Is the Philippines Now Paying the Price for Child Sexual Abuse?

Mar 23

Apart from the interviews with his family members, the most important revelation of Richard Paddock’s March 21, 2017, New York Times profile on President Duterte was the fact that as a child he was apparently much affected by the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Mark Falvey, a Jesuit priest, that he took revenge by spraying other priests with black ink with a water gun, for which he was expelled from the Ateneo de Davao. (Duterte revealed during the campaign that he had been abused by Falvey.) Falvey was eventually transferred to Los Angeles, where he continued to abuse other chIldren, unrestrained by his religious order. Given the massive psychological damage inflicted on victims of child sexual abuse, it is certainly relevant to ask to what extent the country is now paying for the acts of a sexual predator as Duterte engages in his interminable killing spree? The Church hierarchy must really police its ranks more effectively and discipline predators and turn them over to the legal system for the punishment they deserve instead of covering up for them, like the Jesuits did in the case of Falvey. How many more Dutertes are there out there waiting to explode owing to rage created by childhood abuse? Of course, Duterte is responsible for his own acts and must be held accountable for them; the point is one’s experiences as a child contribute to the formation of one’s personality, character, and values. Here is an account of what Falvey went on to do in the US after abusing Duterte and perhaps many others in the Philippines.

Jesuits agree to sex case payout

Nine people who say they were molested by Father Mark Falvey between 1959 and 1975 will divide $16 million from the order.
May 18, 2007|John Spano | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The Jesuit order has agreed to a tentative payout of $16 million to settle claims that one of its priests sexually abused nine Los Angeles children over 16 years ending in 1975.

Mark Falvey was accused of molesting four girls and five boys between 1959 and 1975 at Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church in Hollywood. Falvey died 31 years ago and was never charged with a crime.

“One of his victims, an 8-year-old girl, tried to commit suicide,” said the lawyer for the victims, Raymond P. Boucher.

“This guy brought a lifetime of misery to a group of young children. They’ll never get over it,” Boucher said.

The agreement in principle was confirmed by the Rev. Alfred Naucke of the California Province of the Society of Jesus. All of the parties still must sign the pact to make it official. Each victim will receive between $1.4 million and $1.6 million.

“I look forward to meeting the victims to apologize to them on behalf of the Society of Jesus,” the Rev. John P. McGarry, who heads the order in California and the West Coast, said in a phone interview.

“We wish these brave victims well and hope that others who were hurt by clergy — Jesuits or others — will come forward so they can heal,” said Barbara Blaine, an official with SNAP, a support group for victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

“We also hope that anyone with suspicions or knowledge of Falvey’s crimes will call the police. Even though he is deceased, prosecution of church officials who may have covered up his crimes may still be possible,” Blaine said.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which has been sued by more the 500 people claiming they were victims of clergy sexual abuse, did not contribute to the settlement.

Falvey served in Asia and was assigned in 1959 as assistant pastor at Blessed Sacrament in Hollywood, where he apparently served until 1975, when he died.

The legal issues in the Falvey case, like in other clergy abuse lawsuits, turned on what the Jesuit order knew about the priest’s sexual proclivities, and what its hierarchy did to protect churchgoers in Hollywood.

The evidence against the order was strong, Boucher said.

One victim was ready to testify that while he was being molested by Falvey in Hollywood, another priest blundered into the room.

“Why don’t you close the door,” Boucher said the priest scolded Falvey.

Boucher, who is the lead lawyer for all of the Los Angeles victims, called Falvey “one of the most evil priests that has ever walked the halls of a church.”

“I agree with Mr. Boucher that Father Falvey was not handled correctly by the Jesuit order,” McGarry said.

“He should have been removed from ministry” after the first victim.

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