[Opinion] Add racism to church’s sex-abuse scandals

Duluth News Tribune

December 13, 2020

By David McGrath

“Too often the Catholic Church uses Native American communities to hide pedophile priests,” Phoenix attorney Robert Pastor said.

Environmental racism was a term coined to describe historical tendencies in the U.S. to store toxic waste on Native American reservations or build pollution-spewing incinerators in Latino or African-American neighborhoods.

An analogous term may now be required for the Catholic Church’s systematic dumping of sexually abusive priests into minority communities: Racist diocesan exile? Clergy abuse racism?

That’s because, as more information has been extracted through recent lawsuits against dioceses and investigations of abusive priests, it has become clear that the church often banished sex offenders to minority parishes as a way of burying them.

“It is amazing the number of priests whose assignment histories show them lasting a year or so at parish after parish until they get to an under-resourced, minority area, where, miraculously, they stay for a decade or more,” wrote Josh Peck, an attorney with Jeffrey Anderson & Associates, which has represented thousands of abuse victims.

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