An Unholy Alliance – The Catholic Church and the Haredim – Sexual Abuse Cover-Ups

 

How could this happen again?’ Why this Catholic abuse scandal seems worse than 2002

 

(CNN)This is how bad things are in the Catholic Church right now: The Pope’s top adviser on clergy sexual abuse canceled a trip to Ireland for a papal event because he has to investigate sexual misconduct in his own seminary.

And Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, isn’t alone. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, another key papal ally embroiled in the sex abuse crisis, has also canceled his appearance at next week’s World Meeting of Families, a spokesman told CNN.
Consider the litany of recent incidents in the Catholic Church:
• Catholic bishops have launched investigations into sexual misconduct in seminaries in Boston, Nebraska and Philadelphia.
• The former archbishop of Washington resigned from the College of Cardinals after accusations that he molested seminarians and an altar boy.
• A Catholic bishop in Australia was convicted by a civil court of covering up abuse, and the Vatican has accepted the resignations of six bishops from Latin America after church investigations.
• An Associated Press investigation found evidence that priests and bishops around the world have abused Catholic nuns and sisters for decades.
• Next week, the Pope plans to travel to Ireland, where the former president, in an interview with The Irish Times, recently accused a top Vatican official of pressuring her to “protect” incriminating church documents from civil authorities in 2003. The Vatican has declined to comment on the allegation.
But none of the above compares to the stomach-turning, nearly 900-page grand jury report unveiled Tuesday in Pennsylvania.
The report, two years in the making, revealed shocking accusations: More than 1,000 children had been abused by 300 Catholic “predator priests” in six Pennsylvania dioceses during the past 70 years.
The report also said some church leaders covered up the crimes, shuffling priests from rehab centers to parishes, giving no notice to parents or civil authorities.
The state’s attorney general called it the largest investigation ever by a US government into the Catholic Church. The president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops called it a “moral catastrophe.”
“I know that many of you are asking,” Cardinal Blase Cupich wrote to Catholics in his Chicago archdiocese Friday, “how could this be happening again?”
If the Catholic sexual abuse scandal that came to light in 2002 slowly unspooled through news reports, Pennsylvania’s grand jury report landed like an atom bomb, dropping its online horrors all at once. With some redactions, the report was readily available for everyone to read and share: the accusations of sexual deviance, shameless lies and deceitful churchmen.
“What we have now is people freely expressing their outrage on Facebook and Twitter,” said Greg Kandra, a Catholic deacon in Brooklyn, New York. “The anger is palpable. This is like 2002 on steroids.”
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Child sexual abuse, cover-ups and intimidation — a global Jewish community snapshot

A global Jewish community snapshot in light of revelations in Baltimore, and an ongoing Australian case
Rabbi Steven (Shmuel) Krawatsky, formerly of the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Baltimore (via The New York Jewish Week)

Rabbi Steven (Shmuel) Krawatsky, formerly of the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Baltimore (via The New York Jewish Week)

In the wake of a recent child sexual abuse scandal to hit the Jewish community, this time in Baltimore, it is an opportune time to examine similar cases around the Jewish world and reflect on how we have responded to them. Learning from these will help us respond more adequately to such scandals in the future.

For this purpose, I will focus on what has recently transpired in Australia and the United Kingdom.

In 2011, during my tenure as Vice President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), I publicly disclosed for the first time that I had been sexually abused as a child by two perpetrators while a student at Melbourne Chabad’s Yeshivah Centre.

While initially applauded by some, this revelation and my subsequent public advocacy on the broader issue of child sexual abuse unleashed a torrent of additional abuse from many quarters, most notably from many within the global Chabad community, including its leaders and their supporters.

The week after the disclosure, Yeshivah’s senior rabbi, Tzvi Hirsch Telsner, asked a question directed at me and my family in his Shabbat sermon: “Who gave you permission to speak?” An Australian Judicial Inquiry, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, later confirmed that Rabbi Telsner effectively intimidated me and my family (and others) in an attempt to silence us.

The intimidation and cover-up attempts came not just from the Chabad community, the centre of the scandal and investigation. Much of it came from the mainstream Jewish community, including those at the highest levels of leadership. Dr Danny Lamm, then president of the ECAJ, publicly supported Yeshivah’s reactions during the scandal, despite clear evidence that they were behaving unconscionably. The ECAJ recently apologised for its part in the scandal, but Lamm has stubbornly refused to do so

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Manny Waks – New Wall of Shame – Sexual Abuse and the Royal Commission

 

http://www.mannywaks.com/blog/wall-of-shame#comments

Yosef Yitzchak Feldman – Litigious – Seeking Profit from the Unspeakable Sins of a Community

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02 Mar 2:00 pm 2016/00040453 Yosef Yitzchak Feldman v Jeremy Spinak Civil Supreme Court Mediation
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02 Mar 2:00 pm 2016/00040435 Yosef Yitzchak Feldman v Executive Council of Australian Jewry Inc Civil Supreme Court Mediation
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02 Mar 2:00 pm 2016/00040450 Yosef Yitzchak Feldman v Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Australia Ltd ABN 35 140 866 655 Civil Supreme Court Mediation
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Judging Chabad By Josef Feldman and Orthodox Judaism by the Wall of Shame, Is that Fair? From a Letter to LM…

THE LETTER TO LM THAT SPARKED THIS RESPONSE…

Lost Messiah, August 8, 2016

Yesterday we received a Letter to the Editor, for our eyes only. It was written by someone in a position of power within the Chabad and ultra-Orthodox community who entrusted us with his words to vouchsafe for our eyes only. By that we are humbled.  Even with the accusations that we are nothing more than “bashers” he thought better of us, somehow confident that we will not betray the confidence. For that we owe our thanks. We hope he and his colleagues are reading this and will give thought to our careful consideration of that letter, its contents and what it must have taken him to write and send along.

We must express at least a modicum of respect for the things he has done to shed light on Abuse within the Chabad and ultra-Orthodox community. If what he says is true, he has made a difference. Despite our skepticism, we cannot discount the possibility.  

In the interest of ‘fairness’ for lack of a better word, the letter challenged us to use our right to freedom of the press with a level of equal coverage of the good with the bad. In the views of the author, journalistic integrity demands of us to consider that perhaps there are rumblings of change going on behind the scenes. Perhaps those in power are trying to shed light on abuse, to somehow compensate the victims, help women escape abusive marriages, catch child predators and more. 

While we remain forever critical of the public persona of the ultra-Orthodox and Chabad community and what the author deems to be the need for continued secrecy,  the letter raised some salient points:

  1. Can we judge Chabad-Lubavitch by the incessant rantings of Josef Feldman and are we asking Feldman the right questions?

  2. Can we judge a family by the brothers or sisters who have committed crimes? In other words, would it be fair to judge all of ultra-Orthodox Judaism by those members of the Wall of Shame?

  3. Are we aware that there are those in high positions within the Chabad and ultra-Orthodox hierarchy who are trying to make changes?

  4. Are we willing to accept that while the attempts at change are largely secretive, the reason for that is protection of the victims and not the system that victimized?

  5. Are we aware that there are those within the highest echelons of the Chabad and ultra-Orthodox Jewish circles who are truly sorry for the abuse, who recognize it and who understand the depths at which it is impossible to appropriately compensate the victims?

Our belief, which we conveyed in a response to the author, is that in order to change a system of abuse and cover-ups, secrets enshrouded in the scrolls of the Torah and families silenced by the notion of “Mesira,” one must be a revolutionary. We do not believe that change will happen quietly, behind closed doors, in secret meetings and undercover investigations. We believe that the highest echelons of the Chabad and ultra-Orthodox leadership must begin screaming to their congregants and communities loudly, united in a specific cause: ending abuse and cover-ups, compensating victims and apologising to families. 

The Chabad and ultra-Orthodox leadership must be committed to telling members of their communities that not only is reporting not “Mesira” but it is demanded of by the very beliefs they hold dear.

While we can’t help but feel that the secrecy with which the letter was posted to us is emblematic of the problem at large, we also can do nothing but thank the author for his comments. He offered apologies to the victims, something we have not seen before. He conveyed a belief that there is no method of recompense for the transgressions of the community, which we must recognize represents at least some level of commitment. 

Finally, the author commented that we are asking Yosef Feldman the wrong question. 

TO YOSEF FELDMAN FROM THE AUTHOR:

Are you still involved in shluchim?

TO YOSEF FELDMAN FROM OUR READERS:

Are you still recognized to do smicha? How do you define sexual abuse?

We are reposting the JCW  Wall of Shame in honor of Josef Feldman, who seems unwilling to come to grips with the reality of sexual abuse, it’s meaning, it’s ramifications, it’s shame and the dire need to shed light on the subject. He admittedly makes it difficult to avoid judging all of Chabad-Lubavitch by his ravings. That is highlighted by the fact that by taking his critics to court, Feldman  is ultimately capitalizing on child sexual abuse. 

We have posted our opinions and questions to which Feldman promised to respond and Feldman has instead thrown fuel on the fire. We have given him ample opportunity to shed light on alleged “defamation” and he has deflected. We have given him a voice and he has used it to throw accusations rather than cold, hard facts. 

So, we have posted the facts in living color. The faces on JCW’s Wall of Shame represent only a tiny number of people who are guilty of horrifying sexual abuse. The names are familiar and many took years to be added to the list, all the while continuing to commit crimes that those around them knew they were committing.

It is but the silence that allows history to repeat itself.

THE JCW WALL OF SHAME

Our Criteria

National Sex Offender Registry

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“holding the biggest marketer of Judaism (Chabad) responsible for their actions” – Feldman no Shining Example

 

REPUBLISHED WITH THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF CHAFRAUD-DEPRAVITCH

cropped-chafraud-depravitchsm4

 

Chabad Rabbi Involved with Australian Child Sexual Abuse Scandal Tells Online Poster: “you [will] end up in jail and get raped and repeatedly until you bleed profusely”

https://chafrauddepravitch.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/chabad-rabbi-involved-with-australian-child-sexual-abuse-scandal-tells-online-poster-you-will-end-up-in-jail-and-get-raped-and-repeatedly-until-you-bleed-profusely/#more-3145

I recently posted some comments in an online discussion at Lost Messiah blog.  The thread is titled: Yosef Yitzchak Feldman – Did not Know it Was a Crime to Touch a Child’s Genitals, Filing lawsuits?

Yosef-Feldman

Chabad rabbi, Yosef Yitzchak  Feldman, as witness at Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, recently made headlines when he called for leniency for pedophiles. He later offered his resignation in response to community outrage to his testimony and bad publicity (a resignation some view as  merely symbolic).  It’s important to note that Yosef Feldman ran and administered the institution responsible for training rabbis in the state.

In the comment thread Chabad rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Feldman had left a number of comments that threatened to file lawsuits against those commenting in the thread and against the blog owner as well.  Though not surprising, I found it very amusing to watch this behavior from a Chabad rabbi offering real time proof of the personality behind the thread topic.  One example of Feldman’s trolling for lawsuits is pictured below.  Several others can be found in the comment thread.

Feldman-comment-ls-threat

 

I returned to the thread Saturday night to see if there were more comments or perhaps a reply to my own.  There were more comments, and one that was made by Yosef Feldman struck me as especially offensive, insensitive, and displayed behavior that no reasonable person would expect from someone claiming to be a rabbi:

Mr H Coward
A low life coarse guy like you is probably a criminal. When you end up in jail and get raped and repeatedly until you bleed profusely…I hope that at least then you’ll do Teshuva

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