Clerical sexual abuse survivor disappointed in church

This video from Ireland says about itself:

Marie Collins calls for 7 actions at Vatican Abuse Summit

Ahead of the Abuse Summit in Rome in February 2019 with Pope Francis and the Heads of Bishops’ Conferences, Marie Collins speaking at the We Are Church Ireland meeting (14 January 2019) called on Pope Francis to seek agreement for a policy of zero tolerance and full transparency on clerical sex abuse and universal safeguarding of children throughout the Catholic Church.

1) Agree a clear definition of what constitutes sexual abuse of a minor

2) Agree on a clear definition of the term “zero tolerance”

3) Canon Law should be updated to reflect this

4) Canon Law on the abuse of vulnerable adults needs to be separated from the abuse of minors

5) Universal safeguarding measures and a transparent accountability policy for dealing justly with reports of abuse should be agreed

6) The Pope should make a clear statement at this meeting outlining what is the accountability process being used to hold bishops accountable

7) The Pope needs at this meeting to name those bishops who have a guilty finding against them, what was the offence and what was the penalty

Translated from Dutch [historical Roman Catholic] daily De Volkskrant, 15 February 2019:

Marie Collins vs. The Vatican

Abuse victim Marie Collins left the Pope’s committee frustrated: ‘I am very disappointed’

Marie Collins was abused by a priest in her youth. The pope asked her for a committee to make proposals to prevent abuse. She has resigned from it, disillusioned with what the Catholic Church is willing to do.

By Jarl van der Ploeg

If there is one person who knows why the four-day conference about abuse in the Vatican of next Thursday is doomed to fail, then it is Marie Collins. After all, it was Marie Collins who was asked by Pope Francis five years ago to join the oh-so-important Committee for the Protection of Minors, and it was Marie Collins who three years later resigned from that same committee out of pure frustration.

‘I am very disappointed in this pope’, says Collins (70). “While he started pretty well.”

Indeed, for a long time, Jorge Bergoglio, who has gone through life as Pope Francis since 2013, was known as an unprecedentedly progressive church leader who went to battle against the money wastage of some cardinals, stood up for homeless people and boat migrants and who during his first press conference on homosexuals said: ‘Who am I to judge about that?’

It brought the Argentinean jubilant commentaries, especially because he seemed to be – and this was really a giant breakthrough – tackling the global abuse scandal; the biggest crisis of the Catholic Church since the Reformation. While Pope John Paul II called all accusations “violent attacks on the respectability” of the church and Pope Benedict XVI mainly dealt with it with silence and idleness, Francis promised a “zero tolerance policy” when he was appointed in 2013.

It had to be finally finished with all sins and crimes, all negligence and complicity, he repeated time after time. The age-old principle within the church – how can we limit reputation damage as much as possible? – seemed to be finally replaced by him by: how can we alleviate the suffering of the victims?

One of his most important achievements was an expert committee to help prevent future abuse: the Commission for the Protection of Minors. Completely contrary to the prevailing mores within the Vatican, he mainly asked lay people to sit on that committee. No priests, bishops or cardinals, but ordinary citizens without clerical collars. Eg, a child psychiatrist from France, an international lawyer from Poland, a criminologist, a theologian, a church lawyer. And Marie Collins.

Why Marie Collins? Because Collins devoted her life to combating child abuse. The germ was laid when she was 12 or 13 years old and she was admitted to a Catholic children’s hospital in Dublin for three weeks because of an infection on her arm. She was abused there several times by the hospital’s chaplain, Paul McGennis.

“You know how these men work,” says Collins in her small, gray house in an equally gray suburb of Dublin. Because of everything that happened since those three weeks, she never succeeded in building a career and earning a lot of money. In her room there are two leather chairs and a couch, and that’s about it.

Extra attention

“The chaplain took me in, gave me extra attention-I was his special girlfriend,” he said-and in the evening he came to read to me. At those moments he abused me and also made photographs of it. I remember trying to stop him, but he said, “I am a priest, so I can not do anything wrong, can I?” You must understand that I was a child of the nineteen fifties; I had been taught that a priest was almost above God, he was so important. You could never ever contradict a priest. And now suddenly there was a priest who said to me, “If you do not like this, then there is something wrong with you. Then you are not normal. “He said that to me.”

The three weeks at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children ended Collins’ youth. “Before that, I was a confident, popular child. After that, I knew for sure that I was actually a bad person. I tried to do everything I could to keep that character hidden. I did not play outside anymore, kept all my friends at a distance and alienated myself from my family. I was afraid that if someone came too close, something bad would happen and that would be my fault. ”

From her 17th year on she got panic attacks. Around the age of 20 she got her first depression and from the age of 27 she developed a violent form of agoraphobia. “I have been at home for years – in this house where we are now. Together with my husband Ray I had a son aged 6 and because I did not dare, Ray was both his father and his mother. During the day Ray worked, in the evening he bought groceries, in the morning he brought our little fellow to school and I did not do anything that time. When Ray came home in the evening, I would still be in the same chair as I was in that morning and the dirty dishes in the kitchen would be untouched.”

Collins at that time had no idea that it was the fault of chaplain McGennis; she had tucked away the entire children’s hospital abuse and never thought about it. It was not until she came to a psychotherapist again after a series of new panic attacks that she spoke about the chaplain for the first time in her life, twenty-five years after the abuse. Encouraged by the psychotherapist, who said that McGennis might still be active, she went to her church to report it. The answer from her local priest: “You probably seduced the poor man. But do not worry, your sins are forgiven.”

“That answer”, says Collins, “felt like someone threw a stone through a window, but then inside my body. Everything fell apart into small pieces. Those words broke me completely. They threw me back in time years. I did not want to go back to the psychotherapist under any circumstances and I did not talk to anyone about McGennis for ten years. Not a word.”

The psychological complaints also increased again for Collins, who had been admitted to psychiatric hospitals ten times since her abuse. It was not until McGennis, forty years after abusing Collins – forty years in which he also made a career within the Church and in the meantime continued to rape and photograph young children – was arrested and imprisoned, only then did the depressions and the panic attacks stop.

Marie Collins foundation

Collins decided to dedicate the rest of her life to combating child abuse within the church. She founded the Marie Collins Foundation for children who, like her, were victims of child pornography. She contributed to new child protection protocols within the Irish Church – one of the most stringent protocols in the Catholic world – and the so-called Murphy Report, an in-depth investigation into sexual abuse within the Irish Roman Catholic Church, praised her ‘courageous, and often lonely campaign’ against the Archdiocese of Dublin. When Pope Francis took office in 2013, he asked Collins to come to Rome to help him. She said yes because she, like everyone else, hoped that a fresh wind would finally blow through the Vatican.

“But during our first meeting in Rome I noticed that something was wrong,” says Collins. ‘We were in a back room in Vatican City where not even a glass of water was present. There was not even a piece of paper on the table.”

The Commission for the Protection of Minors in Rome had been promised that the Vatican would not save any effort to do their job, “but every time we asked for money to get something realized, the answer was: no, too expensive, no, too expensive, no, too expensive‘.

‘Eg, we could only meet three times a year because the tickets to Rome were too expensive. In Rome we often slept in places that were far from the Vatican. But we were not allowed to use the official cars – which were intended for cardinals – and we were not allowed to declare money spent on taxis. We also had to pay for our own coffee, our own lunch, our own dinner. And when we asked for a small amount of pocket money, only for members who barely had money – we did our work for free and I, eg, did not have any income at that time, – the answer was: no, too expensive.” How much money exactly does the church manage? It is unclear. According to estimates, the Vatican alone – that is, excluding dioceses elsewhere in the world – has at least 10 billion euros to spend.

No respect from the curia

It was a pure lack of respect, says Collins. Not so much from the pope – who did not interfere with the committee at that level – but from the curia. That is the pope’s court of clergymen who have lived in Rome for a lifetime and therefore have a certain view of the world, says Collins. “Those men live in a bubble. They do not look outside, they just look inside. They are career hunters who want to get up as quickly as possible and therefore only work for themselves. They do not think about the children. They do not even think of the image of their own institute.”

And suddenly there was Mrs. Marie Collins who told these men how to behave in future. “I unfortunately know what these men think, because I’ve been through it for years. They sincerely believe that you only understand something of life when you are part of the church. That is why they will never accept anything from an outsider, even if it is the greatest expert on earth. They only believe in their own way of doing things and refuse to see that it has caused an immense mess. You do not want to know how many times I have explained to these people that they’re destroying their own church, but they just did not take it from me. You and I live in the real world, so we see how absurd it is, but those men literally live in a different world.”

That is why the committee not only encountered practical bullying, such as the lack of writing paper in their meeting room, but also substantive obstacles were raised. “It was so terribly frustrating,” says Collins. “Everything we did turned out to be totally useless. They put the best experts in the world around a table and then ignore all their advice.’

For example, the committee argued for the establishment of a tribunal that could punish bishops who had failed to take action against the abuse of others – an important first step in ending the cover-up culture. The Pope was full of praise for the proposal, he accepted it, then it landed in a drawer and nothing ever happened to it.

Another example: abuse victims often send letters to the pope, for example to ask what happened to a pedophile priest, or to tell their side of the story, often on the advice of their psychiatrist. It was the policy of the curia not to answer those letters. Collins proposed to adjust that policy and in future send a standard answer – she knew how important such a small gesture can be for victims. “The pope again thought it was a good idea and accepted it,” says Collins, “but a little later the curia told us that they would not do it anyway. They said that it would be disrespect to local bishops to correspond behind their backs with lay persons.”

It was ultimately a reason for Collins to resign from the committee. She found her work useless and the opposition by the curia unacceptable. That whole committee was a sham in her eyes. This was apparent, for example, when another member, the abuse victim Peter Saunders, was suspended after he had criticized publicly and when other experts were gradually replaced by priests and nuns.

Not a bad man

Francis himself is not a bad man,” says Collins. ‘He is very modest, has no fancy airs and does not think himself better than others. He is not condescending, never gives you pats on your shoulder and does not say consoling words because he thinks you want to hear them. He especially listens. Again, he is not a bad man. But if you are at the head of the church – a group of people so disgusted with change – that attitude is too weak.’

Francis is indeed not a hierarchical pope. Not at all. He refuses to stand at the head of an omnipotent institution that determines from Rome how the church should behave in, eg, Madagascar. Francis wants local churches to flourish from the bottom up and will therefore not force them to apply a particular measure. There is something to be said for that, says Collins, but it also has adverse consequences. His power in Vatican City is thus very limited, she says. And above all, he is not the right pope to stop the abuse crisis. Francis will never tell a Polish or Italian bishop how to prosecute their priests.

P.S. According to my statistics, there have been several clicks on this blog post from Vatican City. One should hope that will contribute to meaningful pro-abuse survivor reforms.


Holocaust survivors, new film

This 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Surviving the Holocaust

“You don’t ever expect to be hauled out of your house, marched into a gas chamber, and be choked to death,” says Irene Fogel Weiss. Yet, that is exactly what happened to most of her family in the summer of 1944. Irene was thirteen at the time, and by several twists of fate, she survived. “There is a life force in all of us that you just want to live another day,” she says. “Let’s survive this. We have to survive this.”

Irene shares her story of survival with hundreds of high school students every year. In this program, we listen in on her presentation to Woodson High School students as she shares a personal account of the events that lead to the Holocaust. She discusses her life as a child in Hungary, the changes she witnessed as the Nazis took power, and all manner of degradations imposed on the Jewish people.

Irene describes how her family was ostracized from society and how the Jewish “ghettos” were created. She discusses what her family did and did not know about Nazi practices across Europe and how the deportation of Jews worked. She recounts her arrival at the worst of all Nazi death camps – Auschwitz-Birkenau – and shares historic photos, taken by the Nazis, which capture the very day that her family arrived.

She talks about the painful separation from her family and what it was like to be a prisoner at Auschwitz.

After sharing the story of her liberation and rebuilding her life in America, Irene examines the questions of propaganda and humanity that surround the Holocaust. She helps students understand the importance of critical examination of information and comparing sources. She discusses how a basic lack of empathy and humanity toward each other can lead to cruel, and ultimately horrific, behaviors. Irene uses her experience in the Holocaust as a lesson for us all.

By Margot Miller in Britain:

A documentary film by Arthur Cary, first shown on BBC Two

15 February 2019

The fascist right is once again rearing its ugly head, aided by a concerted attempt to falsify history and rehabilitate Nazism by minimising its crimes.

There will soon be no living survivors who can testify to the horrors of the Holocaust in which six million Jews were murdered. Director Arthur Cary has captured the testimony of some of the last generation who were children in the camps, most of whom saw the genocide of their parents, siblings, relatives and friends. Cary spent a year with the survivors making this unique documentary. His other credits include TV series American Justice.

When the camps were liberated at the end of the war, thousands made their way to Britain. But most remained silent for decades, unable or unwilling to speak about their experiences. The viewer is introduced to the octogenarians, some older, who are about to tell their stories. In 1945, Ivor Perl was a 13-year-old in Dachau, where he lost his parents and brother. “For 50 years I couldn’t talk [about it, but] you can’t reject the past, it has various ways of guiding your life,” he says.

All the participants in the film evidence a terrible level of trauma.

Ivor, now 86, shares the memories of his 13-year-old self in Auschwitz. It was time for his bar mitzvah. Looking through the barbed wire fence and seeing the birds fly by, he remembers thinking, “Please god, let me out of this hell hole.”

Grenfell Tower made a tremendous impression” on Ivor. “When I saw the flames, I could see my family burned in the camp.”

After more than 60 years, he returns to Auschwitz for the first time, accompanied by his daughter and grand-daughter. It is at his daughter’s instigation—an attempt at a deeper understanding. He clearly does not want to be there but is shown speaking to other visitors of his experience before making clear he has had enough. Talking doesn’t help.

Manfred Goldberg holds a picture of his brother, who was murdered by the Nazis (Credit: Richard Ansett Minnow Films BBC)

Ivor’s daughter explains how she felt she could not approach her father when she was upset, because of his childhood.

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, 93, only escaped the gas chamber because she was a cellist and was enlisted to play in the camp orchestra. She is hardened by her experiences in the camps, uncommonly strong. But this has impacted on her relationship with her child, Maya, who she named “after my beloved elder sister. I wanted to recreate a family.”

Anita admitted she did not understand how to make her child happy, could not relate to the trauma felt by Maya and other children of survivors. Maya had parents and a roof over her head, so she “should be grateful.” She too found it problematic talking about what had happened in those dark days. When do you tell children why they have no grandparents, she wondered?

Maya felt “there was something wrong with me.”

We see Anita at the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin. For the “neo-Nazis this is a complete eyesore”, she says. We see her addressing the Bundestag (German parliament) in Berlin at the annual Holocaust memorial Commemoration. The fascist Alternative for Germany (AfD) now sits in the Bundestag as the official opposition. Last month, an AfD deputy denounced the Holocaust Commemoration in parliament—the third attempt this year to besmirch the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Manfred Goldberg, 87, struggled all his life to come to terms with the death of his little brother, Hermann, in the camps. He has a painting of Hermann—he paid an artist in English cigarettes to capture his likeness from a photograph. He gave it to his mother on her first birthday after they were liberated.

Finally, after 72 years, he is able to return to his hometown Kassel to place a memorial plaque to his family. Deeply moved, he says his loss has “now been publicly and officially, incontrovertibly and indisputably confirmed,” but questions how many people will stop and truly look.

Lydia Tischler recounts how she used to fantasise that her mother had survived. She was not unique in this. She wrote a short poem when “at a low point”:

Mummy, who held your hand when you were dying? Who closed your eyes when you were dead?

Frank Bright, who now lives in leafy Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, was a child inmate in Belsen. He has an old class photograph, and on each pupil is placed either a red or blue sticker. “It’s red for dead,” he tells the camera.

Frank Bright 1942 Prague school photo - those marked red died

We follow his finger on a spreadsheet where he has recorded the fate of all his classmates who died in the camps—“otherwise like all the rest they disappear into oblivion.”

Frank describes his world after liberation. “There was no home, no class mates, all was gone. I was completely on my own.”

Frank Bright

At 79, Maurice Blick attends the launch of an exhibition of his sculptures. His wife tells us that the models’ faces all portray his father, who died in Auschwitz. He has peopled his spacious garden with these larger than life statues, rough-hewn yet with grace and beauty. He says he “feels the need to bring his father back to life,” to give life to the mountain of corpses his young eyes bore witness to.

Maurice says creating does not come easily, describing his first effort—the little model he made for his sister for her first birthday in the camp. “I’d found a carrot, a bit bent. I made it into a boat, I put sticks in for masts. I was 5 and a half. I couldn’t give her this.” One morning, before her birthday, she was found dead. His older sister just placed her outside on the heap of other corpses who had passed away in the night. His work has “always been a struggle, never a lovely experience, always a torment.”

Painter Sam Dresner, who lives in Harrow, London, says he realised a year or two ago that his “hang-ups from the days in the camp seem to be getting stronger.” His mother and sister were sent to the extermination camp Treblinka, in occupied Poland, where they were gassed.

We see a beautiful acrylic sketch from memory of his mother. She looks very sad. But he cannot picture his sister and he has no photograph of her. This frustrates him. He has made an abstract collage in memory of her.

Another “obsession” he has is with forests, which he recreates on canvass. “The bigger, the darker the forest the better, for smaller exterminations like 500,” he recalls. The sick were disposed of there—“some were still alive when buried.”

Sam is consumed with anger, he has “dreams of revenge.”

Despite experiencing unimaginable horrors, every one of the survivors featured in the film are remarkable. The sorrow that they carry with them still has not given way to despair. They are, however, as bewildered today as they were so many years ago as children as to why this happened to them.

Manfred considers “those events we went through, which we cannot comprehend.”

Zigi Shipper worries about the future. “Europe, America, the Middle East, things are brewing everywhere. We could live in peace and we don’t even attempt to.”

Anita asks herself, “Who can make sense of it? There is no sense in anything that happened. We’re really talking about a 1,000-year-old virus called anti-Semitism.”

The heart-rending testimony of the last survivors underscores the monumental scale of the crimes committed by the Nazis and the fact that there is still much confusion about fascism and its rise to power. A powerful milestone in understanding these critical events from the 20th century was the publication last October by Mehring-Verlag (Mehring Books) of an examination of the current day resurgence of fascism in Germany. Why Are They Back? Historical Falsification, Political Conspiracy and the Return Of Fascism in Germany is authored by Christoph Vandreier, the deputy-chairperson of the Socialist Equality Party (Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei–SGP).

The English edition of the volume will be launched on March 17 at Foyle’s bookshop in London. Vandreier and David North, the national chairperson of the Socialist Equality Party in the US and chair of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, will speak at the event.

This vital publication will provide an important weapon in arming the working class against the return of fascism and war, so that future generations do not have to go through the agonies related by the survivors in Arthur Cary’s remarkable film.

The Last Survivors can be accessed on BBC iPlayer until February 26.

United States Southern Baptist church sexual abuse

This 10 December 2018 CBS TV video from the USA says about itself:

Investigation uncovers hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse in fundamental Baptist churches

A new investigation by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram uncovered hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse against those in the Independent Fundamental Baptist church. Sarah Smith, an investigative reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, joins CBSN to discuss the paper’s findings.

Now, about a bigger Baptist denomination: the Southern Baptist Convention. Founded in 1845 by supporters of slavery in the southern states of the USA who did not like northern Baptists criticizing slavery. With still quite some misogyny and Donald Trump support within this conservative church.

This 11 December 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Houston Chronicle‘s Abuse of Faith: ‘The destruction of innocence’ …

Convicted church leaders describe sexual abuse within Southern Baptist churches. Read ‘Abuse of Faith’, our exclusive investigative series.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Systematic abuse revealed in largest Protestant church in the USA

The management of the Southern Baptist Convention in the United States has promised reforms after revelations about widespread sexual abuse within the Protestant denomination.

The Southern Baptist Convention, with more than 15 million members, is the second largest denomination in the US. The newspapers The Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News revealed Sunday that since 1998 more than 380 clergy and volunteers have been accused of abuse.

More than 200 convicted

They are said to have made more than 700 victims, including young children. The victims say that within the church they were not listened to and that the complaints were covered up.

Among the perpetrators are preachers, volunteers, deacons and teachers of Sunday schools. Of the accused, 220 people have been convicted and ninety people are still in prison.

Only now, however, by examining the two newspapers, it only becomes clear how big the scandal is. The journalists collected the data using national and local databases.

Independent churches

The Southern Baptist Convention consists of approximately 47,000 independent churches across the USA. They are free to decide who to appoint. But that the churches are independent does not mean that they do not have to take responsibility, says a leader of the organisation on his own website.

Another cleric says that the leadership should have listened to the warnings about the abuse

Abuse in Roman Catholic Church

At the beginning of this month, the Roman Catholic Church in the state of Texas was also in the news because of a major abuse scandal. The church leadership released the names of 286 clergymen who had sexually abused children.

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest denomination in the United States and has been under fire for abuse.

‘Saudi government sabotages Khashoggi murder inquest’

This 28 January 2019 video says about itself:

What can investigation into Khashoggi’s murder achieve? Inside Story

Jamal Khashoggi was a critic of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The journalist was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul almost four months ago. But his body or remains have never been recovered, and the murder case remains unresolved.

Turkey’s not satisfied by the Saudis own investigations and wants a full international inquiry.

What it’s got is an independent investigation led by the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions. Agnes Callamard and her team are in Turkey for a week-long mission. She also wants to visit Saudi Arabia. But will this independent international inquiry make any difference anyway?

Can Saudi Arabia be held to account?

Presenter: Richelle Carey

Guests: Sultan Barakat, Director For Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute
Carl Buckley, Barrister at Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Criticism by United Nations on Saudi sabotage of Khashoggi inquiry

The UN accuses Saudi Arabia of having seriously obstructed the investigation into the murder of the Saudi journalist Khashoggi. UN rapporteur Callamard expressed her criticism of the Saudi authorities after a visit to Turkey, the country where the murder last year was committed.

She described the death of the Saudi as a cruel, planned murder, conceived and executed by Saudi officials. Callamard will publish a report about the murder, which caused great indignation internationally, in June.

Jamal Khashoggi wrote columns for The Washington Post, in which he criticized the powerful Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. He disappeared after a visit on 2 October last year to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Soon it became clear that he was killed in that building, after which his body was smuggled away in parts.

Saudi Arabia has only admitted after a long time that the journalist was killed in the consulate. Khashoggi’s body is still missing.

‘Too little time’

According to Callamard, after the disappearance of Khashoggi, Turkish investigators were given “woefully little time and limited access” to the consulate where the crime was committed, not enough to do proper research. The UN rapporteur also wanted to visit the consulate herself, but was not admitted.

In the week that Callamard spent in Turkey she also listened to a “terrifying and horrific” sound recording of the execution of Khashoggi, which is in the hands of the Turkish secret service.

The UN rapporteur also said that she was concerned about the fate of the eleven people who are jailed in Saudi Arabia in connection with this case.

These are the eleven scapegoats to take attention away from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. They are scapegoats now, not because of participation in murder, but because they did a poor job of covering up the murder.

The death penalty has been demanded against them. Callamard has asked Riyadh if she can visit the eleven people, but so far without result.

SAUDI PRINCE THREATENED TO SHOOT KHASHOGGI Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017 told a top aide he would use “a bullet” on Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist killed in October, according to a report by The New York Times. [HuffPost]

TRUMP ALLY APOLOGIZES FOR KHASHOGGI COMMENTS Tom Barrack, Trump’s longtime confidant, issued an apology following backlash over comments he made a day earlier that appeared to defend Saudi Arabia’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. [HuffPost]

Priests’, bishops’ sexual abuse of nuns

This 2009 video from India says about itself:

Unholy secrets: A nun’s autobiography

Sister Jesme in Kerala has written a book to reveal the sexual abuse in the cloisters, of how she was abused by priests and even fellow sisters during her years in convent.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 5 February 2019:

Pope Francis is determined to end the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops. He said this on a question from a journalist during a flight from Abu Dhabi to Rome.

The reason for the question was an article in a monthly magazine of the Vatican about abuse of nuns within the Catholic Church. “It is true”, said the Pope. “There are priests and even bishops who have done this. I think it is still going on because something does not stop just because you have become aware of it.”

He pointed out that priests were suspended because of the abuse of nuns and that his predecessor Pope Benedict in 2005 disbanded a female monastic order because of sexual abuse and corruption. A spokesman for the Vatican told Reuters news agency that this was a French monastic order.

The French monastic order with abuse and corruption problems was the Contemplative Sisters of Saint John (the United States branch of that order, founded after its French origin, still exists). Nuns have accused clerics of sexual abuse in India, Africa, Latin America and in Italy: here.

Catholic nuns protest alleged rape by a bishop in the southern state of Kerala in India [File: AP]

This photo shows Roman Catholic nuns protesting alleged rape by a bishop in the southern state of Kerala in India.

Pope says priests’ abuse of nuns went as far as “sexual slavery“: here.

Pope admits clerical abuse of nuns including sexual slavery: here.

Clerical rape survivors speak

This February 2018 video says about itself:

Megan Peterson Goes Public About Being Raped By A Priest

Priest Jeyapaul‘s survivor Megan Peterson goes public and speaks to Real Women Real Stories: Church ignores crimes against children, or worse, hides them. Megan Peterson was assaulted by priest Joseph Jeyapaul when she was 14 years old. The Vatican and its lack of respect for victims of sexual abuse continues.

***IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The recent changes over at YouTube have pulled out the rug from under us and our channel has been hit the hardest. WE NEED YOU.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

“You do not know what happens to you.” The now 74-year-old Theo Bruyns was raped around the age of 12 in a seminary, an ecclesiastical school. He therefore filed a complaint against the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope last month.

“This has been going on for centuries“, says Bruyns in the De Dag podcast. “It is organized crime.” From the statement ‘Wir haben es nicht gewußt’ by Cardinal Simonis he also got the jitters. “Everyone has always known and the church gets away with it.”

News-hour reporter Marijn Duintjer Tebbens, who traveled with the Pope during the World Youth Days in Panama, thinks that Francis has underestimated the issue. “The will to tackle it is there, but it stumbles upon resistance within the walls of the Vatican.”

Trump, Turkey’s Erdogan attack International Criminal Court

This 29 January 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

A Top U.N. Judge Has Resigned Over ‘Shocking’ Interference From The White House And Turkey | TIME

A top judge in one of the United Nations’ international courts in The Hague has quit over what he termed “shocking” political interference from the White House and Turkey, the Guardian reports.

From in the USA:

Senior UN judge resigns citing ‘shocking’ interference from White House and Turkey

January 29, 2019 11:36:23 am

Patrick Eckerd

A senior judge at one of the UN courts in The Hague is reportedly resigning over “shocking” political interference from the White House and Turkey.

Christoph Flügge, a German judge, claims that the US had threatened other judges who took steps to investigate the conduct of US soldiers in Afghanistan. He also claims that Turkey had made “baseless” allegations about a Turkish judge, whose tenure at the UN ended after he was arrested and released.

The threats against Hague judges from the White House were made during a speech in September made by national security adviser John Bolton. According to Flügge, Bolton warned that if Hague judges “ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the US or investigate an American citizen,” these judges “would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States” and “would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted.”

The speech was given at a time when the UN court was planning to investigate American soldiers who had been accused of torturing people in Afghanistan. Flügge added that the statements made by Bolton were “consistent with the new American line: ‘We are No 1 and we stand above the law.”

In addition to the statements from the White House, Flügge cited interference from Turkey in the form of “baseless accusations” against Aydın Sefa Akay, a Turkish judge who sat on a UN court. Akay was arrested and subsequently released over alleged links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, who is alleged by Turkish president Erdogan to have been behind a failed coup attempt. This resulted in the UN secretary-general declining to extend Akay’s tenure as a judge.

Flügge told the German newspaper Die Zeit that the UN’s blind eye to Turkey’s interference had set a dangerous precedent, and that the statements from the White House highlighted the danger. He stated that he had concluded in the wake of these developments that the “diplomatic world” saw no value in an independent judiciary.