From the front page of the Los Angeles Times, a horrific story and in-depth investigation of the sexual abuse of two entire villages of children at the hands of a “volunteer” Catholic missionary.
Since , 85 Alaska natives from 13 villages have filed claims against the church for alleged abuse by six priests and two lay missionaries from 1956 to 1988.
The flood of allegations has led to speculation that the Eskimo settlements were a “dumping ground” for abusive priests and lay workers affiliated with the Jesuit order, which supplied priests and bishops to the Fairbanks diocese.
The reaction from Church authorities:
Officials of the Diocese of Fairbanks and the Jesuits’ Oregon Province ‘” the two defendants in the Lundowski suits ‘” have asked a Superior Court judge to throw out the claims.
In legal papers, they argue that the statute of limitations on the allegations has run out, and that Lundowski was an unauthorized volunteer not under the supervision of the diocese or the Jesuits.
None of the missionary’s 28 accusers in St. Michael and Stebbins ‘” nor the dozen who have filed suit from other villages in which Lundowski previously served ‘” has received a settlement offer.
I hope the story makes its way to the desk of Benedict.