Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Roman Catholic Diocese ad is a disservice to victims of sexual abuse
by Larry Geller
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu ran a large ad on page 6 of yesterday’s Star-Advertiser. It was placed just below the continuation of a page 1 story, so it will be widely read.
Given the shameful history of the diocese, with at least two credibly accused men in ministry, the ad is problematic. Omitted is anything about reporting crimes to police rather than internally to the hierarchy, and the need to remove offenders from the system and expose their crimes for the benefit of all affected. It also fails to inform victims of their legal rights.
Anyone concerned with trying to keep children safe should be very concerned.
The ad begins:
ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF HONOLULU
E Ha-'awi I Ke O/o, E Ho'iho'i
To Offer Healing, To Restore Trust
The Diocese of Honolulu, which encompasses the Roman
Catholic Church in the State of Hawai'i, wishes to acknowledge
the pain, anger and confusion caused by the sexual abuse of
minors by clergy, religious or church workers. The Diocese of
Honolulu remains committed to the promotion of safety, healing,
reconciliation and the maintenance of safe environments for our
children and young people.
This is fine as a beginning, but the rest of the ad offers help only in the form of support services and in reporting to the diocese. It closes with contact information for a “victim assistance coordinator” without mentioning the police or legal options.
With regard to legal options, timing is crucial, because Hawaii has a “window of opportunity” law which was only two years wide and which ends next year.
The new law creates a special, limited window of time, between April, 2012 and April, 2014. During that window, it is possible to make a claim for clergy sexual abuse, even if the abuse happened decades ago. However, once the window closes, the ability to pursue justice for the “old” claims also closes.
[from the website of Roseberg & McKay, Clergy Sexual Abuse]
Here are some resources that may actually help victims and also support efforts to protect children by preventing new abuses. Note that several attorneys indicate that sexual abuse cases fall into their practice areas, these mentions are not endorsements, just useful hits on the Web.
Jeff Anderson & Associates: The Hawaii Window: Hope, Healing, Help and Justice for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
https://sb2588act68.wordpress.com/, Window for Child Sex Abuse Cases
The sexual abuse scandal in Honolulu diocese is a significant chapter in the series of Catholic sex abuse cases in the United States and Ireland.
[wikipedia.org, Sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic diocese of Honolulu]
Click here for more related articles from Disappeared News.
It is my understanding the Vatican is covering up over 6,000 sexual abuse cases involving the church. Looks like the only organization with a worse record on sexual abuse is the military.