[NEWS RELEASE] ECA GLOBAL UPDATE
CA (Ending Clergy Abuse) Global
January 21, 2021
THE "NEW NORMAL"
Another year is ahead of us and 2021 has certainly brought with it several of the uncertainties and troubling features that lingered throughout 2020 as well as new challenges and opportunities. The phrase "the "new normal" has all of us seeking new ways of adjusting to life under the looming COVID-19 pandemic, such as working from home and safely connecting with family and friends through technologies such as Zoom and many social platforms. Governments and health care workers everywhere are scrambling to get the global pandemic under control and the dire need for the vaccine to be readily available, especially to those most vulnerable, is the urgent call.
In the midst of all of this, ECA is still working to hold accountable those who have violated the rights of children in church settings and ECA is committed to seeking justice for survivors.
ECA'S HIGHLIGHTS OF 2020 INCLUDE:
LUCAS LECOUR AND SERGIO SALINAS (ARGENTINA), Argentine Attorneys, for their historic prosecution and conviction of clergy for abusing deaf survivors and their journey to Geneva and Rome to highlight the Vatican’s failure to protect children and provide justice to survivors; ECA has supported their efforts and will help in their action against the government of Argentina before the OAS court and before the United Nations;
ADALBERTO MENDEZ LOPEZ (MEXICO) AND SARA OVIEDO (ECUADOR) for precedent setting hearing before the OAS (Organization of American States) Inter-American Human Rights Commission to promote justice for survivors in the Americas, particularly Latin America. ECA provided assistance for legal fees for this effort.
JANET AGUTI OF UGANDA and her groundbreaking grassroots effort to educate local communities about sexual violence and providing services for children and women who are victims of sexual violence; ECA financially supports her important work.
MURRAY HEASELY OF NEW ZEALAND and his successful new podcast, The Reckoning, and his role in convincing the New Zealand government to initiate the Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate institutions, Including the Church, for the historic sexual abuse of its children.
ANNA FRANKOWSKA OF POLAND, a lawyer, whose Supreme Court case for the first time held the Polish Catholic Church responsible for the abuse of its clergy. ECA submitted a Friend of the Court brief demonstrating
international precedent for holding the Church responsible for the actions of their clergy. Poland is rocked by a documentary on clergy sexual abuse.
FRANCESCO ZANARDI OF ITALY and his foundation Rete L’ Abuso, often the only voice, documenting clergy abuse in Italy. ECA’s WhatsApp forum is an important source of emotional support for Francesco and ECA is able to help provide some funding for his work.
PEDRO SALINAS OF PERU and his courageous effort to expose the abuse and corruption of a Church sponsored group, Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (SVC). Pedro and his partners have been harassed and threatened for their advocacy. ECA published a letter in the Peru national press in support of his efforts and letting his adversaries know that the world is watching.
EVELYN KORKMAZ (CREE NATION OF CANADA) advocating for the indigenous residential school survivors of abuse in Canada. ECA has helped her to achieve a national voice.
LEONA HUGGINS (CANADA) for her relentless pressure on Canadian Bishops to release the names of abusing clergy, for the release of the files and for a zero tolerance law in the Canadian Catholic Church.
GEMMA HICKEY (CANADA), Founder of Pathways and Co- founder of Advocates for Clergy Trauma Survivors (ACTS) and their ground breaking activism in Canada.
SIMONE PADOVANI (ITALY) and the launch of his PhotoVoice Project and Shutterstock/Alamy Project and for all his contributions to ECA Global.
JOSEPH KENNEDY (INDIA) for his advocacy with journalist Savio Rodrigues and his “Hail Mary” project.
VIRGINIA SALDANHA (INDIA) is part of the formation of “Sisters in Solidarity” to support women victims of clerical abuse.
MATTHIAS KATSCH (GERMANY) and his work with the German Bishops to investigate the history of abuse in the Catholic German Church. As the spokesperson for the survivor association "Eckiger Tisch", Matthias commented on a new 2020 survey of heads of German Catholic religious orders which found abuse allegations against at least 654 members over a period of decades.
NADIA DEBBACHE (FRANCE), a lawyer with the French Association La Parole Libérée, and her historic efforts in the courts of France to seek justice for French survivors and hold clergy accountable.
JEAN-MARIE FURBRINGER AND JACQUES NUOFFER (SWITZERLAND) of the SAPEC Group which provides support for people abused in a relationship of religious authority. They are calling for the church to acknowledge the crimes of sexual abuse of children under their care.
DENISE BUCHANAN (JAMAICA) and her work with Jamaicans for Justice calling for Parliament to remove the proposed 12-month statute of limitations for reporting sexual harassments in Jamaica.
TIM LAW (USA) and his work with the Seattle based group "Heal Our Church" contend that only full disclosure of the secret files — with a public airing about the archdiocese’s known pedophile clergy members and how the church dealt with them — can ultimately heal the church and rebuild trust within the broader community. See Seattle Times headline.