Racism in the Diocese of Fairbanks, Part V: The Yup’iks Aren’t Smart Enough to Know They Are Being Abused

Squirm alert: this one is going to make your blood boil.

Fr. James E. Jacobson was a naughty, naughty priest. He spent 13 years – from 1963 to 1976 – working in Alaska’s Yup’ik villages. And while he was there, he liked to rape the girls. At least three of these women have now come forward, two of whom have hard evidence (and a positive DNA test): the children that Jacobson fathered.

Their civil suits unearthed a letter that shows how pervasive racism was in the diocese.

It tells how back in 1967, allegations against Jacobson were coming from the villages. Finally, because they were considered “serious moral charges,” the Bishop of Fairbanks launched an investigation – a year after the birth of Jacobson’s first child. The investigation concluded that the locals were prone to “personal grudges and politics” and that they “were not advanced enough to give impartial and true testimony.”

In the eyes of the Bishop of Fairbanks, the Yup’iks were not smart enough or advanced enough to know that they were being molested. No matter what they said or what they could prove, the Diocese saw them as little more than animals.

All of the juicy details are included (click HERE) in the missive from Fr. Jules Convert, SJ (oh yeah, he’s a perp, too – with more than 18 victims) to the Jesuit Provincial in Portland.

The women and the children sued the Jesuits and the Diocese of Fairbanks in 2005 for support. What did the Diocese of Fairbanks think that these women deserved for caring for children fathered by the sexual assault of one of their priests?  You got it: $5,500.

Because apparently, the Diocese still sees them as less than human.

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Published in: on November 8, 2009 at 8:45 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is hugely important information.
    I almost didn’t see it because it is posted on the abuse tracker for yesterday.
    I think from reading the Archbishop Dolan articles that were taking over the news, that this particular SECOND RAPE story is something to share with the NY TIMES.
    In fact this is exactly what the whole church needs to know the world needs to know.
    I hope you might send it out to all the news media..

    • Thank you – Please feel free to forward the link to the NYT and all news media. We need a critical mass telling the mainstream media that this story IS IMPORTANT.

  2. […] A 1962 letter from molesting priest James E. Jacobson (You’ll remember him from my last post), to the Father Provincial saying that Poole was using the confessional to ask Alaska Native girls […]


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