Thursday, April 8, 2010

More Priest-Pedophile and Church Mishandling Scandals in Memphis, Norway, and Spain

     In Norway, after a bishop admitted to sexually abusing a minor, numerous new accusations are being voiced, while in Spain, a priest was just convicted for raping two girls, 10 and 11.  While in the United States bishops, who covered up sexual abuse, have yet to be tried and even some priests, who are known abusers, have never faced criminal trial.  The following is an example of such a case.

     Father Juan Carlos Duran has a history of abuse and being shuffled around for years by Catholic authorities.  In his wake, Duran left a series of victims.  All has been recently revealed since court documents were ordered open.  The entire story can be read at Memphis' the Commercial Appeal.  Here are a few excerpts from the article:
     "I just remember him asking me in the car or asking when we are alone, 'Please, please, let me give you (oral sex),' stuff like that," said a 14-year-old boy identified as "John Doe" in a sex abuse lawsuit filed against the diocese and the Dominicans. "I can't remember the exact number of occasions, but it was multiple."  "It just drives me crazy because I feel like trash," the boy said later, adding that Duran plied him with alcohol and exposed him to pornography. "I feel like trash, you know? That's what I feel like. It makes me upset."
     The "John Doe" case prompted The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Daily News to file suit to gain access to court documents related to that case. A judge on Tuesday lifted the seal on the files after lawyers for both sides spent a year redacting the names of victims from more than 10,000 pages.
     The documents show that at least 15 priests have been accused of sexual misconduct over about four decades in the Memphis Diocese. Some had been accused of sexual abuse elsewhere and had been moved from one diocese to another.
     "The Southern Dominican Province knew Duran had committed prior acts of sexual abuse before placing him in Memphis and therefore should never have placed him here," attorney Karen Campbell, representing "John Doe," said in court papers. "Additionally, a review of Duran's résumé with a 31-year gap should have alerted the diocese to inquire into his background. This is exactly the type of information that should have raised a red flag to church officials that this was a pedophile priest."
     In many ways, the case of Father Juan Carlos Duran -- with frequent moves and silent superiors -- stands as an example of how child sex abuse was allowed to thrive for decades in the Catholic Church.
     "Revelations of thousands of cases of clergy sexual abuse have shown that the Catholic hierarchy had a standardized method of responding to reports and accusations of clergy sexual abuse," said Thomas Doyle of Virginia, a Dominican priest and addiction therapist who has testified as an expert in many abuse cases. "With rare exception, the alleged perpetrators were surreptitiously moved from one assignment to another with no warning to the receiving parish or community."
     In 2004, the St. Louis police department issued a warrant for Duran's arrest, for his allegedly sodomizing a boy in 1999.  The warrant has never been served.  If the leaders of the Catholic Church want to regain any sort of credibility in the world, they need to start driving pedophile-priests like Duran directly to the police to stand trial, regardless of whether the priest has been laicized.  It's time that these criminals stand trial for their crimes.
*Cartoon via Dvorak Uncensored