Friday, 13 March 2015

Catholic Child Abuse, St.Josephs, Bronx

Father Robert Harrison
Bronx School Ousts Priest After Admissions of Abuse -

An assistant principal at Cardinal Hayes Catholic High School in Bronx, New York, has been dismissed for sexually abusing ten minors in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Rev. Robert Harrison, of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St.Josephs, had worked at the school since 1989. The abuses came to light just before last Christmas when it was discovered that Father Harrison was borrowing money from colleagues at the school. When asked why, he admitted it was to pay an abuse victim. He then admitted to the sexual abuse of other boys in Manhattan, Milwaukee and the Bronx during the 1970s and 1980s. None of the abuse victims are believed to have been students at Cardinal Hayes High School.

A spokesman for the province said that none of the victims had ever reported the abuse.

Father Harrison has been permanently relieved of all ministerial duties and placed in a 'facility' where he does not have contact with children. The matter has been referred to prosecutors.

[I] personally ask for forgiveness for the damage [some priests] have done for having sexually abused children. We will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed.

Pope Francis
New York of course isn't the only Archdiocese in the USA to suffer from endemic child sexual abuse by Catholic clerics.

In Minnesota the rearguard action designed to deny or delay compensation to the Catholic Church's victims continued. The Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just a week before going to court to defend lawsuits from victims of child sexual abuse by its priests. With assets estimated to be between $10 million and $50 million and liabilities estimated to be between $50 million and $100 million, this is the twelfth US Catholic Archdiocese to file for bankruptcy because of the compensation claims from their victims.

The lawsuit will now be delayed while the bankruptcy application is heard. Patrick Noaker, lawyer for some of the victims, said the bankruptcy filing robbed him of the chance to reveal information that could help protect children. "I don't think it's any accident that they filed a week before this trial was going to start," he said.

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