‘They burned down my childhood’

The Denver Channel

Sept. 23, 2019

By Tony Kovaleski

As an eight-month investigation into Colorado’s Catholic Church and potential sexual abuse of minors by priests and high-ranking church members wraps up, with its details expected in coming weeks, a woman living in Colorado is recounting the hell she went through at a parish in Kansas as a young girl in hopes that other victims come forward.

“I would like to f—ing burn down their church and their rectory because I feel like they burned down my childhood,” the woman told Contact7 Investigates.

She agreed to speak on the record for this story on the condition she be referred to only as “Marie” – a pseudonym used because her coworkers and even members of her family do not know that she was sexually abused by priests at the Holy Cross Church in Hutchinson, Kansas as a young girl five decades ago.

But as investigators try to be sure through its review there are no known or suspected child abusers active in the ministry, Marie said she came forward in the hopes that her courage encourages others to do so as well, and to wipe away the stigma that only young boys were abused by priests in the church.

“I’m just ready to take the mask off,” she said. “These dirty secrets I was forced to keep by the Catholic Church are not mine to keep.”

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