An excerpt from a published review of the experiences of some who have suffered at the hands of abusers within the Roman Catholic Church in the United States.
We want people to know it happened, it’s happening today.
Every 1-in-4 girls is sexually abused and every 1-in-6 boys.
What are these crimes? Merely inappropriate touching? No. Not at all.
We’re run across things we don’t want to know about. For example, a predator priest while telling a child she’s the bride of Christ, and threatening to have God kill her parents if she tells, and while reading to her from the bible, is raping her. This is called, ‘Catholic ritual abuse’ … it’s quite common. You’ll learn about it in this book. You’ll also learn about the priest who helped a teenager before her marriage to see ‘if her womb was big enough for child-bearing’, by checking it with his fist. You’ll learn of kids who contracted AIDS from priest, kids who were murdered by priests and nuns, women who were raped by priests and became pregant, dioceses that paid for abortions of children, girls who were raped by Catholic priests and bore their children and raised them — everything you need to know to wake up, to step out of denial, to embrace the severity of the epidemic, and hold the perps and the institutions that support them, accountable.
Rita Milla, was raped by a priest at 16 then passed around to be raped by a total of 7 priests. Then, was sent to the Philippines to have the child of one of them, then came back and raised her daughter. Her case settled in 2007, as part of the 650 million dollar suit Jeff Anderson won, representing 600 victims in Los Angeles.
These kinds of stories, are, unfortunately, not uncommon … at all. As you will unfortunately, see. But can you imaging the horror and pain the child who is being raped, feels. Let us not feel so sorry for ourselves that we forget that we can stop the perpetuation of these crimes. Right now, State legislatures across the United States are considering amending their statute of limitations laws in ‘windows of opportunity’ so that adults who were raped as children can sue.
Because, the psychiatric literature establishes, after a child is victimized by a predator, because of the emotional, psychological and spiritual trauma it is often 20-40 years before the victim can report the crime. In other words, victims often kill themselves, or stay in denial because of subconscious forces erase in their minds the horror of what happened to them as children …because, the human will not allow itself to become conscious of the heinous crimes committed against it when it was a child, the mind will go mad. If you believe we’re created in God’s image, then …even God can not bear this truth.
After looking at predator priests, we’re going to look at predator nuns. While predator priests have been accepted as a reality in America, nobody believes there are predator nuns. We’re going to interview someone who as a child was sexually abused every night by a nun for two years…and, who has spoken with 450 other men and women who were, too. We’re also going to speak with a former nun, who as a teenage nun was molested by her Mother Superior each night for two years, who then left the convent … and knows of 100 other men and women who as children were sexually abused by nuns.
You’ll learn about nuns sexually abusing and raping deaf kids, and nuns sexually abusing orphanage children and pimping them. We’ll interview some of the attorneys representing the kids.
William Ross says he was 9 years old when a nun at the now-closed Boston School for the Deaf in Randolph force-fed him soup, causing him to vomit. And, when he was 12, the same nun locked him in a dark closet for long periods of time, according to a lawsuit filed in Boston Tuesday. Ross says when he was 16 and attending the school, another nun fondled his genitals, put his hand to her breasts and had sexual intercourse with him.
Violet Guertin, of Rockland, says when she was a 9-year-old student at the school a nun put her head in a toilet bowl until she passed out, the same lawsuit alleges. Guertin says the same nun also raped her with a finger and locked her in a closet at the school for extended time periods.
“As children, they were sexually molested, physically abused and otherwise mentally tormented,” attorney Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said.
Years after she left the school, Guertin heard about a similar situation in Maine where deaf students who had been abused later sued. “I started talking with other deaf people, and we came together and set up a survivors group,” Guertin said through an interpreter.
Garabedian began meeting with the former students at the Boston School for the Deaf more than six months ago and compiled their stories though sign language interpreters. Several plaintiffs at the news conference recounted tales of abuse at the hands of Sisters of St. Joseph from 1944 to 1977. “Instead of receiving an education, they received beatings and sexually abusive actions,” said Garabedian, who previously sued the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston as part of the clergy sex abuse scandal.
Attorney: 1 in 4 Nuns Abused Deaf Kids, by David Connolly, in The Enterprise, Boston MA, May 12, 2004
Half a dozen men have filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually molested, beaten and frequently humiliated 40 years ago by nuns, priests and civilian staff members at Madonna Manor, a Catholic home for troubled children in Marrero. The six lawsuits represent the largest concentration of complaints involving a single institution or individual in the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ three-year experience in dealing with complaints of past sexual abuse. The suits are based on plaintiffs’ experiences between the ages of 4 and 14. In many cases they name staff members and recount specific beatings or episodes of rape or sexual molestation. A few also allege abuse by adult strangers whose identities the plaintiffs hope to learn as the lawsuits’ investigative process unfolds. Other complaints are more generalized, describing a climate of physical and psychological abuse in which nuns beat them severely and told them they were worthless, and that no one loved them.
6 allege abuse at Catholic home, by Bruce Noland, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Aug. 25, 2005
And, in an update:
At the time of the allegations, Madonna Manor was staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Nuns named in the latest suits are Sister Mary Omer; Sister Gertrude Marie, Sister Alvin Marie, Sister Martin Marie and Sister Laurdette. After the first wave of litigation, Maestri said officials in the order informed him that those named were either dead, aged and incompetent, or had left the order and could not be located.
In the new suits, Miller, now a New Orleans police officer, alleges he was repeatedly raped by Monsignor Raymond Hebert, who served as chief executive for the agency that ran Madonna Manor. Hebert, accused in two earlier suits, retired several years ago as one of the most respected priests in the archdiocese. He retired as director of the department of clergy.
Maestri said earlier that the archdiocese believes Hebert is the victim of a misidentification. He said Hebert denies the allegation, as he has denied the earlier charges. “I’ve never abused a child in my life,” Hebert said of the earlier accusations.
The earlier accusations were taken before an archdiocesan review board. It found insufficient evidence to remove Hebert from ministry.
The plaintiffs charged that several unidentified priests and others abused them. In some cases the plaintiffs named specific people as abusers at Madonna Manor or elsewhere, even though church records do not link those persons to the sites, Maestri said.
In this book we interview Gabe, a young nun, abused by her Mother Superior for several years.
What does Gabe say?
“I felt horror while she was doing what she was doing to me, I took myself outside of my body. It was as if I wasn’t there. It was never spoken about, or referred to, during the day. It was almost as if, it didn’t exist … to the point where I started to question my sanity. I doubted God for a long time, after that. I felt like I had been duped. Like I had been drawn into religious life, to have this happen to me. For a while I had a very hard time with God. Because, I had entered the convent. I had given my life to God. And then, this happened. So God and I had an awful lot to work out. And, it’s taken quite some years. I do not belong to the institutional Church. I do still have a relationship with God. But, believe me, when I get to Heaven, God’s going to have a lot of questions to answer.”
And, we interview Mary C. Dunford, a teen abused by a nun for several years in a Catholic school.
Dunford says the experience damaged her life, the lives of her kids, and of her grandkids: “Making the public aware of kids being sexually abused by nuns is a big taboo in society. Some of the reasons for that, besides the societal inability to accept the fact that women, and for that matter, women dedicated to God, can sexually abuse children, or teens, or vulnerable adults. I was 15 years old when I was abused, 15 through 17 …the way I grew up, I had such a bad self image …and I could just see that imprinted on my children and grandchildren and great grandchild. I’m referring to attitude-wise. I think they picked up from me how not to feel valuable, and not to trust people.
“So often, it’s in orphanages, there were about 200 children victimized in an orphanage in New York, in the town of WaterVliet. It was Saint Colman’s Orphanage. The children were abused sexually, and abused physically, abused psychologically. One boy was beaten to death there. He’d also been sexually abused.
“Joy Bubbles was in the newspaper, recently. He was in a home for the blind, he was sexually abused. He changed his name. He’d been abused from the time he was 5 or 6 years old, in a home for the blind out East, run by nuns. He was abused, there.
Down in New Orleans, there were two orphanages, one for females and one for males. Six men have brought charges against this place in New Orleans and against the archdiocese there. Then, 21 people joined in that lawsuit. One guy, that I’ve talked to personally [Editor’s note: as a Snap counselor], said that the children there were physically abused, beaten, and locked in closets …and, sexually abused by seven nuns …by nuns …by religious brothers, by a Monsignor, by the truck driver on the facility, by the camp director, and various men who’d come to visit. I’m figuring, the nuns pimped the children. This was a fellow I talked to from Milwaukee who had lived down in New Orleans in this orphanage and grew up in there, he and six of his friends were abused by these people who ran and visited the orphanage, and men who would stop to visit … the children were brought to them. That’s why I think the nuns were pimping the children.
“In Kentucky there was an orphanage where five girls from the same family were put in, and the older sister would offer …when the older nuns would come through to pick up little girls to take to Father, the nuns also abused them sexually, but they’d take them to Father, and he’d have sex with them … this older sister would offer herself, so they wouldn’t take her younger sisters.
“About 650 victims abused by nuns have contacted me. Some of those are where a lawyer in a newspaper article says, besides the person that contacted him, there are another 200 people who were also abused and who are also coming forward.”
To us, the idea of nuns running a child prostitution ring is unimaginable, particularly since it appears to be true. The name of that place was, Madonna Manor, in the New Orleans Diocese.