Sexual abuse scandal in the Salesian order

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The sexual abuse scandal in the Salesian Order is a major chapter in the series of Catholic sex abuse cases in various Western jurisdictions.

Abuse in Australia[edit]

In Australia, there are allegations that the Salesians moved a priest convicted of abuse in Melbourne to Samoa to avoid further police investigation and charges.[1][2]

In August 2008, the Salesian head in Australia, Fr Frank Moloney SDB, apologised to victims of a former priest Paul Evans convicted of a series of offences. Evans was a Salesian priest when the offences occurred at Boys' Town in Sydney in the 1980s. He was legally and canonically removed from the Order in 1991.[3]

There have been a number of convictions related to sexual abuse by teachers and priests at the school, particularly in regard to offences committed in the 1970s and 80s,[4] including: Michael Aulsebrook, gaoled for the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old student in 1983;[5] Peter Paul van Ruth, who was sentenced to 28 months gaol in 2011 for indecently assaulting two 12-year-old boys;[6] and Frank Klep, a former principal of the college who "...was convicted in 1994 of four charges of sexual assault relating to incidents during the 1970s."[7]

Other priests from the college reached settlements with substantial compensation payments paid to their victims, over allegations of sexual abuse, but were not otherwise convicted,[8][9][10][11] while Father Jack Ayers, a teacher and gardener at the school, was moved to Samoa after accusations were made against him.[12]

Abuse in Belgium[edit]

In 2007, a Belgian criminal court convicted Willem VC, a laicised Salesian priest, to 4 years imprisonment for sexual delinquency with multiple adolescent minors. During the criminal investigation by the police and judiciary previous acts of sexual delinquency were discovered that occurred during his membership of the Salesian congregation. He was expelled from this order in 2001 for these incidents.[13]

Abuse in the Netherlands[edit]

In February 2010 the Salesians were accused of sexual abuse in their juvenate Don Rua in 's-Heerenberg. Salesian bishop of Rotterdam van Luyn pleaded for a thorough investigation.[14]

Abuse in the United States of America[edit]

In 2002, it was alleged that the leaders chose to keep quiet when confronted with allegations of abuse.[15]

In 2006, the Dallas Morning News reported that the leaders of the Salesians of Don Bosco based in San Francisco had moved priests accused of child sexual abuse from country to country, away from law enforcement and victims. This included Rev. Frank Klep, who was allegedly moved to the Pacific island of Samoa in 1998 while he was under criminal investigation in Australia.[16] During the same year, two instances of sexual abuse occurring between 1969 and 1979 at Salesian High School (now Salesian College Preparatory) in Richmond, California, resulted in a large settlement for one victim and a jury award to another.[17]

In 2008 the Salesian Society of Los Angeles agreed to pay $19.5 million to 17 childhood molestation victims, ending the last unresolved case involving the Los Angeles Archdiocese's sexual abuse crisis.[18] The settlement came after jurors were preparing to hear allegations that the Salesians knew Father Titian Miani been accused of preying on youths when they assigned him to St John Bosco High School in Bellflower, where he allegedly molested four children. After his transfer to Bellflower, he befriended a family whose father had recently died. While the mother was busy at work and night school, Miani would show up at the family home and molest the 15-year-old son and two daughters, the court documents said. Miani left the order in 1974 but continued to serve as a priest until his retirement from clerical duties in 1993.[19]

In 2012, the Oblates of St Francis de Sales, of the Wilmington/ Philadelphia province published an open letter of contrition and healing over activities in 2004 in Wilmington, Delaware[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Abuse. International investigation implicates Salesians/Australia". Cathnews.com. 2004-06-22. Archived from the original on July 3, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
  2. ^ "Runaway Priests: Hiding in Plain Sight". Dallas News. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2012-04-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ 'Salesian Provincial breaks silence on sex abuse' Catholic News archive July 2004
  5. ^ 'Sunbury priest jailed for sex abuse' The Age August 23, 2011 Adrian Lowe
  6. ^ "After 42 years, boarding school molester finally brought to justice". The Age. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  7. ^ More Salesian old boys speak out The Age July 3, 2004
  8. ^ 'Mission to defrock sex abuser' By Martin Daly The Age July 19, 2004
  9. ^ Lowe, Adrian (23 August 2011). "Sunbury priest jailed for sex abuse". The Age. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  10. ^ Stayner, Guy (25 June 2004). "Paedophile priest arrested in Melbourne". Lateline. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  11. ^ Daly, Martin (24 July 2004). "Priest used drink on boys: victim". The Age. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  12. ^ 'Accused Salesian priest Father Jack Ayers too old for justice, by Shannon Derry, Herald Sun September 05, 2011
  13. ^ De Standaard, 17–18 April 2010
  14. ^ ‘Onderzoek misbruik op alle internaten’. De Volkskrant, Februari 8, 2010 / March 9, 2010.
  15. ^ "Vatican sued in sex abuse cases". BBC News. 2002-04-04. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
  16. ^ http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/longterm/stories/Salesians_dispute_report.5ee867fb.html
  17. ^ Russell, Ron (2006-10-04). "Troubled Order". San Francisco News. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
  18. ^ [ https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2008-may-15-me-salesians15-story.html Priest abuse case settled for $19.5 million - Los Angeles Times]
  19. ^ May 15, 2008 Los Angeles Times
  20. ^ Oblates of St Frances de Sales (2012). "Healing Letter". Retrieved 20 June 2019.