Letters to Ed. re Father Damian Cooper media coverage

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The Vancouver Sun

Letters to the Editor

03 January 2013

Response to Catholic sex abuse case raises ire
Re: Ex-priest linked to abuse case, Dec. 15

We are offended by the Diocese of Vancouver’s repeated characterization that Kathleen Taylor’s abuse at the hands of Fr. Damian Cooper was “an inappropriate sexual relationship.”

Child sex abuse is in no way a relationship. It is exploitative, harmful, and unhealthy. Even if a victim had been adult, sexual contact with a priest – someone who is supposedly God’s envoy on earth – involves an inherent power imbalance that undermines it and prevents it from being a true relationship.

We hope that the Diocese of Vancouver will avoid using such inaccurate and hurtful language in the future.

David Clohessy, Director, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

….

Re: Woman launches civil suit over alleged abuse by priest, Dec. 14

I appreciate what the spokesperson (Paul Schratz), for the Vancouver Roman Catholic Archdiocese acknowledges: “what happened to Miss Taylor was absolutely tragic … By any definition it’s wrong, it’s hurtful.”

As a psychotherapist who has journeyed with hundreds of women sexually abused as innocent children, I am, however, appalled by the statement from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, namely: “we regret how she was drawn into a sexual relationship with a priest.”

This phraseology places the action (“drawn into”) with a teen who was manipulated and then sexually abused rather than with the priest who was the perpetrator and refers to the interaction as a “relationship,” not the abuse that it was. Even more appalling is the Archdiocesan’s reference as reported in Saturday’s Vancouver Sun to an “affair.”

I hope that the Archdioces of Vancouver can hear what Father Tom Doyle (U.S.. priest and expert on Canon Law) says:

“I’ve been involved in this kind of stuff of 30 years, and the level of irresponsibility of the bishops is higher than you can count.”

Pauline Barrett, Vancouver

….

I entered the Catholic Church in 2007 (having been Protestant all my life), thankful to find my true spiritual home.

In the past five years, as I’ve encountered the culture as a Catholic, I find myself continually astounded at the anti-Catholic bias of the media.

Your article on Kathleen Taylor’s lawsuit against Fr. Cooper and the Church was given front-page coverage – although the scandal dates from the 1990s and was addressed at that time.

I can supply The Sun with at least half-a-dozen similar inappropriate sex scandals involving Protestant ministers and lay people – all far more current, and therefore more newsworthy: if one of these involves a civil suit, will it receive front page coverage, too?

Faith Maier, Delta

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