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New Ulm Diocese sued over sex abuse

Lawsuit alleges priest abused teen boy in Henderson in 1982

June 19, 2013

NEW ULM — A lawsuit against the Diocese of New Ulm has been filed by a man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest, the Rev. Francis Markey, when he was pastor of S....

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Jun-25-13 8:17 PM

whoops. Another line is on the bottom of my post. Got interrupted & must have lost my thought. Happens often. :(

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Jun-25-13 8:15 PM

sven - Both the sheer size of the Catholic Church & the sheer size of the abuse scandal makes the problem larger & more visible. It's a double whammy scandal with the cover-up on top of the abuse.

I do not know of any other denomination or organization with so many victims. I do believe many members have left because of this, but most have stayed. I did stay, but I've never looked the other way which I think so many have done.

Anyway, I have to be done talking about it now until it surfaces again. Perhaps I'll look into forming Catholic 2.0 or Catholic Lite. :)

Guess no one has started Catholic Lite or Catholic 2.0

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Jun-25-13 7:18 PM

GrandmaD: You're right about the abuse being everywhere. Almost all Christian denominations have had--still have--serious problems. But, the sheer size of the Catholic Church makes their problem even larger and more visible.

I'm surprised a large group of Catholics haven't broken away and started Catholic 2.0 or Catholic Lite. I suppose that's the role of the Episcopalians, right?

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Jun-25-13 2:46 PM

sven - That is bad but understandable. So where does one feel secure with all the sexual abuse against children going on outside the Catholic Church? Do we shun all teachers, fathers, uncles, brothers, cousins, even moms & sisters? It's rampant everywhere.

Again, the greatest majority of Catholic clergy & all people are good & decent. As sad & difficult as it is, I do believe there has been substantive change, but I, also, agree that most of what has been done has been reactive & with regret.

The only reason anything has been done is because victims finally had the courage to come forth. If not for that, the Pandora's Box of sexual abuse against children in the Catholic Church would not have been opened. As you stated, "How bad is that?" It says nothing for the Catholic Church & is a very trying test of faith for me.

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Jun-25-13 1:05 PM

GrandmaD: Seems to me there has to be some radical change to save the Catholic Church. Most of what has been done so far has been reactive and with regret, but with no substantive change.

I can't imagine any responsible parent allowing their child to be anywhere near a Catholic priest.

How bad is that?

You, GrandmaD, and the faithful don't deserve that kind of inept stewardship. I'm sure it's difficult and sad for you, as you say.

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Jun-25-13 9:29 AM

svensota - I DO understand that the sexually abusive Catholic clergy are pedophiles & will not change. I, also, don't consider myself all show & costumes & no power. I still practice my faith (after much soul-searching) because of the hundreds of thousands of good Catholic clergy, but I will never get over the thousands of abusive clergy nor the cover-up crimes.

The Church has worked very hard to remove, defrock, charge, etc. the guilty & has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements. That changes nothing, I know, for the victims whose lives have been forever altered. It all makes me sick.

I'm told by my cousin (in his 70's) who was a victim & who has done much research that my number of 38,000 is low, AND so is your number of 100,000 because the abuse is so widespread, world-wide. As a Catholic, I have to live with that, as do the hundreds of thousands good Catholic clergy. It will never go away.

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Jun-24-13 11:49 PM

GrandmaD: I was stunned to learn that 38,000 children have been abused by clergy of the Catholic Church. (I thought it was about a tenth of that number.) How many cases do you think have never been reported? What do you think, tip of the iceberg, maybe a 100,000 or more?

It's mind-boggling.

How does the Catholic Church stay "in business"? If any other business failed their customers that badly they would be bankrupt.

As near as I can tell, the Catholic Church is the only Christian church where the clergy "own" the church. Why don't the "customers" revolt and take over their church? Really-- stage a military coup and take over the Vatican. Force those pervert protectors to give up power. Change the Catholic Church to be like the British monarchy--all show and costumes and no power.

Those priests will NEVER change.

How long will it take for us/you to understand that?

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Jun-24-13 7:32 AM

I'm sorry to hear what happened to you. There is a difference. Churches like the Catholic Church and the ELCA are run top-down. I think that a lot of the controversy within the Catholic church stems from the fact that the top tried go cover it up.

The problem that you experienced was a local problem, and not a nation wide coverup. Also, was there evidence to support your claim? If not, it may be hard for some people to believe that it happened.

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Jun-23-13 8:03 PM

Just to clarify your questions, I did try to take my abuser (not a clergy) to court, but because of the statute of limitations, I couldn't do anything. We have to wait for a younger victim to come forward. The pastor I turned to didn't believe that could have happened to me (because he was strongly persuaded by his secretary of the church--my mother, who stood by all those years knowingly allowing the abuse to happen). She worked very hard trying to get people to think I was crazy. She is still the secretary of that church, but the pastor has moved on to another parish. I did have a wonderful support system and an amazing counselor, and I have a strong faith in God, and that is why I am strong enough to speak out today. I just want to give hope to other victims.

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Jun-22-13 8:11 PM

cont... The Catholic Church then covered up these horrible crimes by moving the abusive clergy around & letting them continue to sexually abuse innocent children in horrific ways. Fischer is right. The Catholic Church is to blame in every way. Those young, innocent lives were destroyed, & the Catholic Church did not care.

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Jun-22-13 8:05 PM

Victim - I do agree with you that there is abuse in every faith practiced. I am a Catholic, & I still practice my faith because of all the wonderful priests & church leaders who sincerely believe in the church & embrace their members with love, support, prayers, & spiritual guidance.

What happened to you is horrendous. You say the Lutheran church asked you to leave with sealed lips. Was there no-one you could turn to like parents, friends, or anyone to help you bring charges? Someone should have taken responsibility to prevent this abuser from adding, as you say, more victims to his list.

As a Catholic, I struggle with the sex abuse scandal. I believe the number is at least some 38,000 known children to be sexually abused, some as young as three, most between the ages of 11 to 14. The abuse is so widespread by such a great number of priests that I can barely comprehend what took place. cont...

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Jun-20-13 6:25 AM

If the catholic church had turned in the abusers to the police when they found out, I would agree that it was just the abuser who should take the blame. The catholic church didn't do this. They kept the priest(s) and moved him (them) to different parishes so they could start all over with their abuse. That was the church's responsibility to protect their parishioners and they chose to enable a sex abuser instead. That is why the catholic church is very much to blame here. They were huge enablers of sex abuse.They cared more about themselves & their reputation than people. No doubt the church figured their donations would go down if word got out.

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Jun-20-13 12:48 AM

To Ring2003:

Because man's free will and sin are every present in our world. But it is God's amazing saving grace and love that are ever present for us to cling to in fighting the sin and darkness of our world. God blesses us with healing and joy and strength and peace when we ask Him to carry us through our dark journeys. He is our hope and strength! He is our Light in the darkness! I would encourage you to visit with a church leader for more understanding, peace and prayer in your quest to know Him better and understand why there is darkness and where can we find light.

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Jun-19-13 7:34 PM

It saddens me that the vicarious liability of the Church darkens the gracious deeds bestowed upon this world through the Church. We never associate the trailer park to the drunkard, nor do associate a town with a murderer. Yet, as soon as we hear a Priest associated with molestation, it becomes a black eye on the church and not the person. I believe the person, so be it a priest, is responsible for his actions.

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Jun-19-13 3:39 PM

Ring2003 - trying to blame God for this would be the same as blaming God for getting a cut on your hand or allowing a traffic accident to happen ,etc. Judging from your perspective you feel you are a descendant of a monkey , I believe I was created by God.(also by my parents ) I believe God "allows" things to happen to test man ,if he allowed only good to happen we would be in the Garden of Eden yet. He wants to see people rise up and help one another , defend the innocent, feed the hungry. This is how he tests us and watches us grow (hopefully). If you do not believe that is your choice , but you are missing out on a lot of inner peace and fulfillment in life.

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Jun-19-13 12:32 PM

It takes a lot of courage to come forward and take action to expose the truth about being sexually abused as a child, so let's hope that anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Francis Markey will find the courage and strength to speak up and contact police, not the church officials, no matter how long ago the abuse happened. Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail****, "SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests"

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Jun-19-13 11:53 AM

Praying to god NOW to help the victims? Where was he when the abuse was going on? I would think an all-knowing and all-powerful god would have done something BEFORE the abuse happened. And now he sees the suffering victims deal with daily, but still needs to be asked through prayer to help? This is the "amazing love" you speak of? Believers, please help me understand this.

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Jun-19-13 9:44 AM

Before anyone jumps to pointing all fingers at the Catholic church for claims of sexual abuse, do your research. There is abuse in every faith practice out there. I am a victim of abuse and want to publicly praise the Catholic church for its awesome prayers and support they have shared with me. My abuser is a Lutheran, and when I went public with my abuse, I was asked to leave the Lutheran church for "stirring up trouble." Sexual abusers are in every culture, race, religious order, country, etc...not just in the Catholic church. These abusers need great prayer, as only in rare instances can they be healed in gaining control of their sickness. Because the Lutheran church asked me to leave and seal my lips, my abuser is still a free man, capable of adding more victims to his list. No amount of money can give a victim back what he or she has lost, but prayer and God's amazing love can bless a victim with a new life, free from the bondages of being a victim of sexual abus

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Jun-19-13 9:25 AM

If this is true: 'We are committed to offer help and healing to anyone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct and to prevent this terrible crime in the diocese.' - then publish the names and assignments of known abusive clerics of the Diocese of New Ulm.

It's time to stop flapping your lips about the failed Charter. --

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Jun-19-13 9:21 AM

If this is true: 'We are committed to offer help and healing to anyone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct and to prevent this terrible crime in the diocese.' - then stand at the pulpits in the churches with known abusive clerics and Reach-Out to those still silent and in the shadows from sexual abuse.

Get off the donkey and help the injured laying at the side of the road. --

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Jun-19-13 8:20 AM

As a prepubescent child, I was sexually abused by a catholic priest of the Diocese of New Ulm, Fr. William Marks, assigned to St. John's in Hector and St. Clotilde in Green Valley.

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Jun-19-13 7:37 AM

because a law passed this last legislative session removes the statute of limitations for all future cases, and provides a defined window for all past cases.

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Jun-19-13 7:22 AM

Seems kind of fidhy to wait until the year after the man is dead to sue. Why didn't he sue the priest while he was alive?

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Jun-19-13 2:53 AM

Oh look, another Catholic priest accused of molesting a young boy. They sure seem to have a problem with that, don't they?

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