A US Jesuit order has agreed to pay $166 million (£103 million) to compensate some 500 mostly American Indian child victims of ‘horrific’ sexual abuse at religious mission schools.
The US Northwest chapter of the Rome-based Society of Jesus agreed to the payout, which lawyers said is the biggest by a religious organisation in the United States, as part of bankruptcy proceedings.
Most of those abused by members of the Oregon Province – the Jesuit order covering the states of Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana – were at mission schools on Indian reservations, from the 1940s through to the 1990s.
“This settlement recognises that the Jesuits betrayed the trust of hundreds of young children in their care, and inflicted terrible atrocities upon them,” said Blaine Tamaki, a lawyer for the order.
“These religious figures should have been responsible for protecting children, but instead raped and molested them,” he said.
Victims of the abuse by the order welcomed the settlement.
Predatory missionaries? Raping and molesting?! Now the Order is bankrupt so as to settle for them? I only have one question: Who are these monsters masquerading in the name of the Holy Church?
One or two are indeed named in the article:
“Father Morse started abusing me almost immediately when I arrived at St. Mary’s Mission,” she said. “I kept the sexual molestation hidden in the dark, in my soul, for years and years.
“Finally, when I came forward and saw that others did too, it was as if the blanket that had hidden our secret was pulled off and we could move into the light again.”
Another, Theo Lawrence, had wanted to speak out but died last week, before the compensation deal was announced. He was molested by Father Augustine Ferretti, known as “Father Freddy”, and by a nun who worked with the Jesuits.
Thirty-eight of the claims involve sexual abuse by Morse, who now lives in a retirement home financed by the Jesuits, it said. Forty-nine of the victims represented by Tamaki were sexually abused when they were eight or younger…
Using Church funds to settle for their sins and crimes (of this magnitude) is not acceptable. Guilty individuals must be pursued criminally and punished for their atrocities – wicked beasts that they are! Get them out of retirement homes (or wherever) and into prison where they belong – if they are indeed found to be guilty.
When will this scandal ever end?!
St Ignatius pray for us!