Sexual Abuse Survivors React To Diocese Of Helena Bankruptcy - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Sexual Abuse Survivors React To Diocese Of Helena Bankruptcy

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA -

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena files for bankruptcy as part of a $15 million settlement with victims of sexual abuse by clergy members. This comes after two lawsuits were filed back in 2011, claiming clergy members abused 362 children from the 1930's to the 1980's.

"I was really scared, because what they did to me was..," said 60-year-old Francis Burke.

Words can't describe the pain Burke feels, after what he experienced when he was just 6-years-old at the Ursling Academy, a Catholic boarding school in Great Falls.

"I relive the abuse, the rapes in my dreams, you know, that place is a nightmare," Burke said.

Burke spoke at a press conference on Friday in Missoula held by Tamaki Law, the firm representing 95 of people who say they were sexually abused when they were young children at various perishes, missions and churches related to the Diocese of Helena.

"These are the people who have lived in silence for 50 or 60 years, based on what's happened to them," said Blaine Tamaki, the survivors' attorney.

The Diocese of Helena is taking full responsibility and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy withholding $15 million to compensate the 362 currently identified victims. Part of that money will be reserved for other unknown victims.

"I know the pain is real, the pain is in the present tense, and in the name of the church, I want to say we are sorry as a church," said Helena Bishop George Leo Thomas. 

Two lawsuits were filed three years ago, claiming the Diocese shielded the offenders, or knew they posed a threat to children. The church now wants to compensate all survivors.

"I think sadly a lot of this is driven, not by a desire to cover up, but an ignorance of the nature of child abuse," Thomas said.

"You can't forget stuff like that, no matter how young you are, or how little. It really affects you in different ways," said Garry Salois, one of the survivors at the press conference.

Victims at the event said the abuse was not just sexual. Many said they were also physically beaten.

"I don't know what was worse being sexually abused, or beaten everyday, and I don't ever want them to do that to anyone else," Solais said.

As part of the settlement, the Diocese of Helena will publicly apologize to the survivors. The U.S. bankruptcy court now has to approve the settlement. If they do that, the victims will receive their money in late spring or early summer. Each case of abuse will be analyzed to determine how much each survivor receives.

 

  • NationalMore>>

  • Waldo suspends 2 police chiefs after quota claims

    Waldo suspends 2 police chiefs after quota claims

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:31 AM EDT2014-09-02 08:31:51 GMT
    The north Florida town of Waldo has long had a reputation as a speed trap, and it's no wonder. A small segment of highway that runs through Waldo requires drivers to speed up and slow down six times: 65 mph...
    The north Florida town of Waldo has long had a reputation as a speed trap, and it's no wonder. A small segment of highway that runs through Waldo requires drivers to speed up and slow down six times: 65 mph becomes 55...
  • Action-packed TV might make you snack more: Study

    Action-packed TV might make you snack more: Study

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:31 AM EDT2014-09-02 07:31:30 GMT
    Could action-packed TV fare make you fat? That's the implication of a new study that found people snacked more watching fast-paced television than viewing a more leisurely paced talk show.
    Could action-packed TV fare make you fat? That's the implication of a new study that found people snacked more watching fast-paced television than viewing a more leisurely-paced talk show.
  • Detroit's historic bankruptcy trial to begin

    Detroit's historic bankruptcy trial to begin

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:11 AM EDT2014-09-02 06:11:09 GMT
    Lawyers for Detroit will attempt to convince a judge with the start of the city's bankruptcy trial that its plans to wipe out billions of dollars in debt should be approved.
    Lawyers for Detroit will attempt to convince a federal judge at the city's bankruptcy trial that its plans to wipe out billions of dollars in debt should be approved.
  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Photos from Fatal Missoula Shooting Scene

    Photos from Fatal Missoula Shooting Scene

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:11 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:11:07 GMT
    One man is dead after a shooting outside of a Missoula Strip club.
    One man is dead after a shooting outside of a Missoula Strip club.
  • LOOK: Faces Of WA State's Missing People

    LOOK: Faces Of WA State's Missing People

    Thursday, February 27 2014 11:49 AM EST2014-02-27 16:49:33 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The missing persons listed in this slideshow resided in the state of Washington at the time of their disappearance or may have traveled to Washington State. These pictures came from Washington State Patrol's website. If you have any information about any of these missing people call 1-800-543-5678.
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The missing persons listed in this slideshow resided in the state of Washington at the time of their disappearance or may have traveled to Washington State. These pictures came from Washington State Patrol's website. If you have any information about any of these missing people call 1-800-543-5678.
  • Big Sky County District Employee Arrested and Detained

    Big Sky County District Employee Arrested and Detained

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:15:37 GMT
    Cyle Kokot, an employee of the Big Sky School District, has been arrested and detained. The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office arrested Kokot for two counts of "sexual intercourse without consent.
    Cyle Kokot, an employee of the Big Sky School District, has been arrested and detained. The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office arrested Kokot for two counts of "sexual intercourse without consent.
  • Cobell Settlement Checks Could Be Mailed By Fall 2014

    Cobell Settlement Checks Could Be Mailed By Fall 2014

    Friday, August 15 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-08-16 01:03:47 GMT
    The people in charge of doling out money in the Cobell settlement want to put checks in the mail by this fall.
    The people in charge of doling out money in the Cobell settlement want to put checks in the mail by this fall.
  • Sentinel High School Principal And Assistant Principal Suspended

    Sentinel High School Principal And Assistant Principal Suspended

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:35 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:35:48 GMT
    Missoula County Public Schools suspended two of Sentinel High School's top administrators for "board policy violation."
    Missoula County Public Schools suspended two of Sentinel High School's top administrators for "board policy violation."
  • Seven Arrested in Kalispell Sex Sting

    Seven Arrested in Kalispell Sex Sting

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:10 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:10:39 GMT
    A four-day online sex sting ends with the arrest of seven Flathead men for sexual abuse of children, and more arrests are pending.
    A four-day online sex sting ends with the arrest of seven Flathead men for sexual abuse of children, and more arrests are pending.
  • PHOTOS: Hobo Spider season has arrived

    PHOTOS: Hobo Spider season has arrived

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:37:17 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Mid August is about the time that we start to see spiders come into our homes, particularly the hobo spider. August and September is mating season for the hobo and that means you may be seeing more funnel-like webs in and around your home. Males are on a mission to find a female which is why they are a lot more active at this time.
    KHQ.COM - Mid August is about the time that we start to see spiders come into our homes, particularly the hobo spider. August and September is mating season for the hobo and that means you may be seeing more funnel-like webs in and around your home. Males are on a mission to find a female which is why they are a lot more active at this time.
  • Joan Rivers' daughter: 'Keeping our fingers crossed'

    Joan Rivers' daughter: 'Keeping our fingers crossed'

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:33 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:33:34 GMT
    KHQ.COM - The Today Show has reported that Joan Rivers is now on life support. River's went into cardiac arrest at a New York doctor's office while she underwent a "minor throat surgery" on Thursday. Melissa Rivers said in a statement Sunday that "we are keeping our fingers crossed." She's thanking people for expressing their support.

    KHQ.COM - The Today Show has reported that Joan Rivers is now on life support. River's went into cardiac arrest at a New York doctor's office while she underwent a "minor throat surgery" on Thursday. Melissa Rivers said in a statement Sunday that "we are keeping our fingers crossed." She's thanking people for expressing their support.

Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.