Mission sex': Haitians turning blind eye to abuse by humanitarian aid
workers By Don Lajoie,
Star | December 14, 2009
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — He was 16, and like most Haitian teens,
surviving on street smarts.
One day, he accepted a job helping a
humanitarian aid worker carry supplies to his home.
“After I finished he asked me to come back for a talk,”
recalled the man, now 23, speaking Creole through an interpreter.
The aid worker offered him money for sex, the man alleges, and a relationship
“It was to pay for school for me. That was the main reason. If
you do it for me I pay for school.”
When his family found out, they were furious at their son and his sex-for-pay
partner. But they were reluctant to walk away from a precious income
stream. Unemployment exceeds 75 per cent in his tiny village.
“They wanted me to stop. But they
felt, if I stop, the money would be cut off.”
Hanging his head and kneading his brow, the slightly built young man,
now a father himself, and a second alleged victim, now 19, recalled
their relationships with the Canadian aid worker in interviews arranged
by their town elders. Caribbean cultures, heavily influenced by the
Roman Catholic Church, frown upon homosexuality, and one of the men
said he was shunned.
“A lot of people knew,” said the 23-year-old. “People
were really mad, but they were afraid money would be cut off. . . .
I’m not alone because other people were abused that way,”
Mission sex — it’s Haiti’s dirty little secret.
The western world’s poorest country is, according to one aid worker,
a “perfect storm” of socio-economic conditions for abuse
by visiting humanitarians. It’s tropical temperatures and breathtaking
natural beauty are easily, and cheaply, accessible from North America.
Heavily dependent on foreign aid and with virtually no regulation of
its schools and orphanages, Haiti’s justice system is ill-equipped
to deal with a rising tide of sex tourism.
Peacekeeping troops, aid workers, non-governmental organization employees,
priests and missionaries engage
in sexual exploitation with arrogant impunity, according to Save the
Children, the world’s largest children’s rights organization.
And, sadly, they say, when dollars are dangled as bait, many Haitians
will turn a blind eye.
“All those who come here know this is a very poor country, that
there are few opportunities for youth,” said Margarett Lubin,
Save the Children’s local child protection manager. “When
financial opportunities are offered, the children enter relationships.
. . . Do their communities see it as exploitation or do they see it
Haiti has neither adequate sex-offender laws nor the police to enforce
Andrew Thomson, Haiti campaign manager for Amnesty International Canada,
said the problem is probably much larger than official data suggest
because Haiti creates a “perfect storm” for such crimes
“There’s a level of impunity in Haiti because of its largely
dysfunctional justice system,” he said. “The victims do
not have access to the courts and the police are woefully under-resourced.
. . . Though many of them are committed you’re also dealing with
rogue lawyers, judges and police. The international community is trying
to strengthen the justice system but corruption is widespread.”
An estimated three million Haitian children live in vulnerable and impoverished
conditions, and the UN says 47 per cent of sexual assaults reported
in Haiti involve minors. Yet the Haitian National Police’s child-protection
brigade is understaffed. Its $20,000 US annual budget is enough to conduct
four to six investigations, said Commissioner Renel Costume.
The unit requires 10 times the 75 officers it now deploys across the
country, Costume said.
While Save the Children is quick to point out that humanitarian workers
engaging in sexual exploitation are in the minority, a May 2008 study
commissioned by the organization showed such abuse is vastly under-reported.
The authors interviewed children in shelters across the country, and
their stories were harrowing.
A young street girl was paid $1 and then violently raped by a man working
for an NG0. “He gave her one American dollar and the little girl
was happy to see the money,” a witness said. “It was two
in the morning. The man took her and raped her. In the morning the little
girl could not walk.”
Asked by researchers why abuse is not reported to authorities representing
the aid organizations, orphanages or missions, one Haitian girl said:
“The people who are raping us and the people in the office are
the same people.”
In interviews arranged by Save the Children, five Port-au-Prince prostitutes
nodded in agreement, while a sixth told of abuse at the hands of United
Jean-Marie Roger, project co-ordinator for Save the Children in Port-au-Prince,
said prostitutes tell him that much of the abuse from customers comes
from UN troops, “because they have the means to force them.”
He acknowledged the woman was a prostitute, an orphan who had been on
the streets for more than 10 years, and unlikely to garner the same
sympathy as an abused child.
“The very poor will accept,” said Albert Meme, a village
elder in the fishing community of Labadie. “They need money to
survive. . . . But when I was 15 things like that did not happen in
the village. It did not happen 10 years before. Now it has changed.”
© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
Sex tourism: Are our hands
clean? Don Lajoie | The
Windsor Star, December 15, 2009
Stricken with malaria and surrounded by violence, Armand Huard barely
got out of Haiti alive.
But the Quebec humanitarian was determined to return to the orphanage
where he volunteered in Les Cayes, 200 kilometres from the capital Port-au-Prince,
telling Radio-Canada in 2004, "Haiti for me is almost like my country."
His 12 years of good deeds with impoverished kids prompted Association
Grandir, the humanitarian group to which he was aligned, to dub him
"a true Father Teresa."
"You have to see him among the people, eating and sleeping as they
do, to understand that a commitment like his is a rare thing,"
Grandir said on its website.
Five years later, Father Teresa is a Quebec prison inmate. Huard, 65,
was sentenced to three years for sexually assaulting young Haitian boys
while a second Canadian, Denis Rochefort, 59, received two years.
A dozen young Haitians had complained to the local police that Huard
and Rochefort molested them while working in the Les Cayes orphanage
between December 2006 and March 2007.
When no action was taken, Haitian police officers who were not satisfied
with the investigation shared their frustration with Canadian counterparts
on a mission in Haiti. The Quebec provincial police launched its own
probe, sending an investigator to interview the children, and the pair
was arrested in February 2008.
Huard pleaded guilty on the day his eight victims -- boys between 13
and 16 at the time of the incidents -- were to testify at his preliminary
hearing by video conference from the Canadian embassy in Port-au-Prince.
In sentencing the men, Justice Pierre Verdon called their acts "shameful"
for abusing "the poorest and the most vulnerable."
The convictions of Huard and Rochefort, and the November arrest of former
Windsor priest Rev. John Duarte on charges he sexually assaulted underage
boys in Port-au-Prince and the fishing village of Labadie, have raised
questions about whether Canada is doing enough to thwart sex tourism
in its missions.
Speaking in Port-au-Prince to a Windsor Star team investigating humanitarian
misconduct, Jeanne Bernard Pierre, director general of Haiti's Institute
of Well-Being and Social Research, said Canada should perform background
checks on aid workers, soldiers and missionaries bound for her country.
"If a Haitian wants to immigrate to Canada, they have to go through
all sorts of background checks," Pierre said. "They're checked
for health, visas, criminal background. Whereas to come to Haiti things
are much more lax. It needs to be certified that a person is of good
moral character before they come."
Pierre, while lauding Canada for its assistance "in many fields,"
asked how Canadians would feel if the situation were reversed -- foreigners
abusing kids on Canadian soil. While minor hockey coaches and scout
leaders need police clearances in Canada, setting up an orphanage in
Haiti requires neither licence nor formal certification.
A leading Canadian child welfare advocate said the three arrests of
Canadians indicates our sex tourism laws may have gone beyond "window
David Butt, a onetime Toronto Crown prosecutor who is now secretary
of ECPAT International -- the largest international organization dedicated
to combating the sexual exploitation of children worldwide -- said the
Criminal Code provision, which has been on the books since 1997, has
proved to be "a very simple one to pass but difficult to put into
practice" because of high costs and complicated logistics.
"If you put a law in the books you have to commit to make it enforceable
or it's just window dressing at best, an illusion at worst," Butt
"That this proactive co-ordination between Canadian Investigators
and Haitian police appears to have paid dividends is good. We need to
see more of that."
Butt said one of the major roadblocks to applying the Canadian law is
police enforcement in the country where the offences are alleged. Many
developing nations have relatively small, under-equipped police departments
with "little capacity to investigate these kinds of offences."
"They have the talent to do the job," said Gilles Savard,
a former Quebec police detective who specialized in child abuse cases
in Canada for 10 years and now working as a consultant for UNICEF in
Haiti on child protection issues. "I helped teach them how to organize
a sexual assault investigation and they were easily trained. There is
good potential for this unit. The police here are good and professional."
Ray Bonnell, former chief superintendent of the RCMP and currently in
charge of international relations and special initiatives for the department's
National Child Exploitation Co-ordination Centre in Ottawa, said that
to work effectively, Canada's extraterritorial laws require a high level
of co-operation with international police agencies.
He said that while sex tourist cases are a priority, there are limits
to what can be accomplished.
"Extraterritorial investigations are complex and costly,"
he said. "But the government is under pressure ... because the
crime is so repugnant to people. Proceeding at all comes down to the
chances of a successful prosecution."
He would not speak specifically about cases before the courts or the
costs of investigations, explaining the price can vary depending on
such factors as location and complexity. There's also the possible necessity
of transporting witnesses to Canada, the hiring of interpreters and
the expenses of videotaping interviews.
However, he said, the 45-member staff of the centre acts on all complaints
and receives "dozens" each year.
"We validate all the information and take a good look to ensure
we have a strong case before committing to the cost."
Butt, who as a lawyer gained expertise prosecuting a number of cases
involving sex crimes against children and internet child pornography,
said Canada, as one of leading exporting nations of sex tourists, has
an obligation to pursue such cases.
While figures on Canadian sex predators are scarce in a country like
Haiti, one study showed that Canada ranked second to the United States
in the numbers of travellers seeking sex in Costa Rica.
A second study, by B.C. law professor Benjamin Perrin, showed 146 Canadians
were charged with child sex offences overseas from 1993-2007, based
on requests for consular support. Many more Canadians likely bribed
their way out of being charged, reported Perrin, who obtained his data
through the Access to Information Act from the Department of Justice.
A report by the U.S. State Department, in its Diplomacy in Action publication,
shows that, since 1997, 110 formal charges have been filed against Canadians
suspected of sexually exploiting children in foreign countries.
"This not a mysterious or unknown social problem," said Butt.
"It's a well-known phenomenon that people travel to other countries
to misbehave. Talk to the people in so-called receiving countries. They'll
tell you who the major sending countries are."
He said offences where a sexual predator "infiltrates" humanitarian
organizations is "particularly reprehensible" because the
imbalance of power creates the conditions for abuse.
"Not only do they want access to children," he said. "They
want access to vulnerable children.... This field gives them access
to areas where those children are. You can groom the child, you can
groom the family, you can groom the entire village. It's all about abuse
of power, gain trust and credibility ... become a parent's best friend."
Butt said the stakes are high for Canada.
"We've got to stop the exportation of criminal activity,"
he said. "It's bad for Canada to be perceived as a source of sexual
Rosalind Prober, founder of Beyond Borders, a Canadian organization
dedicated to ending child sex exploitation worldwide, said sex tourism
is "ridiculously common" in the least developed nations like
"We're dealing with the most powerless people in the world,"
she said. "Families are desperate to move their children to a better
life.... These people (the exploiters) can bring a lot of beautiful
things for their children and they will do a lot of good (in order)
to do evil.... In the mind of the victim they might think 'this person
is my friend, they liked me and gave me so much ...,' Imagine the rage
and guilt they must feel."
SEX TOURISM AND THE LAW
Section 7, subsection 4.1 of the Criminal Code allows for a Canadian
citizen to be prosecuted for offences that, committed outside Canada,
would result in criminal charges had they occurred in Canadian territory.
Anyone found guilty faces a maximum of 14 years in prison.
Since 1997, three Canadians have been convicted of sex crimes against
children in other countries.
By comparison, the U.S. saw 67 arrests, resulting in 47 convictions,
between 2003 and 2008; and Australia, 19 convictions from 1995 to 2007
stemming from 158 investigations.
Both the U.S. Court of Appeal and the Australian High Court have upheld
the validity of their countries' laws. Some 44 countries have them.
Canada's provision was tested in British Columbia in 2008.
A Burnaby man facing 35 charges related to alleged abuses in Colombia,
Cambodia and the Philippines challenged the charges because the alleged
offences occurred outside Canada.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice A.F. Cullen upheld the validity of the charges
and the case remains before the courts.
The Criminal Code was amended following a 1996 world congress into child
sexual exploitation in Stockholm, Sweden.
© The Windsor Star 2009
turmoil illustrates the heartache, risk faced by good Samaritans
Don Lajoie | The
Windsor Star, December 16, 2009
McDougall, right, a board member with Hearts Together for Haiti,
tries to enter the charity's compound Nov. 29 which fellow Hearts
Together for Haiti member Al Quesnel has assumed control of since
John Duarte left. After a few tense memoents and some netotiations,
McDougall and The Star's Don Lajoie and Rob Gurdebeke were allowed
in. The Hearts Toether for Haiti group and Quesnel are in litigation
over control of the Labadie facility.
by: Rob Gurdebeke, The Windsor Star
LABADIE, HAITI — It was Marcie
and Keith Spratt's darkest hour.
An anonymous e-mail from a far-away fishing village alleged their charity's
good name was being "put through garbage" by sexual misconduct.
Using dollars raised by their charity, Hearts Together For Haiti, a
missionary in Labadie was paying school-age children for sex, the writer
alleged. He threatened to go to the media if the charity didn't act.
The message to the charity's board members in Windsor, Ont., where the
respected eight-year-old organization is based, set off a chain reaction
of firings, criminal charges, lawsuits and acrimony that continues three
The case illustrates the heartache — and risk — faced by
good Samaritans who raise money for causes a world away, then take a
leap of faith that it's properly spent.
For the Spratts, trouble started when the e-mail arrived in the summer
A day later, the charity held an emergency meeting and as soon as travel
could be arranged, dispatched envoys to Haiti to fetch home Hearts Together
For Haiti's founder and leader, Rev. John Duarte.
At a board meeting in Windsor, said Spratt, Duarte tendered his resignation,
said he was sorry, but admitted nothing and denied nothing.
Through his lawyer Andrew Bradie, Duarte, who is charged with nine counts
of sexually assaulting teenage boys in Port-au-Prince and Labadie, declined
an interview request.
Keith Spratt, who along with his wife helped run the charity's sponsorship
programs, recalled: "We were doing a lot of soul searching. We
talked to three priests . . . We talked to the Diocese (of London) to
see if we did the right thing . .. All of them said to go to the police."
Steve McDougall, Hearts Together For Haiti chairman, said his group
had no choice but to act even though Duarte had worked wonders in the
"I'm not going to change history, I was a good and dear friend
of his," said McDougall. "I had tremendous respect for him.
He was like a younger brother . . . But we had a serious allegation
we couldn't ignore and, friend or no friend, we had to look into it."
Hearts Together For Haiti, which operated a school, health clinic, a
home for abandoned girls rescued from domestic slavery and sponsorship
programs for hundreds of children, families and the elderly, has been
in turmoil since.
Deborah Smart, whose family sponsors nine children at $600 a year each
— from infants to 13 year olds — in Labadie and a second
village supported by the charity in nearby Bord-de-Mer-Limbe, said she
was "very upset."
Her now deceased husband, George, a former air force pilot, was the
first to get involved in the cause and embraced it with great passion.
She has supported the charity in his memory, using the proceeds of the
sale of George's sail boat to finance a clinic in Bord-de-Mer-Limbe.
"If my husband knew what was happening, it would have killed him
before he did die," she said.
The stakes for charity groups such as Hearts Together For Haiti are
Under the Canada Corporations Act, directors of incorporated non-profit
organizations can be held personally liable if they breach their legal
duties. Many charity groups have enacted governance safeguards, including
training, for their board members.
The 2006 misconduct allegations propelled Hearts Together For Haiti
leadership into a legal dispute with its chief contributor, Amherstburg,
Ont., fitness club owner Al Quesnel, whose $100,000 donations funded
the construction of schools in Labadie and Bord-de-Mer-Limbe.
Hearts Together For Haiti's McDougall said that after Duarte's resignation,
the charity was in a quandary about how to continue its missions. The
organization initially felt a clean slate might be necessary —
that Duarte's assistant, a Brazilian national named Josanias "Jo"
Barbosa, should be dismissed "for the optics."
Barbosa has told The Star he had a relationship with the priest while
living with him.
Citing his administrative skills and grasp of the local language, McDougall
said, the board decided to retain Barbosa, who had married and fathered
Quesnel disagreed, demanding Barbosa's removal.
A struggle for control would result, in December 2008, in an incident
Quesnel, who was there, said a group of villagers "spontaneously"
rose up and forced Barbosa from the Hearts Together For Haiti house.
Barbosa said he had to flee under threats of violence, leaving behind
his family's belongings.
In a lawsuit filed in Ontario Superior Court, the Hearts Together For
Haiti leadership claims Quesnel instigated the uprising to get rid of
Barbosa and take over the mission.
Their statement of claim, which contains allegations not yet proven
in court, says Quesnel "conspired to wrongfully interfere with,
terminate, misappropriate (Hearts Together For Haiti) charitable objects
While Quesnel continues operations in Labadie and Bord-de-Mer-Limbe,
McDougall, the Spratts and other Hearts Together For Haiti leaders moved
off to the fly-speck village of Deppe, near the Dominican Republic border,
where they established a modest school.
Marcie Spratt said Barbosa "has paid dearly" for the animosity
between the two factions, and was subjected to threats and intimidation.
According to Quesnel, who disputes the allegations, the charity "abandoned"
the village, leaving him to run its operations with his own money, amounting
to $30,000 a month for the schools and sponsorship programs.
"I didn't want to take over a charity, I've got a business to run,"
Later in an interview , Quesnel indicated he might be willing to "put
our differences aside and I'll support the cause."
But hope for reconciliation seemingly died when McDougall visited Labadie
in November, accompanied by two journalists.
Although he was initially greeted by several applauding villagers on
the dock, a meeting with Quesnel at the former Hearts Together For Haiti
compound quickly deteriorated, with an angry jostling crowd materializing
and shouting "Aba Jo" ("Down with Jo.")
© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
Beloved missionary built aid dynasty Don Lajoie |
Windsor Star, December 16, 2009
There was something messianic in the man, arms raised, straddling the
bow of a boat in the Caribbean sea off Haiti's north coast.
The weathered water taxi, loaded to the gunnels with medical supplies,
building tools, aid volunteers from Canada and locals bound for Labadie,
a tiny fishing village, was rocking back and forth.
Night had fallen and bonfires illuminated the shoreline as the craft
Perching himself on the bow and raising his arms, the young Canadian
priest launched into a Haitian gospel song, loud enough for those on
shore to hear.
"Balansay, balansay pou Jesi."
"Dance for Jesus."
The Canadians were both delighted and frightened.
"Oh my God, he'll fall," said one. "Father ... get down."
A woman sitting near the stern said: "They say God looks after
fools and saints. If that's true, Father John is covered on both counts."
Stamping his sandled feet into the blistered wooden deck, the boat rocking
violently, his silhouette backlit by the bonfires, the priest cried
"Aba Satan! Aba Satan!"
"Down with Satan!"
It was spring 2001, and Rev. John Duarte was becoming a humanitarian
- - -
Eight years later, whether God, or anyone, can stop Duarte's fall, a
Canadian court must decide.
The former Windsor priest awaits trial on nine counts of sexual exploitation
of teenage boys in Port-au-Prince and at the missions he founded in
Labadie between 1995 and 2006. In October he was returned to Canada
by police escort, to face charges under a seldom used sex-tourism provision
of the Criminal Code.
Allegations that Duarte used funds raised for his charity to bait underage
sex partners sent shock waves through the Canadian humanitarian community,
which for decades has made Haiti a favourite target for aid.
"It was pretty devastating to see those stories after having been
there," said Dr. Andrea Steen, a Windsor physician who sponsored
a Haitian boy and girl through the Hearts Together For Haiti mission
"He was so charismatic... one of those people you meet once and
know you'll remember the rest of your life."
Once touted for the Order of Canada, Duarte, 43, was a courageous advocate
who stood up to rebel armies as the government of former Haitian president
Jean Bertrand Aristide collapsed in 2004.
Duarte was a tireless worker for the western world's poorest populace,
up before the sun most days and multi-tasking long after night had fallen.
He once performed emergency surgery on a wounded woman in the most dangerous
slums of Haiti.
In Labadie, he was priest, cop, doctor, educator, undertaker, social
worker and political leader.
With his booming laugh and gregarious personality, spiced by a voodoo
tattoo and close-cropped hair dyed a brassy blond, the non-conformist
priest came to personify the Windsor-based charity. His dream would
grow to include two primary schools, daily food programs for hundreds
of students, a health clinic, an arts and trades co-operative and family
sponsorships for children and the elderly. His initiatives were lifting
Labadie, and the nearby village of Bas-de-Mer-Limbe, out of misery.
At its peak, Hearts Together For Haiti pumped more than $200,000 a year
into its programs here, backed by supporters from across North America.
"It was happy time when John was in Labadie," said Itien Desir,
a Labadie elder. "He did a lot. He was most powerful in the village."
Calling Duarte "gifted like I have never seen in any other human
being," Windsor teacher Jeanelle Spratt was so inspired she founded
a home in Labadie for girls sold by their families into domestic slavery.
Duarte helped her rescue the girls, known as restaveks, in the slums
of nearby Cap Haitien.
Ordained by the Roman Catholic church in 1996, it was as a seminarian
in his 20s that Duarte began missioning here. In Haiti's most notorious
slum, Cite Soleil, established by former dictator Francois "Papa
Doc" Duvalier to rid the teeming capital -- Port-au-Prince -- of
beggars, he heeded his calling in a setting of absolute misery.
Cite Soleil, where it's estimated more than 400,000 people are packed
into cinderblock hovels, rusty tin sheds and old shipping crates, was
built on a waterfront flood plain. With each heavy rain, homes flooded
with water, mixed with excrement from swollen, open sewage canals and
rotting garbage from trash heaps 15 feet high. Like everyone else when
it flooded, Duarte slept standing up, leaning on the wall, knee high
in filthy water.
This was where Duarte said he "first met hope," living with
a woman and her five grandchildren in a rusted one-room, corrugated
sheet-metal shed. The young seminarian considered remaining in Haiti
to minister. But the woman convinced him to return to Canada to tell
"I was confused and didn't know whether I should stay and work
there or come back to Canada," Duarte told The Star in an interview
in 2000. "This grandmother said, 'Go back. you can do better work
there. God wants you to share what you see.' That's my mission."
It was back home in Essex County where the idea for the mission he would
found, Hearts Together For Haiti, would germinate. By then Duarte had
been ordained and his assignments from the Roman Catholic diocese of
London would post him to Leamington, Kingsville, St. Clair Beach and
Over that seven-year period, Duarte moulded Hearts Together For Haiti
into a mission unlike any other. It would involve more than a few talks
or slide shows in sparsely attended church basements followed by a collection.
First, Duarte chose the site: the fishing village of Labadie. Its candy-coloured
huts nestled beneath towering, forested mountains along the northern
seashore made for a false paradise. There was little work beyond subsistence
fishing and HIV-AIDS was common. The naked children showed tell-tale
signs of malnutrition: orange hair and distended bellies. What schooling
existed was conducted outdoors.
He reasoned that rural communities must become self-sustaining to keep
the poor from migrating to Haiti's overcrowded, polluted and disease-
ridden cities where, for the vast majority in a country with an unemployment
rate over 60 per cent, only abject poverty awaited.
The next move was to encourage involvement from Canada. Duarte formulated
the idea of "exposure tours." He would bring dozens of volunteers
at a time to experience Haiti, in all its panoramic beauty and despair.
The experience would change their lives. Many became disciples, spreading
the word, showing their photos, encouraging others to get involved.
It was on these tours the priest's legend began to grow.
"I looked at him like a hero," said Keith Spratt, who went
on the 2001 tour and who would later take a position on the charity's
board of directors. "He did so many amazing things."
Days after arriving in Port-au-Prince, Spratt and a team of 18 volunteers
accompanied Duarte to Cite Soleil. They encountered a woman, blood streaming
from a jagged wound on her head from a domestic assault. Duarte rushed
her to the nearby Brothers of Charity Hospital. But there was no doctor
The priest mobilized the volunteers and set up his own treatment centre.
He stood under the blistering sun cleaning and stitching the wound,
prompting others seeking medical attention to line up.
"He went into that Brothers hospital in Cite Soleil and before
we left he had the sick and dying people singing," recalled Spratt.
Later that week, in Labadie, after the Canadians spent a gruelling day
hauling cinderblocks by hand, digging a foundation and clearing rocks
with makeshift tools at the site where the first HTFH school would be
built, Duarte showed his inspirational power again. It was late afternoon
and the Canadians were dead tired. They dragged themselves to the beach,
where a town hall meeting was underway.
It was apparent the school was on the agenda. Duarte took to the floor,
like a cheerleader at a pep rally. "Who believes the school is
important?" he asked, as he whipped the crowd into a frenzy. "Who
believes in an education for their children? Who will help build?"
A roar of approval went up and Duarte seized the moment.
"Let's start tonight," he shouted, pointing to the blocks
stacked at the dock. "Everyone, take a block, bring it to the school."
Instantly, the entire town was mobilized. Men, women and children, some
too young to attend school, rushed the bricks and carted them to the
worksite half a kilometre away. Along the paths that snaked through
the village, the builders sang and drummed as daylight faded. The Canadians
So it continued on every "exposure trip," each group witnessing
the tragedy and the inspiration.
On one occasion, Duarte was called late at night, like the police, to
break up a violent domestic dispute, then stayed to counsel the couple.
He cared for those suffering from full-blown AIDS, careful to protect
their privacy in the village. During the February 2004 coup, Duarte
sheltered officials of the besieged government of former president Jean
Bertrand Aristide until they could be airlifted to safety.
The same spring, well after dark and still arranging sponsorships, the
priest's work was interrupted when villagers came to report that a child
had been hurt in a fire. He helped take the badly burned infant across
the mountain to hospital in Cap Haitian. The child died overnight and
Duarte brought the baby home, prepared the body and presided over her
"He cleaned up that little girl," recalled Spratt, shaking
"Got her ready for burial. He was the mortician, the priest and
The Canadians began to use words like "miracle" to describe
Duarte's deeds. But, amid all that lightness and good, shadows had already
begun to gather.
- - -
An Ontario Provincial Police investigation, launched following a complaint
by the charity group Hearts Together For Haiti, resulted in the Oct.
20 arrest of Duarte in the Dominican Republic.
Police returned him to Windsor, where he awaits trial on nine charges
of sexual exploitation involving boys age 12 to 17.
On Nov. 26, Duarte was denied bail by justice of the peace Elaine Babcock.
Haiti is the largest recipient of Canadian long-term aid in the Americas
and the second largest in the world after Afghanistan, according to
the Canadian International Development Agency.
From 2007 to 2008, Canadian disbursements to Haiti totalled $107.32
million and Canada has committed $555 million over the next five years
to a variety of projects focused on improved governance, better security
and a stronger justice system.
- - -
Collar of Impunity: Sexual abuse of Haiti children by Priests, Charity
Ezili Dantò/HLLN, Haitian
Perspectives, December 6, 2009
children survivors of Sexual abuse by Priests and Charity Workers
summary of this Ezili Dantò Note: Accused pedophiles,
Perlitz and Duarte remain in jail. But Haiti children who were victimized
need counseling, education, shelter, clean water, food, medical help
and the basics in life support, protection and nurturing. Please help
Ezili's HLLN raise the funds to provide this help. help..
In 60years Catholic priests systematically
raped 36,000 Irish children - if this level of sexual abuse is possible
in Catholic Ireland, imagine what perverted Catholic priests have
been doing in Haiti and Africa for centuries!
For 500 years the whites (settlers/colonists) have tried to erase
us. Today they want us to believe they're the only ones who can save
us" --- Edike
from Daniel 'Dadi' Beaubrun's Lataye
A recent report about sexual abuse of children maintains that for 60
years Catholic priests systematically raped 36,000
Irish children. In another recent related revelation the
headlines announced: "Abuse
claims against Jesuits reach 500." If this level
of sexual abuse is possible in Catholic Ireland or even in the United
States, imagine what totally unregulated, ex-patriot Catholic priests
have been doing in Haiti and Africa for centuries!
According to just this one small look at things in the US, more than
500 people have filed claims accusing Jesuits of sexually abusing children
across the Northwest (United States)...Among them were claims by 110
In Haiti, the issue of the Catholic's church, other religious orders
and charity workers' sexually abusing Haitian children has barely been
exposed. But it has gone on, with impunity, for centuries.
Ezili's HLLN is raising-public-awareness
on two current cases - accused pedophiles, Douglas Perlitz from the
United States and ex-priest John
Duarte from Canada. (See also,
Fr. Paul Carrier, S.J. Near The End Of The Line, Posted by
Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit blog. ) We've also written to the United Nations
about their soldiers' rape and sexual abuse of Haitian children and
people since their landing in Haiti in 2004. (See,
I am a the History of Rape: Letter to the UN asking for investigative
reports on UN rapes in Haiti and UN
Peacekeepers and Humanitarian Aid Workers raping, molesting and abusing
The bond issue has been dropped by the lawyers for accused pedophile
of Haiti children, defendant
Douglas Perlitz. Jury trial is set
for May 3, 2010 at 9:00 AM in Courtroom Two, 141 Church St., New Haven,
Connecticut before Judge Janet Bond Arterton. Trial schedules are fluid,
HLLN will let those interested in being in court know if
the trial date remains unchanged and when it would be advisable to come
to court in support of the Project Pierre Toussaint children from Haiti
who complain and accuse defendant Douglas Perlitz of rape, sexual abuse
and molestation. We take this opportunity to thank all of you who remain
vigilant and called to find out if the last court date was still going
forward. Ezili's HLLN will continue to follow this case and let everyone
know when there is further movement.
Ezili's HLLN urges Canadian residents in
Windsor and surrounding areas to help us bring to the courtroom, on John
Duarte's next substantive court hearing, supporters for the defenseless
Haitian children defendant John Duarte is accused of raping and sodimizing.
At this point, the accused Perltiz remains in jail pending trial and
that is good news for children everywhere. But the Haiti children who
were victimized need counseling, education, shelter, clean water, food,
medical help and the basics in life support, protection and nurturing.
Some have gone back to living in the streets and feel they've been punished
for coming forward with their stories of abuse. At the beginning of
the year, with the help, collaboration and advice of our Haitian collaborators
in Cap Haitian Haiti, Ezili's HLLN will push for a fund to get basic
housing, clean water, a tutor and an indigenous trauma counselor made
available for the children in need of such help suffering from the after-effects
of the Perlitz investigation. It has been clinically proven that many
predators were abused as children themselves and continue the trajectory
as adults. We would like to break that cycle for these children and
for Haiti's next generation of children who could suffer the after effects
of this Perlitz abuse. Help for the abused children will be feasible
only with your assistance. Please consider making a donation,
or booking an Ezili
Dantò presentation or speaking engagement to assist
HLLN in continuing this public-awareness-raising work and to help push
to set up a fund to help the Project Toussaint children of abuse. Our
interconnectedness is indisputable, so together we must rise to help
break the abuse cycle. Let's try to help these identifiable survivors
of sexual abuse.
Understand that the Catholic Church is very powerful colonizing factor
in Haiti, and foreign charity workers and NGOs in Haiti (over 10,000
strong in Haiti right now) have been using piety, religion, from all
the orders - Catholicism, Protestants, etc... - and the white hero archetypes
of colonial and popular culture and its inseparable but mostly unconscious
vampire shadow as a cover and opportunity to get away with all sorts
of crimes, fleece Haiti's poor, contain-it-in-poverty to perennially
assure themselves of do-gooder jobs and, as in the Perlitz and The
'Father Teresa' of Haiti – Armand Huard cases, for
sexual abuse, domination, and to take in their sadistic serotonin rushes.
In the article, Oil
in Haiti - Economic Reasons for the UN/US occupation by Ezili
Dantò, I wrote:
Going shopping in Haiti:
In the age of humanitarian imperialism, globalization, financial colonialism
and neocolonial-violence obfuscated behind forced assimilation and cultural
imperialism, what exactly do some whites or modern missionaries go shopping
in Haiti for: sex, self-esteem, adulation,
fun, challenge, adventure, the boost in serotonin-consumption, to exploit
labor, plunder Haiti's natural resources, for self-improvement,
recovery, to use Haiti as in excuse to raise funds for their salaries
and living expenses to live the old Dixie's planters' life with exploitation
black sex on tap, or as an easy way to gain international expert credentials
in any field and move up the socio-economic ladder at home and/or for
securing the good tropical lifestyle with mountain and oceanfront houses,
the waiters, maids, gardeners and seafood they couldn't obtain as easily
in their Euro/US countries where they are the majority, ordinary, can’t
use the white privilege inheritance without some scrutiny and are not
as exotic and special as in neocolonial devastated Haiti. It’s
all hidden, of course, behind the mask of being good humanitarians,
altruistic charity workers and helping Haitians. (See, Travesty
in Haiti: A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud, food
aid and drug trafficking (a book by Timothy T. Schwartz, Ph.D.);
Holocaust and Middle Passage Continues; UN
Peacekeepers and Humanitarian Aid Workers raping, molesting and abusing
Haitian children; The-To-Tell-The-Truth-About-Haiti
Forum 2009; I
am the History of Rape: HLLN Letter to UN asking for investigative reports
on UN soldier's rapes in Haiti; and, Proposed solutions
to create a new paradigm.)
John Duarte: On another but similarly horrid note, another
accused pedophile of Haitian children, ex-Catholic priest John Duarte,
was recently and court in Canada and denied bail. Like Douglas Perlitz,
John Duarte remains in jail (in Windsor, Canada) while he waits for his
trial to begin. During his court appearance recently in Canada, the accused
pedophile Duarte had at least 30 supporters, dubbed the "Friends
of John Duarte" in court to support him. Mostly, it's reported, friends
from the Catholic church. Where are the Ezili's HLLN folks in Canada?
People, please take a look at the John Duarte case and make your presence
known. Let the people in Canada know, Haitian children cannot be abused
without consequences and that you are present and counted for as a voice
against the abuse of Haiti's children under the guise of "saving
their souls" or bringing sustenance, security and "education."(
See, A former Windsor priest
who was arrested in the Dominican Republic and accused of sexually abusing
teenaged boys in Haiti was denied bail Thursday and Ex-priest's
supporters crowd courtroom and I
am the History of Rape.)
Please contact HLLN at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Remember Haitian
children had no public voice in the Douglas Perlitz process until you
came on the scene. The more concerned citizens speak up, the
less these systemic abuses of Haiti's people and children by charity workers
will occur or continue to be covered up. Men anpil Chay pa lou! - Many
Hands Make Light A Heavy Load!
The collar of impunity: Also, the articles on reports
of abuse by Catholic priests for more than half-a-century in Ireland and
on the Jesuit
abuses of Native Alaskan village children
are posted on our website.
This is relevant to our Haitian community as many converted and most assimilated
Haitians/Africans are happy to send their kids to Catholic schools, both
abroad and in Haiti. One report reveals
that for 60 years over 36,000
innocent children in Catholic schools, homes and orphanages
in Ireland where routinely raped, beaten and sexually abused by Catholic
priests and that this was systematically covered
up the Catholic Bishops and hierarchy. Another report of 320
cases of child abuse explains that between 1975 and 2004 the
Catholic hierarchy in the Archdiocese of Dublin consistently favored the
interests of the Church over those of the children and "kept the
sexual abuse of children, at least until the mid-1990s, secret to avoid
scandal, protect the reputation of the Church and to preserve its assets."
This is an important piece of information to share, not only because of
the current Perlitz and Duarte pedophile cases and the fact so many elite-schooled
Haitians have been sexually abused by the degenerate priests and pastors
"educating" them in Haiti, but because, if this level of abuse
is possible in Ireland, a country where the rule of law is institutionalized
and where US/Euro colonialism is not dehumanizing the Irish majority and
summarily denying them the right to vote and rule themselves through sponsorship
of coup d'etats and regime changes; if this repugnance is possible in
such a developed country by the Catholic priests, imagine what perverted
Catholic priests, missionaries, foreign soldiers, mercenaries, colonist
adventurers, aid workers and nuns have been doing in defenseless Haiti
and Africa for centuries!
Going back to source, self-reliance, cultural
autonomy, control of our territory, domestic economy and children's
education and not dependency is the way to Haiti's freedom, respect,
dignity and owning
our own selves.
In love, respect and towards more harmony,
Recommended HLLN Link:
am the History of Rape: HLLN Letter to UN asking for investigative reports
on UN soldier's rapes in Haiti
supporters crowd courtroom,
By Don Lajoie, The
November 13, 2009
Windsor priest to stay behind bars
Violence: A damning report for the Church of Ireland
Bishops covered up priests' child abuse
Ireland clergy abuse
report by Ps Jon Dorhauer Thursday, 21 May 2009 17:08 Last
Updated (Friday, 22 May 2009 12:34)
report says priests beat and raped children, May 20, 2009
| By Padraic Halpin and Carmel Crimmins, Reuters
A report released back in May, 2009 said children suffered decades of
abuse at institutions in Ireland run by Catholic orders. The full text
of the Irish Catholic Priest abuse report can be found here
No More Secrecy
HLLN on Douglaz Perlitz's new motions asking for secrecy
Peacekeepers and Humanitarian Aid Workers raping, molesting and abusing
Say Abuse Suspect Tried To Buy Off Victims
By EDMUND H. MAHONY, The Hartford Courant, October 29, 2009
supporters crowd courtroom
By Don Lajoie, The
Windsor Star, November 13, 2009
WINDSOR, Ont. -- Dozens of supporters and spectators filled a Windsor
courtroom Thursday at a bail hearing for a former city priest who has
been charged with molesting teenage boys at the mission he founded in
The hearing for Hearts Together for Haiti founder John Duarte, which
had been expected to last just a few hours, was adjourned after a full-day
of testimony by a single witness. All evidence given at the hearing
and the identities of the alleged victims are subject to a publication
Duarte, 43, is charged under the Criminal Code with nine counts of sexual
exploitation of boys between the ages of 12 and 17. The offences are
alleged to have taken place in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince
and in the fishing village of Labadie, on the nation’s north coast,
where the priest operated a charity that included a school, a medical
clinic and a sponsorship program for hundreds of impoverished families.
During the hearing the spectators paid rapt attention to the testimony.
A Portuguese interpreter was employed by the courts to translate the
proceedings to member’s of Duarte’s immediate family.
Following the hearing defence lawyer Andrew Bradie said he was surprised
by the number of people who had shown up, apparently to support his
client, who was a popular parish priest at three area churches, most
recently at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Windsor. Duarte had built
a reputation as an advocate for the poorest of the poor in Haiti and
set up many of the charity’s programs while at the church, mobilizing
hundreds of parishioners and even volunteers outside the congregation
to support his work.
“They’re all supporters, I think,” said Bradie, before
going to talk briefly with members of group, assembled in the hall outside
the courtroom. “I haven’t met them and I can’t identify
One of those in attendance was Rev. James Roche, of Corpus Christi Parish,
who said he was at the hearing as a friend and private citizen and not
as a representative of the Roman Catholic church.
“Well, it started and it has taken longer than expected,”
said Roche. “At this point there are a lot of questions that remain
unanswered. I’ll wait for the full story.”
© Copyright (c) The Windsor Star
Windsor priest to stay behind bars
News, November 26, 2009
A former Windsor priest who was arrested in the Dominican Republic and
accused of sexually abusing teenaged boys in Haiti was denied bail Thursday.
John Duarte, 44, will remain in custody at the Windsor Jail while he
waits for his trial to begin.
A photo of John Duarte, centre, shows him in Haiti, where he did charity
and missionary work.A photo of John Duarte, centre, shows him in Haiti,
where he did charity and missionary work. (CBC)
Duarte has been charged with nine counts of sexual exploitation involving
teenaged boys in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, as well as the
tiny fishing village of Labadie, where he worked for a Windsor-based
charity group, Hearts Together for Haiti (HTFHaiti).
He was arrested in late October at a beach village in the Dominican
Republic following an investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police
and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Duarte was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1996 and served at a number
of parishes in the diocese of London, Ont., including Our Lady of Perpetual
Help in Windsor and St. Gregory the Great in Tecumseh.
Around 30 friends and supporters, calling themselves "Friends of
John," filled the courtroom to support Duarte, who looked tired
during Thursday's hearing.
Duarte is scheduled to appear in court again on Dec. 8 by video from
the Windsor Jail.
Canadian citizens who are charged with committing sex offences against
children in other countries can be prosecuted in Canada.
Translation from French original:
Violence: A damning report for the Church of Ireland
with AFP, Nov. 26, 2009
The evidence is overwhelming: the Catholic Church in Ireland covered
up sexual abuse by priests in the Dublin area for hundreds of children
for over several decades.
According to an official investigative report published Thursday, November
26, four successive archbishops have sheltered abusers and have "not
reported to the [Irish police] that they were aware of sexual abuse
of children" committed from the 60s.
The conclusions of this document over 700 pages devoted to the attitude
of the Catholic hierarchy in the Archdiocese of Dublin between 1975
and 2004, are terrible for the clergy, it states that the Church consistently
favored the interests of the Church over those of the children. "The
concern of the Archbishop of Dublin in the management of cases of sexual
abuse of children, at least until the mid-1990s, was kept secret to
avoid scandal, protect the reputation of the Church and to preserve
its assets," notes the report.
"The state authorities have facilitated the concealment by failing
to assume their responsibilities" and "well-being of children,
which should have been the first priority, but was not even a factor
taken into account at the beginning", the report charged.
The investigation examined complaints involving more than 320 child
APOLOGIES OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE CHURCH
The Committee has revealed in particular "the case of a priest
who admitted sexually abusing more than 100 children, and another who
admitted abusing children on average "once every two weeks during
his ministry, which lasted more than twenty-five years.
After the publication of the report, the Irish government has apologized
"unreservedly" for the failures of the state in this case.
This survey showed a "calculated and systematic perversion of power
and confidence against innocent and defenseless children," the
government said in a statement, promising that "this will not happen
ever again." "I offer to each of the survivors my apologies,
my sorrow and my shame for what happened," said the Archbishop
of Dublin, stressing that " the harm caused to the children can
never be repaired."The findings of this investigation came only
six months after another report that had horrified Ireland in May, revealing
decades of sexual abuse, sometimes "endemic", from the 1930s
in children's institutions led by the Catholic Church.
Bishops covered up priests' child abuse
By SHAWN POGATCHNIK, Associated
Nov. 26, 2009
DUBLIN – Roman Catholic Church leaders in Dublin spent decades
sheltering child-abusing priests from the law and most fellow clerics
turned a blind eye, an investigation ordered by Ireland's government
concluded Thursday.Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who handed over
more than 60,000 previously secret church files to the three-year investigation,
said he felt deep shame and sorrow for how previous archbishops presided
over endemic child abuse — yet claimed afterward not to understand
the gravity of their sins.
Martin said his four predecessors in Ireland's capital, including retired
Cardinal Desmond Connell, must have understood that priests' molestation
and rape of boys and girls "was a crime in both civil and canon
law. For some reason or another they felt they could deal with all this
in little worlds of their own.
"They were wrong, and children were left to suffer."
There was a similarly shocking investigation into decades of unchecked
child abuse in Irish schools, workhouses and orphanages run nationwide
by 19 Catholic orders of nuns, priests and brothers.
That report in May sought to document the scale of abuse as well as
the reasons why church and state authorities didn't stop it, whereas
Thursday's 720-page report focused on why church leaders in the Dublin
Archdiocese — home to a quarter of Ireland's 4 million Catholics
— did not tell police about a single abuse complaint against a
priest until 1995.
By then, the investigators found, successive archbishops and their senior
deputies — among them qualified lawyers — already had compiled
confidential files on more than 100 parish priests who had sexually
abused children since 1940. Those files had remained locked in the Dublin
archbishop's private vault.
The investigators also dug up a paper trail documenting the church's
long-secret insurance policy, taken out in 1987, to cover potential
lawsuits and compensation demands. Dublin church leaders publicly denied
the existence of the problem for a decade afterward — but since
the mid-1990s have paid out more than euro10 million ($15 million) in
settlements and legal bills.
The report cited documents showing how church officials learned about
some cases only when devoutly Catholic police received complaints from
children or their parents — but handed responsibility back to
church leaders to sort out the problems themselves.
Thursday's report detailed "sample" cases of 46 priests who
faced 320 documented complaints, although the investigators said they
were confident that the priests had abused many more children than that.
They cited testimony from one priest who admitted abusing more than
100 children, and another priest who said he abused a child approximately
every two weeks for 25 years.
Just 11 of the 46 ultimately were convicted of abusing children —
typically decades after church leaders learned of their crimes —
while two others are scheduled to face Dublin criminal court actions
within months. Fourteen are dead and most of the rest have been defrocked
or barred from parish duties. Just six are still active priests.
Three Dublin archbishops — John Charles McQuaid (1940-72), Dermot
Ryan (1972-84) and Kevin McNamara (1985-87) — did not tell police
about clerical abuse cases, instead opting to avoid public scandals
by shuttling offenders from parish to parish and even overseas to U.S.
churches, the commission found.It was not until 1995 that then-Archbishop
Connell allowed police to see church files on 17 clerical abuse cases.
At that time, Connell actually held records of complaints against at
least 29 priests, the report found. Connell later pursued a lawsuit
against the investigators in an abandoned bid to keep them from seeing
more than 5,500 files documenting the church's knowledge of abusive
The report said all four archbishops sought "the maintenance of
secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation
of the church, and the preservation of its assets. All other considerations,
including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated
to these priorities."
The investigators lauded a handful of priests and mostly low-ranking
police who pursued complaints and prosecutions, almost always unsuccessfully,
from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Senior police officers "clearly regarded priests as being outside
their remit" and handed "complaints to the archdiocese instead
of investigating them," the report said.
"A few (priests) were courageous and brought complaints to the
attention of their superiors. The vast majority simply chose to turn
a blind eye," it said.
Ireland's police commander, Commissioner Fachtna Murphy, said he was
"deeply sorry" to read that his force failed to provide victims
of abusive priests "the level of response or protection which any
citizen in trouble is entitled to expect."
The government also apologized for the state's failure to pursue Dublin
priests accused of child abuse until recent years.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, who received the Dublin Archdiocese report
in July but delayed its publication for legal vetting, vowed that the
state would never again treat the Catholic Church with deference.
"A priest's collar will protect no criminal," he said.
But pressure groups representing more than 15,000 documented victims
of abuse by Irish Catholic officials said the government was not doing
enough to end the danger of Catholic child abuse — in part because
the law still stops short of requiring bishops to report abuse complaints
Maeve Lewis, executive director of an Irish abuse counseling service
called One in Four, noted that not a single person in Ireland has been
convicted for "recklessly endangering" children, a crime created
in 2006 legislation.
Lewis said the archbishops, bishops, monsignors, police and government
health officials who suppressed abuse complaints for decades had never
faced criminal investigations "even though they are every bit as
guilty as the priests who committed the abuse."And she forecast
that, because abused children often do not seek justice until they reach
adulthood, children today were still being abused by priests. "It's
very likely in 10 or 15 years' time that the children who are being
abused today will bring forward allegations," she said."
As Irish people we like to think we live in a civilized society,"
she said, "but we need to hang our heads in shame."
On the Net:
clergy abuse report
by Ps Jon Dorhauer, Life
Church Controversy Blog
May 21, 2009
A comprehensive report has just
been completed on child abuse in Catholic institutions spanning over
60 years in Ireland. Its a shocker! The report claims that over 800
priests, nuns and lay Catholic clergy abused children with both boys
and girls in their care. The abuse ranges from endemic rape, and other
sexual abuses, including both physical and emotional. The number of
children abused at the hands of these monsters is 36,000.
To top it all off the recently appointed Archbishop of Wales and England
said those abusers who admitted their crimes were courageous! No Archbishop,
they are not. They were mongrel dogs who did this to those kids and
they are not courageous, they betrayed their faith and trust and were
often moved to other institutions when caught.
My brother and I attended Boys Town Engadine New South Wales in 1955.
I was ten years old at that time. At no time did I ever witness or experienced
any abuse by those great men of God. The priests and brothers were kind
and loving men who helped many young boys during a difficult time in
their lives. Only recently has there been a claim of sexually abuse
at Boys Town Engadine by a priest which happened many years after my
brother & I left.
When I read about these terrible deeds against children who could not
protect themselves, and who have in many cases not been given justice
by admission of guilt by the perpetrators and adequate compensation
from the church I am saddened. The worst thing of all is that many of
these evil men and women were allowed to continue in their deeds with
the church knowing what they had done.
Article from: The Australian
PATRICK Walsh was two years old when he was taken to court with his
two brothers, aged three and four, and a sister of six months. The crime:
their mother was in an unhappy marriage and had left her husband.
"She was viewed as the guilty party by church and state,"
Walsh says. "My father denounced her because she wanted a divorce,
which was illegal. We were put in the dock, charged and sentenced for
'having a parent who does not exercise proper guardianship'."
With that decision, Walsh lost his childhood. His memories of the next
14 years are of physical and sexual assault, hunger, fear and privation
at the Artane Boys School near Dublin run by the Congregation of Christian
Brothers, a Catholic organisation.
The full horror of children's lives destroyed by sexual, physical and
emotional abuse meted out by Catholic religious orders for decades in
Ireland was revealed yesterday in an official five-volume report.
A nine-year investigation by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
concluded that the Irish government colluded in a conspiracy of silence
as no action was taken to prevent the sexual abuse of thousands of children
who passed through Catholic-run institutions, even though the abuse
was known to be endemic.
More than 30,000 children deemed to be petty thieves, truants or from
dysfunctional families - a category that often included unmarried mothers
- were sent to Ireland's austere network of industrial schools, reformatories,
orphanages and hostels from the 1930s until the last church-run facilities
shut in the'90s.
"In some schools a high level of ritualised beating was routine.
Girls were struck with implements designed to maximise pain and were
struck on all parts of the body," the report says. "Personal
and family denigration was widespread."
The Irish Times newspaper, in a scathing editorial, says the report
"is the map of an Irish hell".
"It defines the contours of a dark hinterland of the state, a parallel
country whose existence we have long known but never fully acknowledged.
It is a land of pain and shame, of savage cruelty and callous indifference,"
the newspaper says.
"With a calm but relentless accumulation of facts, the report blows
away all the denials and obfuscations, all the moral equivocations and
evasions that we have heard from some of the religious orders and their
"Abuse was not a failure of the system. It was the system. Terror
was both the point of these institutions and their standard operating
procedure. Their function in Irish society was to impose social control,
particularly on the poor, by acting as a threat."
Walsh remembers: "They (the Christian Brothers) were men of real
violence. When I arrived in Artane in 1963, there were 450 boys and
it had a stench of violence about it. The home was also used as a detention
centre for young offenders, so we were preyed upon not just by the Brothers
but by feral gangs."
He says he was also sexually abused twice by one Christian Brother.
His mother's repeated efforts to free her children were unjustly refused
by the authorities.
"For years we wouldn't believe that she had tried to get us out
but she made numerous attempts and was told it was impossible. She had
to go back to her husband if she wanted her children."
Throughout his incarceration in Ireland, he saw his mother only once,
in 1959. The next time they met was in Blackpool in 1966 when he was
playing in the Artane Boys Band.
"I remember seeing this woman staring up at me from the audience,
smiling. It sent a cold shiver up my spine and I asked my brother, who
was also in the band, who was the woman who stared so intensely at us,"
he says. "After the concert we were introduced backstage."
Walsh, 53, describes the system that abused him as a marriage of convenience
between church and state. "Ireland was a theocratic state,"
he says. "The church received grants, which were the lifeblood
of the religious orders, and the children were used as the means to
fill their pockets with cash."
I learned in later years that Artane would get a cheque, say for pound
stg. 10,000, every month from the government."
Artane would send pound stg. 8000 to Rome. As a consequence we were
badly fed and we worked 12-hour days in the fields and workshops. I
was put to work in the shoe shop. Hunger was a constant companion. We
were child slaves."
Tom Hayes, 63, was committed into the care system at age two because
he was born out of wedlock. He, too, suffered at the hands of the Christian
"I was told my mother had died when I was born, but in fact she
went to England. I didn't discover the truth until 2003," Hayes
says. "Sexual abuse took place on a large scale, operated by gangs
who had the protection of the Christian Brothers. After I complained
to a priest outside the school about it, I was threatened with being
sent to a reformatory school in Letterfrack, which had an even more
Both men hope the report brings out the whole truth. "Ultimately
the bishops, the government and the cardinals in the Vatican knew what
was going on. It's an opportunity for the hierarchy to make (an) apology
for their failure to put an end to the suffering of the children,"
On the release of the report, the church in Ireland issued an apology,
through Irish primate Sean Brady, its most senior cleric: "I am
profoundly sorry and deeply ashamed that children suffered in such awful
ways in these institutions."
The report's publication was delayed by several years after the Christian
Brothers sued successfully in 2004 to withhold the names of all its
members, dead or alive.
More than 1000 witnesses testified to abuse in 216 schools and residential
settings across Ireland during a period from 1914 to 2000. More than
800 individuals were identified as physical or sexual abusers, an extraordinary
number compared with the handful of prosecutions and convictions. Ninety
per cent of witnesses reported physical abuse and half reported sexual
"Acute and chronic contact and non-contact sexual abuse was reported,
including vaginal and anal rape, molestation and voyeurism in both isolated
cases and on a regular basis over long periods," the document states.
Sexual abuse was carried out by religious and lay staff, co-residents
and professionals "both within and external to the institutions",
as well as members of the public, volunteer workers, visitors and foster
in particular described, at times, being told they were responsible
for the sexual abuse they experienced, by both their abuser and those
to whom they disclosed abuse," the report says.
If you are a victim of
abuse I would like to hear from you.
report says priests beat and raped children
By Padraic Halpin and Carmel Crimmins, Reuters
May 20, 2009
- Priests beat and raped children during decades of abuse in Catholic-run
institutions in Ireland, an official report said on Wednesday, but it
stopped short of naming the perpetrators.
Orphanages and industrial schools in 20th century Ireland were places
of fear, neglect and endemic sexual abuse, the Commission to Inquire
into Child Abuse said in a harrowing five-volume report that took nine
years to compile.
The Commission, chaired by a High Court judge, blasted successive generations
of priests, nuns and Christian Brothers -- a Catholic religious order
-- for beating, starving and, in some cases raping, children in Ireland's
now defunct network of industrial and reformatory schools from the 1930s
"When confronted with evidence of sexual abuse, the response of
the religious authorities was to transfer the offender to another location
where, in many instances, he was free to abuse again," the report
"Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the
next beating was coming from."
The report slammed the Department of Education for its failure to stop
the crimes. In rare cases when it was informed of sexual abuse, "it
colluded in the silence," the report said.
Successful legal action by the Christian Brothers, the largest provider
of residential care for boys in the country, led the Commission to drop
its original intention to name the people against whom the allegations
No abusers will be prosecuted as a result of the inquiry.
John Kelly, coordinator of the Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA) group,
said there could be no closure without accountability.
"I have been getting phone calls all day from former residents,
they feel their wounds have been reopened for nothing," he told
Reuters. "They were promised justice by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister)
in 1999 and they feel cheated. They expected that the abusers would
The Christian Brothers said they were appalled at the revelations but
denied that their lawsuit had obstructed the report. "We are deeply
sorry, deeply regretful for what has been put before us today,"
Brother Edmund Garvey said.
Many of the children were sent into church care because of school truancy,
petty crime or because they were unmarried mothers or their offspring.
Some were used as labourers, churning out rosary beads or set to work
Sexual abuse was endemic in boys' institutions and girls were preyed
on by sexual predators who were able to operate unhindered.
The Commission interviewed 1,090 men and women who were housed in 216
institutions including children's homes, hospitals and schools. They
told of scavenging for food from waste bins and animal feed, of floggings,
scaldings and being held under water. There were underwear inspections
and in one case, a boy was forced to lick excrement from a priest's
Absconders were flogged and some had their heads shaved.
Tom Sweeney, who spent five years at industrial schools including two
years at the notorious Artane Industrial School, said it still haunted
its former residents.
"Unfortunately there are a lot of people that have committed suicide,
there are a lot of people that have ended up in hospitals and they have
been forgotten about," he said.
Revelations of abuse, including a string of scandals involving priests
molesting young boys, have eroded the Catholic Church's moral authority
in Ireland, once one of the most religiously devout countries in the
The inquiry, conducted at a reported cost of 70 million euros (61.5
million pounds), was announced in 1999 by then Prime Minister Bertie
Ahern after he apologised to victims following revelations made in a
series of television documentaries.
The government has paid out around 825 million euros in compensation
to former residents of the institutions and the final bill is likely
to top 1 billion euros.
The report can be downloaded at: here
(Editing by Mark Trevelyan) © Thomson Reuters 2009.
claims against Jesuits reach 500
More than 500 people have
filed claims accusing Jesuits of sexually abusing children across the
The claims vary in severity and span decades and geography, from Native
Alaskan village children to students at Gonzaga Prep.
People were required to file their allegations by Nov. 30, a deadline
imposed by the federal judge overseeing the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of
the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. That organization includes
Jesuits in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
The Jesuits already have settled 200 additional sex-abuse claims.
Among them were claims by 110 Alaska Natives, who settled for $50 million
last year. About $45 million of that was paid by insurers.
The Jesuits claim to have so far spent about $25 million – depleting
the treasury of the province. In bankruptcy documents the Jesuits claim
to have $4.8 million in assets and liabilities of $61.8 million.
Yet many of the 500 alleged victims left to seek payouts in Bankruptcy
Court assert the province remains a wealthy organization that misstated
its financial standing in Bankruptcy Court records. They contend the
Jesuits control and own Gonzaga University, Gonzaga Preparatory School,
Seattle University and other schools and properties.
Much like the parish ownership dispute that played out in the now-closed
bankruptcy of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, the ownership of Gonzaga
and the other schools could be the dominant issue in the Jesuit bankruptcy.
Attorney James Stang, who represented a creditors committee in the Spokane
Diocese case, now represents a similar committee of victims in the Jesuit
He has won court approval to take limited depositions and conduct some
discovery of internal documents.
“The judge gave us a toe in the door,” he said. “We’ll
see what happens and if we can develop a viable theory” that Gonzaga
and other properties are owned by the province and thus part of the
financial estate available to pay claims.
Gonzaga University is fighting every attempt to link its fortunes to
the province. Separately incorporated and registered 125 years ago,
the private college with 7,200 students will not volunteer money or
other resources to settle the bankruptcy, said Mike Casey, Gonzaga’s
“We are not willing to either participate in this bankruptcy nor
help resolve it,” he said.
Alleged victims and their attorneys are employing what Casey called
the “big tent theory,” which uses the threat of future big-dollar
payouts against organizations with any hint of liability to instead
coerce smaller payments now.
“Creditors have run this play before with success. But not this
time,” Casey said. “Sorry, but we won’t fall for it.”
The university steadfastly denies any liability for the actions of Jesuits
who sexually abused children, including former university president
John P. Leary, who sexually abused boys until Spokane police gave him
a 24-hour ultimatum in 1969 to leave town or face arrest.
Leary fled, and the Jesuit hierarchy relocated him.
It took the Jesuits 37 years to reveal the scandal and cover-up. Leary
died in 1993, and the Jesuits have acknowledged paying money to settle
allegations brought by his victims.
On a separate legal front, the Oregon Province is engaged in a dispute
with insurers regarding the scope of policies.
They have hired James R. Murray, who was widely credited with wringing
$20 million from insurance firms to help settle the Spokane diocese
It was that money, together with $10 million from parishioners, the
sale of diocese assets, bank loans and promissory notes collateralized
by parish property, that finally brought the diocese bankruptcy to a
close in 2007.