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Victims discuss abuse at Jesuit mission in Montana

Catholic World News - March 27, 2014

Jesuits and Ursuline sisters systematically abused children at an American Indian mission school in St. Ignatius, Montana, in the 1950s and 1960s, according to alumni of the school who spoke with the Missoula Independent.

“Though hundreds of survivors across the Northwest have come forward to take part in the lawsuits against the Jesuits, the Ursulines and the Diocese of Helena, there are many more who stay silent,” according to the newspaper. “The men and women who have spoken out say they only do so after a long internal struggle.”

In 2011, the Oregon province of the Jesuits agreed to a $166-million settlement with 500 alleged abuse victims in the Northwest. The Diocese of Helena has declared bankruptcy, and a trial involving claims against the local Ursuline province has been scheduled for the summer.

“When you look at the way they are dealing with the survivors, there is no compassion, there is no pastoral viewpoint from the bishop and the others,” said one victim. "It is all about dollars and cents, it is all about protecting their assets … To me, that is merciless.”

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  • Posted by: unum - Mar. 28, 2014 9:30 AM ET USA

    “When you look at the way they are dealing with the survivors, there is no compassion, there is no pastoral viewpoint from the bishop and the others,” said one victim. When disputes enter the legal system, there is no room for compassion. Anything said by either party can be used in court. Those who choose this path cannot complain about a lack of compassion. That said, the Church lost its reputation and financial stability because of abuse and still does a poor job of supervising personnel.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Mar. 27, 2014 8:57 PM ET USA

    This is but another example of the pedophile and homosexual priests and nuns allowed to stay in the Church. Hard to believe that none of this horrible behavior was unknown. It was easy to sweep under the rug because after all they were just indians. It is a disgrace that has manifested itself across the nations during a time then and partially now. We must clean out the devil from our seminaries and nunneries. God will judge us more harshly for what we fail to do than our wrongs.

  • Posted by: Don Vicente - Mar. 27, 2014 6:32 PM ET USA

    I read the full story from the Missoula Independent. This is absolutely horrible. Horrible.

  • Posted by: dfp3234574 - Mar. 27, 2014 12:54 PM ET USA

    Whatever happened to the word "alleged" with these stories? The linked article starts with "one early summer morning in 1963," *over a half-century ago*. Even the article admits that "many" of the accused priests are dead, no longer around to defend themselves. And I couldn't help but smell yellow journalism when one accuser actually claimed she spent her youth "fending off priests in the school's dark halls." Really? The article reads like a court filing for a Church-suing contingency lawyer.

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