Tuesday, June 19, 2007
ST. JOHN OF GOD BROTHERS AND SEXUAL ABUSE
A controversial Catholic order has a culture of sexual abuse within its ranks and should be shut down, says its former complaints manager Michelle Mulvihill.
The psychologist and former nun has blown the whistle on the St John of God Order's crisis, after quitting as head of its professional standards committee for nine years.
Mulvihill said the brotherhood was in such a state of denial it was impossible to get the gravity of its abuse problem recognised.
"My impression is that there is a culture of collusion inside the province which is deeply ingrained, and which makes it almost impossible for the truth about these matters to be dealt with."
The final straw for Mulvihill came in March when four out of five of the Australasian province's newly elected leadership team had been or were the subject of historic sexual or physical abuse allegations.
She quit the next week.
"I tried to hang on for the sake of victims ... I had to resign because I could not stand dealing with this any more.
"Unfortunately, the chapter (meeting) at which the leadership was elected did not seem to consider the implications of electing leaders who were, or still are, subject to serious complaints."
Mulvihill has written to the order's Prior General in Rome, Brother Donatus Forkan, flagging serious problems she saw in the brotherhood. She wants the Australasian order shut down and its assets seized by its parent group in Rome.
Read the rest...