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

By David Clohessy
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
July 29, 2015

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.
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.
Quaker officials across Oregon should now use their resources – parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements - to seek out anyone else who saw, suspected, suffered or hid Bishop’s crimes.
Bishop may have assaulted kids at several churches or non-Quaker kids. So his supervisors should hold a news conference begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police and prosecutors. Since they helped conceal his crimes, they must actively work to find others with information or suspicions 
Quaker officials, including Newberg Friends Church pastor Gregg Koskela and NWYM superintendent Becky Ankeny, should personally go to every church where Bishop was, even briefly, and beg their flock to call police if they saw, suspected of suffered his crimes.
Silence in the face of child sex allegations puts more kids at risk of great harm. Quaker officials aren’t stupid. They know this. But for their comfort, convenience and careers, they deliberately chose, time and time again, to hide knowledge about an admitted predator from police. 
To protect kids and deter wrongdoing, again, we hope they are prosecuted, convicted and severely punished. And we hope other Quaker officials will launch an internal investigation and oust every single person who put kids in harm’s way by staying silent about Bishop’s crimes.


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