleged sexual abusers who are still in the clergy and who still have access to children. According to the Catholic Whistleblowers’ count, there are currently still more than 6,200 alleged sexual abusers active in the clergy.
In fact, one of the most recent cases in which the Catholic Whistleblowers targeted an alleged sexual predator in the clergy involved a priest who was a convicted sex offender in Newark and who had been practicing – with access to children – in Trenton, New Jersey. While the Catholic Whistleblowers had been vocal about the sex offender priest, they also called for the resignation of the archbishop of Newark who had been pivotal in appointing the predator to the Trenton diocese. Since then, local law enforcement authorities have initiated an investigation into the sexual abuse allegations, and the priest has left the priesthood.
“We’ve dedicated our lives to the church… having sex offenders in ministry is damage to our ministry,” one of the leaders of the Catholic Whistleblowers recently stated at the group’s Manhattan conference. [http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/us/catholic-church-whistle-blowers-join-forces-on-abuse.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&]
Sexual Abuse Lawsuits and Settlements
If you or someone you love has been victimized by sexual abuse at the hands of a priest, teacher or any official, you may be able to file a sexual abuse lawsuit to seek compensation from the abuser, as well as any organizations that may have aided and abetted these crimes. Alonso Krangle LLP offers free lawsuit evaluations to sexual abuse victims and their families. To learn more about obtaining the justice you deserve, please contact the compassionate and experienced sexual abuse lawyers at Alonso Krangle LLP by filling out our online form or calling 1-800-403-6191.