Denise Buchanan was 17 when she was raped by a seminarian who continued to abuse her when he became a priest in her native Jamaica. The Catholic Church, she says, has offered her nothing but their “prayers”.
Source: bounce news
“I got pregnant and he arranged a clandestine abortion,” Buchanan, still shaking and close to tears 40 years after the ordeal, told AFP.
Today aged 57, the academic is a leading member of a new international organisation, Ending Clerical Abuse (ECA), which is bringing together victims in Rome this week to pressure Pope Francis to take a tougher line on child abuse by clerics.
She has struggled in vain for years for the Church to officially recognise her as a victim – even writing to the pope himself – while the priest who abused her has escaped justice.
Buchanan’s struggle underscores the sense of isolation felt by many victims who see the institution as still in denial, particularly in poorer countries where the Church remains politically and socially influential.
She was living in Kingston when her sister introduced her and her family to the future priest, then known as Brother Paul, a theology student and a member of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ.
“Brother Paul would talk at length with my father, and my mother would invite him to stay for dinner,” she said.
“He told me he was very attracted to me. I felt awkward. He said that they (the Church) made rules that he didn’t agree with, and he did what he needed to do to do the work of the Church,” Buchanan said…