Abuse allegations in Alaska

Report from the Anchorage Daily News:

A group of 43 Alaska Natives who say they were sexually abused by Catholic priests and church volunteers have sued the Jesuit order, alleging that remote Alaska villages became a worldwide dumping ground for clergy with histories of abuse.

...Some of the events alleged in the stream of lawsuits stretch back into the 1940s, and others happened as recently as 2001. But much of the abuse took place in the 1960s and 1970s, Wall said.

The new suit contends that pedophile priests unsuited to serve anywhere else were dumped on Alaska and put in remote villages with little or no law enforcement, making it virtually impossible for anyone to report them.

The paper has a link to the lawsuit (a .pdf) -- truly grim stuff, but I suppose you'd expect as much. The suit describes a situation where one serial abuser was knowingly "supervising" another, so as you can imagine, the alleged abuse is widespread and long-lasting. And there's another suit coming, the story says, representing 60 more victims. (The diocese of Fairbanks might be a defendant too, if they hadn't filed for bankruptcy last year.)

Mollie Wilson O’​Reilly is editor-at-large and columnist at Commonweal.

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