New Delhi, Sept 28(IEExpose) The Catholic Church adopts a 7-step methodology to cover up ‘sex crimes’. IndianExpose.com throws light on the globally-followed modus operandi to bury the truth of sexual abuse by the clergy.
In recent months the hidden ugly face of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church committed by the clergy representing the Christian faith has being exposed in most countries across the globe.
In India too, cases of sexual abuse by Bishops, priests and other members representing the clergy of the Christian faith have been on the rise. More importantly, rape survivors have started to fight back this vile crime.
A 44-year old Nun from the Missionaries of Jesus congregation was raped and sodomised, 13 times, by Bishop Franco Mulakkal between 2014 and 2016.
After 88 days of the victim filing a complaint, followed by protests from Christians demanding justice for the nun and arrest of the accused Bishop, social media and TV campaign #ArrestBishopFranco, Kerala Police took the Church leader into custody.
The nun took the matter up within the Catholic Church with even a letter to the Vatican Representative in India, but the Catholic Church preferred to be a mute spectator to the cries, mental agony and fear experienced by the rape survivor.
The reason for the silence and inaction of the Catholic Church in the Bishop Franco Mulakkal case is not one of surprise but a deliberate step-by-step action plan of the Christian institution around the world.
The Church officials actually follow a ‘playbook for concealing the truth’ – Pennsylvania Grand Jury stated after investigating 70 years of child sex abuse by more than 300 Catholic priests in six dioceses across the state.
The Pennsylvania Grand Jury report catalogs horrific instances of abuse: a priest who raped a young girl in the hospital after she had her tonsils out; a victim tied up and whipped with leather straps by a priest; and another priest who was allowed to stay in ministry after impregnating a young girl and arranging for her to have an abortion.
That Grand Jury noted that there was pattern to all the cover-ups in 70 years. The modus operandi of each of the cover-up of the sexual crime investigated by FBI appeared to be steps followed from an institutional guide.
Here are 7 Steps, the Grand Jury noted in its judgement:
- Make sure to use euphemisms rather than real words to describe sexual assault in diocese documents. Never say rape; say ‘inappropriate contact’ or ‘boundary issues’.
- Do not conduct genuine investigations with properly trained personnel. Instead, assign fellow clergy members to ask inadequate questions and then make ‘credibility’ determination about the colleagues with whom they live and work.
- For an appearance of integrity, send priests for ‘evaluation’ at Church-run psychiatric treatment centres. Allow these experts to diagnose whether the priest was a paedophile, based largely on the priest’s ‘self-reports’ and regardless of whether the priest had actually engaged in sexual contact with a survivor.
- When a priest does have to be removed, don’t say why. Tell his parishioners that he is on ‘sick leave,’ or suffering from ‘nervous exhaustion’. Or say nothing at all.
- Even if a priest is raping children, keep providing him housing and living expenses, although he may be using these resources to facilitate more sexual assaults.
- If a predator’s conduct becomes known to the community, don’t remove him from the priesthood to ensure that no more children will be victimised. Instead, transfer him to a new location where no one will know he is a child abuser.
- Finally, and above all, don’t tell the police. Sexual abuse, even short of actual penetration, is and has for all relevant times been a crime. But don’t treat it that way; handle it like a personnel matter, ‘in house’.
In response to the report made public by the Grand Jury, the Pennsylvania’s Catholic Bishops issued a statement to all the Churches calling for prayers for victims and the church. They promised more openness and said steps have been taken to make churches safer.
Does not the above statement of thePennsylvania’s Catholic Bishops sound familiar?
Now, let’s analyse the above seven-steps and see the pattern to the ‘sexual crime cover-up’ adopted by the Catholic Church in India, when the 44-yr old Nun approached the institution with her complaint of being repeatedly raped and sodomised by Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Archdiocese of Jalandhar.
- The Catholic Church never entertained her repeated complaints of sexual abuse. She even wrote to the Apostolic Nuncio in India in May 2018 but the Vatican representative did not act on her complaint.
- The accused Bishop Franco embarked on a smear campaign attempting to destroy the credibility of the victim, even using other Church institutions such as the Missionaries of Jesus congregation’s mother superior to question the integrity of the victim. They focused the media attention on three points. First, why file the complaint after four-years?. Second, nun was having an affair with another man and Bishop caught her, therefore she is putting false allegations on the Bishop. Third, sprung up allegations that the nun is blackmailing the Bishop for money.
- The accused Bishop used Church representatives to bribe the victim and her family with Rs 5 crores and 10 acres of land, which was caught on tape. The person sent to bribe the nun’s family was a Priest.
- The accused Bishop used a police officer in the Jalandhar Police to intimidate the victim and file false complaints
- The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India told media that the Church cannot intervene in the matter as the Nun filed a police complaint and did not come to Church first. Hence, the Church cannot take any action against the Bishop. The truth however is that the nun approached the Church first.
- The accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal wrote to the Vatican asking to be relieved of his pastoral duties, Vatican obliged the Bishop but did not oblige when the nun complained about her sexual abuse. They have temporarily relieved from his pastoral duties but have not defrocked him.
- The Vatican told media that it would set-up a one-member panel to investigate the allegations against the Bishop.
The Catholic Church with each passing day is being exposed for being a cesspool of sexual abuse. The cases coming out in India is just the tip of the iceberg to filth that exists within.
Let me remind you that the Catholic Church in India has so far not condemned the act of rape and sodomy of the Bishop. It has only asked for prayers in this ‘sad moment’ for the victim, the victimiser, supporters of the victimiser and the entire Catholic Church in India.