“If anyone knows about child rape, it’s the Diocese of Fairbanks”

The Diocese of Fairbanks is doing its best to convince the world that offering $5,500 to victims of child rape is fair.  In press reports, they even had the nerve to say that victims were being insensitive by calling the offer a “second rape.”

Victims are insensitive?  Really?  Living with the effects of abuse their whole lives, shunned by the church, suffering in shame and silence, losing sleep, grappling with thoughts of suicide, while Bishop Kettler shakes a finger at them and tells them to go away?

Kettler and his officials are the definition of insensitive.

Four victims got together yesterday for a press conference to tell their stories.  They told stories of rape, abuse, loss, pain and shame:

“I didn’t want to live anymore.”

“I couldn’t believe in God.”

“I just want everyone to see what happened.”

It’s not about the money, they said, it’s about the Diocese taking responsibility for knowingly allowing men to sodomize innocent kids.

Diocese officials are getting off scott-free, they said, paying more to lawyers than to the people the Diocese hurt.  So yes, it is like a second rape.

And to steal words from attorney Ken Roosa:

If anyone knows about child rape, it’s the Diocese of Fairbanks.

Published in: on October 31, 2009 at 3:52 pm  Comments (9)  

Fairbanks priest called Alaska Natives “fairly loose” on sexual matters

Fr. Lom Loyens, leader of the Jesuits in Fairbanks, Alaska from 1976 to 1980 and holder of a doctorate in cultural anthropology, was deposed by victims’ attorneys in 2004 regarding Fr. Jules Convert. Convert has been accused of molesting at least eight children in the Fairbanks Diocese and died in 1995.

When asked if priests molesting young boys would have a negative effect on boys, Loyens said that Alaska Natives were “fairly loose” on sexual matters.  He also claimed that Alaska Native women fondled the testicles of their boy children.

Finally, he said that sexual abuse would not be as traumatic for Alaska Native children as it would be for white children, since, in his opinion, it was a part of the Native People’s culture.

Church leaders immediately distanced themselves from the priest’s comments.  But it looks like the Diocese of Fairbanks has the same negative opinion of Alaska’s Native People as Loyens does.

Disgusted?  Us, too.  Read the Deposition Excerpt of Lom Loyens.

Published in: on October 30, 2009 at 3:02 am  Comments (5)  

Sex Abuse Victims Call Fairbanks Diocese Reorganization Plan A “Second Rape”

Statement by Elsie Boudreau

It is unacceptable and devastating that the lives of our Native children are worth so little in the eyes of Bishop Kettler and the Fairbanks Diocese.  Their minimum offer of $5500 to children who were raped, sodomized, deprived of cultural integrity, robbed of language rights, separated from families, and basically treated as second class citizens is nothing more than a second rape.

Diocese officials knew that they were sending predator pedophiles into our villages where children were so trusting and were shown by example to respect those wearing the white collar.  Officials knew that these men raped innocent boys and girls by the hundreds, but allowed them to continue serving as “Christ on earth.”  And all the while, officials have denied the abuse, told victims to keep quiet, and refused to pay for services to help them.

Bishop Kettler declared bankruptcy last year rather than be exposed in more than 200 possibly scandalous and damning sex abuse trials that would show the full scope and scale of the abuse and the cover-up by church officials.  Every step of the way, diocese officials have used legal tactics and half-truths to avoid being pastoral, doing the right thing, and acting in a Christian manner.   This offer of $5500 is so meaningless, that it will not even pay for a year’s worth of therapy and the expenses that the victims incur to simply have access to services.

This reorganization plan is a slap in the face to a proud and dignified people.  We, as Native people, can no longer tolerate being treated as second class citizens.  We need to band together in unity and insist justice be done.  Diocese officials should be ashamed, and we hope that the courts reject the plan in order for our people to ascribe to the level of humanness we know and deserve.

Elsie Boudreau LMSW is a Alaska Native survivor of clergy sexual abuse, social worker and advocate for victims.

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm  Comments (5)  

Child Rape Is Only Worth $5,500

This week, the Diocese of Fairbanks submitted an amended bankruptcy reorganization plan to federal bankruptcy court.

They leaked it to the media early in order to get favorable coverage before victims had the opportunity to respond.

The final result:  Alaska Native victims of sexual abuse, who have suffered for generations at the hands of priests from the Fairbanks Diocese and the Jesuits, are only guaranteed $5,500.

For victims who live in Alaska Native Villages – many without running water – that amount barely pays for a year’s worth of counseling.

Please help us voice your outrage.  Write letters to the editor, talk to your friends, spread the word and make sure that victims of sexual abuse DO NOT BECOME VICTIMS OF A SECOND RAPE.

Fairbanks News Miner: letters@newsminer.com

Anchorage Daily News: letters@adn.com

Alaska Star: akstar@micronet.net

The Frontiersman: letters@alaska.net

Juneau Empire: editor@juneauempire.com

Nome Nugget: nugget@nome.net, nancym@nome.net

Tundra Drums: drums@unicom-alaska.com

Delta Discovery: realnews@deltadiscovery.com

Bristol Bay Times: bbtimes@nushtel.net

Alaska Newspapers: aknewspr@alaska.net

Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 10:46 pm  Leave a Comment