Clergy Abuse in New Mexico Isn't Going Away, but Neither Are Advocates for Justice (pt. 1)

By Kate Powell
April 4, 2016

[with audio]

Catholic dioceses in the United States have a problem with sexual abuse. It’s no secret anymore: Spotlight, a film documenting the work of a team of Boston Globe reporters investigating clergy abuse, took this year’s Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. But in New Mexico, where Roman Catholic traditions weave through the lives of even the most secular residents, the issue is harder to talk about, and justice seems harder to come by.

But that doesn’t mean no one is pursuing justice for New Mexicans abused by clergy. KSFR’s Kate Powell brings us interviews with an attorney who works to shed light on troubling practices by the Archdiocese, and a group of survivors who have broken their silence in hopes of making change for Catholic children today.

David Clohessy, Executive Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says New Mexico is still a “perfect storm” when it comes to clergy abuse. First, because there’s been virtually no independent investigation into clergy sex crimes in the state. Second, of the dozens of sexual abuse cases launched against the Santa Fe Archdiocese, not one has gone to a civil trial. And third, New Mexico has a strict statute of limitations to initiate prosecution in cases of sexual abuse.

That means it's still up to adults to do everything they can to keep children in their lives safe.Tomorrow, KSFR brings you resources for talking to children about their rights, their bodies, and their safety.








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