Church Abuse Investigations in London

Let me start with a statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director for SNAP: Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests:
“We are glad any time any effort is made to unearth the truth about child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic institutions. Still, if an investigation is to be effective and honest, it must be run by truly independent, secular authorities – not church authorities.
We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered abuse at this abbey will step forward, get help, expose wrongdoing and start recovering. But we hope they first contact law enforcement officials, not Catholic ones.”

Here ia s link to an article in the “Mail Online”:
Pope orders inquiry into child sex abuse by teachers at London school 

And to another in The Telegraph:
Vatican orders inquiry into child sex abuse claims at UK schools

And the Guardian:

“… putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank”

And a link to Kathy Shaw’s Blog:
“Abuse Tracker”

Definisjonsmakt og kirkeovergrep:

Til biskop Bernt Eidsvig Can.Reg., (Bernt.Eidsvig@katolsk.no) med kopi til Klassekampen.

Dette blir også oversatt til engelsk og sendt til

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests  (http://www.snapnetwork.org/),

og begge språkversjonene blir lagt ut i: http://freudfri.blogspot.com/
Definisjonsmakt[i] og kirkeovergrep:[ii]
Hvor er ofrene?
Åpent brev til Den katolske kirken i Norge
v/ biskop Bernt Eidsvig
Vi er søstre, vi har begge vært utsatt for seksuelle overgrep innen Den katolske kirken, og vi har informert Den katolske kirkes etiske råd om overgrepene.
Likevel visste vi ikke at Katolsk Akademi skulle formidle ”En gjennomgang, oppsummering og analyse av overgrepssakene i Den katolske kirke”[iii]  før det sto i Klassekampen fredag 14. oktober. Det ble for kort varsel for oss; vi ønsket ikke å stille uforberedt til et slikt møte.
 har vi noen spørsmål:
Blir foredragene som ble holdt 18.10 publisert på katolsk.no, slik at andre kan vurdere innholdet i ettertid? Og blir et referat av ”Diskusjon, spørsmål” også å lese på katolsk.no?
Kirken visste om oss, og ifølge Kirken er det nesten ingen i Norge som har varslet om overgrep. Hvorfor var ikke vi invitert til å delta i denne gjennomgangen, oppsummeringen og analysen av overgrepssakene i Den katolske kirke? På listen over foredragsholdere er det bare en biskop, en diakon og en journalist. Vi ser ingen representant for ofrene. Hvem eier definisjonsmakten i denne situasjonen?
Var det meningen at Kirkens overgrepsofre kunne få slippe til under ”Diskusjon, spørsmål” etter foredragene? Vi øynet ingen mulighet for å bidra med logiske innspill under slike forhold og på så kort varsel, uten å vite noe om innholdet i foredragene på forhånd.
Hvorfor fikk vi ikke respons på våre spørsmål og forslag til Kirkens fagetiske råd?
Den siste eposten fra Fagetisk råd slutter slik:
Er det noe Fagetisk råd kan gjøre videre med saken, ønsker du en beklagelse fra Kirkens side over det som skjedde?”
Her er vårt svar: Denne  formuleringen legger ansvaret over på offeret. Om en beklagelse skal ha noen verdi, må den komme uoppfordret og vise at man vet hva man har grunn til å beklage. Vi holder ikke pusten.
Kari-Anne Pedersen
og Ingrid Johanne Vaalund
Det åpne brevet ble sendt til biskopen med denne eposten:
Fra: “Ingrid Johanne Vaalund”
Til: Bernt.Eidsvig@katolsk.no, tollefm@klassekampen.no
Cc: Kari-Anne
Emne: Definisjonsmakt og kirkeovergrep
Dato: Thu, 20 Oct 2011 15:51:34 +0200

Biskop Bernt Eidsvig Can.Reg


Vi legger ved vår kommentar til ”En gjennomgang, oppsummering og analyse av overgrepssakene i Den katolske kirke”, med kopi til Klassekampens kronikk- og debattredaktør. 

Og vi venter spent på Kirkens respons.

Med hilsen

Kari-Anne Pedersen og Ingrid Johanne Vaalund
Dagen etter kom dette svaret:
Kari-Anne Pedersen og Ingrid Johanne Vaalund,


Takk for at dere har sendt meg dette direkte. Jeg ser at vi har svakheter i våre rutiner, selvom jeg – neppe uventet – reserverer meg mot konklusjonene. Jeg har i løpet av det siste halvannet år ført en rekke samtaler med personer som har vært utsatt for overgrep fra katolske geistlige, og håper at det vil bli anledning til en samtale med dere.


Vennlig hilsen,
Bernt Eidsvig.
***
Foreløpig har vi valgt å legge biskopens svar til side en stund og ta oss tid til å tenke gjennom hele denne situasjonen.

Men da jeg hadde lest biskopens foredrag, skrev jeg til katolsk.no og påpekte en del faktafeil. 


[i] ”Definisjonsmakt er makt til å få gjennomslag for sin versjon av virkeligheten. Man vil ofte finne flere konkurrerende definisjoner på et begrep, og den som har definisjonsmakt vil som regel få gjennomslag for sin definisjon.”
[ii] Vi kaller det ”kirkeovergrep” og ikke ”presteovergrep” fordi vi mener at overgrep som er begått av en autoritetsperson i en meget autoritær, verdensomspennende institusjon har forsterket kraft til å skade
Katolsk Akademi 18. oktober om overgrepssakene i Kirken
En gjennomgang, oppsummering og analyse av overgrepssakene i Den katolske kirke.
TIRSDAG 18. OKTOBER
Kl. 18.00 – 21.00
Innledning og gjennomgang – hva skjer nå?
ved biskop Bernt Eidsvig Can.Reg.
En teologisk og diakonalt forankret vurdering av sakenes innhold og håntering.
ved studiedekan Tormod Kleven, Høyskolen Diakonova
Pressens rolle og agering. En pressefaglig vurdering.
ved redaktør Jon Magne Lund, Vårt Land.
Diskusjon, spørsmål.
Sted: Mariagården, Akersveien 16, Oslo
Påmelding på grunn av enkel servering: akademi@katolsk.no
Katolsk Akademi i Oslo katolske bispedømme ble etablert i desember 2009 og skal sette problemstillinger innen teologi, filosofi, kultur og samfunn på dagsorden. Seminarene skal være en møteplass og arena hvor meninger og tanker kan luftes og løftes frem. Fra høsten 2010 utvidet Katolsk Akademi virksomheten med retretter.
Alle seminarer og retretter finner sted i Mariagården, Akersveien 16, Oslo.
Pris: retrett kr 100,-; seminar kr 50,-
For nærmere informasjon, kontakt May-Lisbeth Myrhaug (leder).





Factual Errors in the Bishop’s Lecture // correction

Oct 27, 2011:
Correction: In his response to our open letter, the bishop cleared up a misunderstanding by explaining that “the meeting was about abuse cases in The Catholic Diocese of Oslo and “Trondheim Stift”. The original   wording was: “A review, summation and analysis of the abuse cases in The Catholic Church”.  









The day after this was written …

… the Norwegian Catholic Church’s website had an article on the Catholic Academy’s ”review, summation and analysis of the abuse cases in The Catholic Church”.
Here is a link to the Norwegian text
There was also a link to the bishop’s lecture, and a one of the paragraphs there compelled me to write to the site’s web editor. The following is a translation of what I wrote: 
From: “Ingrid Johanne Vaalund”
To: webred@katolsk.no
Subject: Factual Errors in the Bishop’s Lecture
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2011
There are some factual errors in the bishop’s summation of the abuse cases that I am asking katolsk.no to correct.  
In the lecture that  I found here …
… the bishop wrote:  
“In this period there were some people who got in touch with us and informed of abuse. Some had been subjected to this as children, others as adults. The Professional Ethics Council tried to follow up all of them. Some asked for help in getting treatment, others wanted confirm what they said in writing. The need to be believed was common to them all, as was the wish to remain anonymous.”
This is incorrect if my sister, Kari-Anne Pedersen, and I are included in “all”.
The Professional Ethics Council’s “follow-up” of  Kari-Anne and me is documented in “A correspondence with the Catholic Professional Ethics Council”.
Neither Kari-Anne nor I have asked for help in getting treatment, and we have not asked for any kind of written confirmation of what happened. What is important for us, is to share our extremely hard-earned experience on Church violations. This we offered the Ethics Council in 2010: “… my sister and I are willing to meet with the council, if it thinks that our experiences and viewpoints can be useful.” 
I have no idea who “all” are, but Kari-Anne and I have not expressed any need to be believed. Our lack of this need is documented in our correspondence with the Ethics Council. 
Neither do we have the slightest wish to be anonymous. Both Kari-Anne and I have written essays on this subject in Klassekampen, [and in 1988 an international magazine requested an article from me – the uncut English version is here: http://freudfri.blogspot.com/2011/03/we-shall-no-longer-be-silent-1988.html9]. In 1988 I was plastered all over the front page of  VG, [a Norwegian tabloid], as a victim of priestly violations (I can send you a scanned facsimile). And last year Kari-Anne gave an interview to Klassekampen about the violations.  I cannot find a direct link to that article, but …
… it was repeated by NRK {the national  broadcasting company]: 
And by “Dagbladet”:
and by “Hamar Arbeiderblad”:
I am appending an open letter from us to the Church with the bishop’s response. This was written before I read the bishop’s lecture.
 Greetings
 Ingrid Vaalund

Faktafeil i biskopens foredrag ///rettelse

27.10.11:
Det var avklarende å få presisert i biskopens respons i Klassekampen at: ”Møtet dreide seg om overgrepssaker i Oslo katolske bispedømme og Trondheim stift.” Det blir noe helt annet enn den opprinnelige ordlyden: “En gjennomgang, oppsummering og analyse av overgrepssakene i Den katolske kirke.”

Her er en lenke til katolsk.nos omtale av gjennomgangen av overgrepssakene

Fra: “Ingrid Johanne Vaalund”
Til: webred@katolsk.no
Emne: Faktafeil i biskopens foredrag
Dato: Fri, 21 Oct 2011
Det er noen faktafeil i biskopens gjennomgang av overgrepssakene som jeg ber katolsk.no om å korrigere.
I foredraget på
skrev biskopen:
“I denne tid var det flere som tok kontakt med oss, og fortalte om overgrep. Noen hadde vært utsatt for dette som barn, andre som voksne. Fagetisk råd forsøkte å følge opp alle. Noen bad om hjelp til å få behandling, andre ønsket en skriftlig stillingtagen fra min side. Behovet for å bli trodd var felles for dem alle, likeledes ønsket om å forbli anonyme.”
Dette er ukorrekt hvis “alle” også inkluderer min søster, Kari-Anne Pedersen og meg.
Fagetisk råds såkalte forsøk på oppfølging av Kari-Anne og meg er dokumentert i “Korrespondanse med Den katolske kirkens etiske råd”
Verken Kari-Anne eller jeg har bedt om hjelp til å få behandling, og vi har ikke ønsket noen skriftlig stillingtagen. Det som er viktig for oss, er å formidle våre svært dyrekjøpte erfaringer om kirkeovergrep. Det tilbød vi Etisk Råd i 2010: “Ellers er ikke noe som fagetisk råd kan hjelpe oss med. Men søsteren min og jeg stiller villig opp til et møte med rådet, om det mener at våre erfaringer og synspunkter kan være til nytte.”
Jeg vet ikke hvilke “alle” biskopen snakker om, men Kari-Anne og jeg har ikke gitt uttrykk for noe behov for å bli trodd; det kommer tydelig fram i korrespondansen med Etisk råd.
Ei heller har vi ønsket å forbli anonyme – snarere tvert imot. Både Kari-Anne og jeg har skrevet kronikker i Klassekampen om dette emnet; allerede i  1988 ble jeg brettet ut på forsiden av VG som presteovergrepsoffer (scannet faksimilie kan oversendes), og i fjor ble Kari-Anne intervjuet av Klassekampen om overgrepene. Jeg finner ingen lenke til KK-intervjuet, men  …
… det ble gjengitt i NRK:
og i Dagbladet:
og i Hamar Arbeiderblad:
Jeg legger ved et åpent brev fra oss til Kirken med biskopens respons. Og gjør oppmerksom på at dette ble skrevet før jeg leste biskopens foredrag.
 Hilsen Ingrid Vaalund

Power of Definition and Church Abuse:* Where are the victims?



To bishop Bernt Eidsvig Can.Reg., (Bernt.Eidsvig@katolsk.no), and  Klassekampen.
This will also be translated into English and sent to
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests  (http://www.snapnetwork.org/),
And both language versions will be published in  http://freudfri.blogspot.com/
October 20th, 2011
   
Open letter to The Catholic Church in Norway
and bishop Bernt Eidsvig
 We are sisters, both of us have been sexually violated within The Catholic Church, and we have informed the Professional Ethics Council of these violations. 
Yet we were not informed that The Catholic Academy was going to deliver “A review, summation and analysis of the abuse cases in The Catholic Church” ** until we read it in “Klassekampen” four days before the meeting was to be held. That was too short a notice for us, we did not wish to arrive to a meeting like that without time to prepare.
Now we have some questions:
Will the lectures that were held on October 18th be published on katolsk.no, http://www.katolsk.no/, and open to evaluation? And will it be possible to read a transcript of “Discussion, questions” there?
The Catholic Church knew about us, and asserts that almost no one in Norway has informed of sexual violations. So why were we not invited to take part in this “review, summation and analysis of the abuse cases in The Catholic Church”? *** There is only a bishop, a deacon and a journalist on the list of lecturers. We do not see a representative of the Church’s victims there. Who has the power of definition in this situation?
Was the intention that The Church’s abuse victims could speak during “Discussion, questions” after the lectures? We did not think it would be feasible to communicate logically under these conditions and on such short notice, without knowing anything about the contents of the lectures.
Why did not the Church’s Ethical Council respond to our questions and suggestions?
(The correspondence is translated here:
Our final email from the Ethics Council ends like this:
”Is there anything further that The Ethics Council can do about this case? Do you wish to receive an apology from the Church for what happened?”
Here is our answer: This choice of words places responsibility on the victim. A genuine apology is given spontaneously and shows clearly that one knows what one has to apologize for. We are not holding our breath.
Kari-Anne Pedersen
and Ingrid Johanne Vaalund
***
This open letter was sent to Bishop Eidsvig on the day it was written,
with the following email message:
Subject: Power of Definition and Church Abuse

We enclose our response to “A review, summation and analysis of the abuse cases in The Catholic Church”, appending a copy to the essay and debate editor of Klassekampen.

And we eagerly await The Church’s response. 

Yours,

Kari-Anne Pedersen and Ingrid Johanne Vaalund
The next day we received this reply from the bishop: 
Kari-Anne Pedersen and Ingrid Johanne Vaalund,

Thank you for sending this directly to me. I realize that we have weaknesses in our routines, even though I – probably not unexpectedly – have reservations about the conclusions. [the latter is a direct translation of “reserverer meg mot konklusjonene”]  During the last 18 months I have had [the Norwegian word, “ført”, while correct in this context, can also mean “led”] a series of conversations with people who have been subjected to abuse from Catholic priests, and I hope there will be an opportunity for a conversation with you. 


Friendly greetings
Bernt Eidsvig.
***
Our temporary conclusion is that we have decided to leave the bishop’s response on the back burner for a while and give ourselves time to think about this whole situation.
ETA Oct. 22nd:  I found the bishop’s lecture on katolsk.no and have written to correct some factual errors. 

FOOTNOTES:

*
We prefer the term ”church abuse” to ”priestly abuse” because integrity violations that are committed by an authority figure within an authoritarian,  international organization can have added power to harm.
**
Norwegian information about the meeting on the church’s web site.
I have only translated the pertinent information, which is bolded:
Katolsk Akademi 18. oktober om overgrepssakene i Kirken
A review, summation and analysis of the abuse cases in The Catholic Church
TIRSDAG 18. OKTOBER
Kl. 18.00 – 21.00
Introduction and review – what happens now? 
by bishop Bernt Eidsvig Can.Reg.
A theologically and deaconally(?) anchored assessment of the contents and handling of the case, by study deacon (?)Tormod Kleven, Høyskolen Diakonova
The role and actions of the press. A professional assessment
By editor Jon Magne Lund, Vårt Land (a Lutheran newspaper)
Discussion, questions
Sted: Mariagården, Akersveien 16, Oslo
Påmelding på grunn av enkel servering: akademi@katolsk.no

A correspondence with the Catholic Professional Ethics Council

Email correspondence with the Professional Ethics Council
of the Catholic Church in Norway

Translated from Norwegian

Copy sent to SNAP:
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests


På norsk her
On April 14th 2010 I wrote:
Subject: Information about (very old) violations  
I wish to inform formally that Father XX SJ sexually violated my integrity in the 1960s.
He never worked in Norway, but violations also happened here, when he was visiting my parents in Ottestad, and when he visited us in Rome, Italy.
Father XX was the priest who gave me my first communion and confirmed me. That was in India, when he was a teacher at XX School in Darjeeling. He was later transferred to Canada, and I now wonder if that could have been in connection with sexual violations at the school where he worked. 
Over the years Father XX sent me many pornographic letters, which I now regret having burned a long time ago. I have been more interested in  healing the damage he and The Church caused than in accusations and documentation, but now I want to be yet another number in the Church’s statistics.
I am attaching an essay I have written about what I consider to be the background for the Church’s acceptance of sexual violations of children’s integrity. If you wish, I can send an English translation when it is done. *
I will also be sending you a description of the violations and my viewpoints as to why Church violations are so harmful. But it is going to take time to process and write this.
Thanks for the last time [direct translation]. You held the funeral mass for my mother.
Greetings
Ingrid
I received a reply the very next day:
Thu, 15 Apr 2010, Arne Marco Kirsebom wrote:
Hi,
I thank you for your openness and for your letter that you attached. It is useful support for being able to learn. [direct translation, doesn’t make much more sense in Norwegian] I think it is completely horrible what molesters do and I agree that The Church has not yet understood the seriousness to the victims. [direct translation again] I take the liberty of giving you a link to some thoughts that I formulated on my blog just before Easter: http://arnemarco.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/overgrep-og-judas/. [contains bible quote about millstones and “cause to sin”]
You write that the violations are very outdated. But is there anything you want the Professional Ethics Council to do for you?
I remember the funeral and the gathering afterwards.
With friendly greetings
p. Arne Marco Kirsebom
           
I sent a reply on the same day:
Thu, 15 Apr 2010
Thank you for your quick response, your link and your offer to help.
And I do actually need help with some bible research. There is an expression in your blog post that creeps me out, and I would very much like to know what the original wording is.
I’m thinking of “caused to sin”. **
[The expression in Norwegian is “leads to fall”] This has overtones of “sin” that are completely misleading and places yet another millstone onto the burden of guilt and shame that victims of Church violations already bear. ***
Sexual violation of a child’s integrity is not a question of being caused to sin, it is a question of CAUSING HARM. One is just as actually harmed as if one had been hit by a car … and it would not occur to anyone to say that a traffic victim was “caused to sin”.
In English I have found these translations:
“But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin”
and
 “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me”
So the translations are very different.
Apart from that, there is nothing that the Professional Ethics Council can help us with. But my sister and I are willing to meet with the council, if it thinks that our experiences and viewpoints can be useful.
And I strongly suggest that the council gets in touch with The Support Centre Against Incest in Oslo and asks for guidance. There are many similarities between incest and church violations, and the victims’ problems later in life are the same. So the Support Centre can help you with valuable expertise on how to meet children and others who inform of church violations.
Greetings
Ingrid
(Copy to Kari-Anne and a separate copy to The Support Centre with an explanation)
***
My sister and I did not get a response to this.
We did not get an answer to our Bible question
The Catholic Church’s Professional Ethics Council was not interested in our experiences and viewpoints.
The Catholic Church’s Professional Ethics Council did not get in touch with The Support Centre.
And we had not become numbers in the statistics when bishop Eidsvig was interviewed on national TV on April 16th 2010.
On February 10th 2011, almost a year later, P. Arne Marco Kirsebom wrote:  
Dear Ingrid Johanne Vaalund,
I am appending a text that we now have received from the Jesuit Order about p. XX. As you see, he died 20 years ago.
Is there anything more that the Professional Ethics Council can do about this case, do you want an apology from the Church for what happened?
With friendly greetings
P. Arne Marco Kirsebom
Here is the appended text:
(I have XXed out some names to protect privacy)
This is Fr. Ignacio Echarte, S.I.
Secretary of the Society of Jesus
I reply to your request, which we have received through our webpage, about Fr. Francis XX.
Francis G. XX, was born in XX,  on the 17.10.1910
Joined the Society on the 05.02.1931
He was ordained on the 21.11.1943
He made his last vows on the 15.08.1946
He died on the 23.01.1991, in XX
Sincerely yours,
Ignacio Echarte S.J.
Segretario S.J.
secretarius-sj@sjcuria.org
tf. (+39) 06 689 771
We knew that Stalker Priest had been born, had died and where he had lived. We had not asked for this information. And this unasked for and unnecessary information came in an email two days after I posted a critical essay on “The Catholic Church in Norway” in this blog. [Not yet translated.] 
In time I will use this correspondence with the Ethics Council as a starting point for an article on cognitive dissonance and religious gaslighting. For now I just need time to assimilate the attempts my sister and I have made to communicate with The Catholic Church in Norway.
Footnotes:
*
This has not yet been translated
**
When I was checking  Matthew 18.6 today, I came across a translation that would have made my life easier when I was a child, even if the millstone would still have caused problems:
“And everyone who commits an offense against one of these little ones who believe in me, it were profitable for him that a donkey’s millstone would be hung around his neck and he be sunk in the depths of the sea.”
***
In another context I am going to explain why Matthew 18.6 kept me from saying anything when the violations were ongoing. The short version is  that not only was I convinced that I had sinned, I also knew that Stalker Priest did not deserve to have a millstone hung around his neck and be drowned at sea. I only wanted him to leave me alone, and it never occurred to me to ask for help in protecting my borders and integrity. As I see it, one of the biggest failings of The Catholic Church has been and is its blindness to children’s borders and integrity and their fundamental need and basic right to protect them.

Occupy Wall Street

I’ve been reading with an aching heart:

We are the 99 percent. 

“We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we’re working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.”

Added later:

I keep thinking of George Lakoff’s “Don’t think of an Elephant” as I read the 99 % site. And of his description of two basic family models that shape our thinking:

From Wiki:

Lakoff argues that the differences in opinions between liberals and conservatives follow from the fact that they subscribe with different strength to two different metaphors about the relationship of the state to its citizens. Both, he claims, see governance through metaphors of the family. Conservatives would subscribe more strongly and more often to a model that he calls the “strict father model” and has a family structured around a strong, dominant “father” (government), and assumes that the “children” (citizens) need to be disciplined to be made into responsible “adults” (morality, self-financing). Once the “children” are “adults”, though, the “father” should not interfere with their lives: the government should stay out of the business of those in society who have proved their responsibility. In contrast, Lakoff argues that liberals place more support in a model of the family, which he calls the “nurturant parent model”, based on “nurturant values”, where both “mothers” and “fathers” work to keep the essentially good “children” away from “corrupting influences” (pollution, social injustice, poverty, etc.). Lakoff says that most people have a blend of both metaphors applied at different times, and that political speech works primarily by invoking these metaphors and urging the subscription of one over the other.


Lakoff further argues that one of the reasons liberals have had difficulty since the 1980s is that they have not been as aware of their own guiding metaphors, and have too often accepted conservative terminology framed in a way to promote the strict father metaphor.

I’ve recently read an article (that I can’t find) about poverty being the new form of slavery. And I honestly have not been able to understand the callousness of saying or implying the whole “you made your bed, now lie in it” thing until I read Lakoff’s description of the family models.

YEAYYYY to all who post their stories on 99 %. And to all of you who are active in the OWS movement!