OR–Rare child sex case filed in Portland vs. Quakers

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 29

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

A rare child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit has been filed against Oregon Quaker officials who apparently put an admitted child molester back on the job last year and hid his crimes. We hope law enforcement will investigate and charge church staff for their reckless, callous, secretive and selfish actions.

[The Newberg Graphic]

A former Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends youth superintendent, Bruce Bishop, is being sued for allegedly repeatedly abusing a boy between 11 and 16 years old. According to one news source, last year, Quaker officials confronted Bishop with abuse accusations, he “confirmed” them, was quietly suspended, but was later forgiven by his church colleagues and returned to ministry. If true, this is horrifying.

“Forgiveness” doesn’t sanction recklessness. We can forgive a drunk driver but shouldn’t give him school bus keys. We can forgive someone who commits violence but shouldn’t give him a gun. We can forgive someone who abuses kids but shouldn’t give him any role, much less a paid position around youngsters, in a church.

We’ve seen few lawsuits like this against Quakers. Often, in smaller, less rigid and authoritarian churches like this, it’s even harder for victims to come forward, seek justice and expose church officials who commit or conceal child sex crimes. We applaud this brave man for speaking up and hope his courage will inspire others abused in Quaker congregations to take action to protect others.

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