By Don Lajoie,
Windsor Star | December 14, 2009
Mission sex': Haitians turning blind eye to abuse
by humanitarian aid workers
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,” he said.
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
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 as
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 to flourish.
“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,
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
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
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
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 Nations
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
“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
"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
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
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
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
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 dressing."
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 said.
"That this proactive co-ordination between Canadian Investigators and Haitian
police appears to have paid dividends is good. We need to see more of
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
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
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 predators."
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 Haiti.
"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
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
Charity's 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.
Photograph 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 years
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 of
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
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 Haitian
"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
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 high.
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
Citing his administrative skills and grasp of the local language, McDougall
said, the board decided to retain Barbosa, who had married and fathered a
Quesnel disagreed, demanding Barbosa's removal.
A struggle for control would result, in December 2008, in an incident in
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 (and) operations."
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," said
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 |
The 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 drew
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
"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 out
"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
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 Duarte founded.
"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
In Labadie, he was priest, cop, doctor, educator, undertaker, social worker and
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
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 their story.
"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 Windsor.
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 on duty.
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
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 joined in.
So it continued on every "exposure trip," each group witnessing the tragedy and
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 funeral.
"He cleaned up that little girl," recalled Spratt, shaking his head.
"Got her ready for burial. He was the mortician, the priest and the
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
- - -
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
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
- - -
The Collar of Impunity: Sexual abuse of Haiti children by Priests, Charity Workers
By Ezili Dantò/HLLN,
Haitian Perspectives, December 6, 2009
Help children survivors of
Sexual abuse by Priests and Charity Workers in Haiti
Brief 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
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
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 Alaska
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 Haitian children.)
Perlitz: 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, so Ezili's 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.
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
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
Going shopping in
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
cheap 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.); Haiti's Holocaust and Middle Passage
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
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
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.
Please contact HLLN at email@example.com 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
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:
I am the History of Rape: HLLN Letter to
UN asking for investigative reports on UN soldier's rapes in
Ex-priest's supporters crowd courtroom
,By Don Lajoie, The Windsor Star
November 13, 2009
Former Windsor priest to stay behind bars
Sexual Violence: A damning report for the Church of Ireland
Experts: 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)
Irish 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
UN Peacekeepers and Humanitarian Aid
Workers raping, molesting and abusing Haitian children
Documents Say Abuse Suspect Tried To Buy Off Victims
By EDMUND H. MAHONY, The Hartford Courant, October 29, 2009
Ex-priest's 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 Haiti.
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 ban.
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
Former Windsor priest to stay behind bars
CBC News, November 26,
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
Duarte is scheduled to appear in court again on Dec. 8 by video from the
Canadian citizens who are charged with committing sex offences against children
in other countries can be prosecuted in Canada.
Translation from French original:
Sexual 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
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.
Experts: Bishops covered up
priests' child abuse
By SHAWN POGATCHNIK, Associated Press
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
"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
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
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 priests.
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
"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
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
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 to police.
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:
Ireland 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
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
"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
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
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 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
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
"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 apologists.
"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
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
"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 notorious reputation."
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," Walsh says.
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
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 abuse.
"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
"Female witnesses 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
If you are a victim of abuse I would like to hear from you.
Irish report says priests beat and
By Padraic Halpin and Carmel Crimmins, Reuters
May 20, 2009
DUBLIN (Reuters) - 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
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 onwards.
"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 said.
"Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was
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 were
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 face prosecution."
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
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 on
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 shoe.
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
"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 world.
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
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
The report can be downloaded at: here
(Editing by Mark Trevelyan) © Thomson Reuters 2009.
Abuse 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 corporation
“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
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