TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
October 16, 2020
By Jessica Bruno and Adrian Ghobial
[See the full Basilian response.]
To keep children safe from sexual abuse, the Catholic Church needs to go beyond rules and re-think the way it’s run, says one of Canada’s leading experts on clergy abuse.
“The clergy sexual abuse crisis has unrolled as it has, not because people didn’t pay attention to Church beliefs, tradition and regulation, but in fact because of those rules and regulations,” says Sister Nuala Kenny, a Catholic nun and pediatrician who has been on the frontlines of the sex abuse crisis in Canada for four decades.
CityNews has been investigating the stories of multiple people who say they were sexually assaulted by priests as children. All the priests in question belong to a Catholic order called the Basilian Fathers, also known as the Congregation of St. Basil, whose headquarters is in Toronto.
We reached out to Basilian Vicar General Father David Katulski, who victims are instructed to contact should they have a sexual assault claim. He is also the order’s media contact. Instead of hearing back from Fr. Katulski, we received an email from the Basilians’ longtime lawyer, who turned down our interview requests.
“Historically, it’s deeply problematic because of the secrecy and silence,” Sr. Kenny says. “As long as you’re holding on to ‘We have to protect the image, and protect the institution, and institutional reputation and offender reputation,’ you can’t make amends in this way.”
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