CommunityPam's House Blend

Alaska: dumping ground for pedophile clergy

There’s a lengthy, disturbing piece in the L.A. Times about a Catholic missionary that allegedly terrorized two remote Alaska villages three decades ago. Nearly every Eskimo boy in the parishes where the late Joseph Lundowski served became his prey, and victims have come forward to say they suffered abuse by him for years.

Blender Paul of Paul’s Rants, who pointed me to the story, alerts readers to pay attention to the usual obfuscation and contradictory statements from the church in the article, which is facing lawsuits left and right in Alaska: “Note in the story the letters in which the priests are concerned, but they can’t get rid of the abuser because he was placed their by the Bishop, and then flash to today, when the church says that they were not responsible because he was a volunteer, not under their control.”

Peter “Packy” Kobuk has to walk past the old Catholic church to get almost anywhere. To fill a drum of heating oil. To take his children to school. To wash his clothes at the only laundromat in this Eskimo village of 370. “I think about burning it down, but I have to block that out,” says Kobuk, 46. “It all comes back to me right away each time I have to see it.”

The decaying wood-frame building also haunts John Lockwood, a married father of nine. Its bell tower, which rises above the village’s 90 plywood shacks and prefabricated houses, is one of the first landmarks he sees when returning home in a longboat from hunting seals in the Bering Sea.

“It brings back a lot,” says Lockwood, whose weathered face reflects a life spent in the Alaska outdoors. “He did all those bad things to us little kids there, and no one did nothing to stop it.”

Even after 30 years, the men can’t shake their memories of the late Joseph Lundowski, a volunteer Catholic missionary who arrived in their village in 1968. The devoutly Catholic village elders welcomed Lundowski warmly, as they did all men of the cloth. But the children soon grew to fear and despise him.

Lundowski lived at a Trappist monastery in Oregon and worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska before being taken under the wing of Father George Endal, a Jesuit priest, and placed as a volunteer in several remote Eskimo villages.

Lundowski was never ordained, but in every way acted as a Catholic priest in remote villages — ones that otherwise wouldn’t have been served. The article notes that residents said that he wore vestments, held Sunday services, gave homilies, taught catechism, baptized children, officiated at weddings and performed burial services. No Catholic officials stepped in. With 41 churches and only 24 priests in the rugged Fairbanks diocese, they were dependent on “volunteers” like Lundowski.

The L.A. Times piece goes on to describe, in detail, the horrors allegedly perpetrated by Lundowski on several of the then-children of the villages:

* A young man was asked to stay after catechism class and wash dishes; Lundowkski, he said: “…sneaked up on me…He pulled my pants down and penetrated me…I never finished the dishes.”

* Another boy was molested in 1971after a class — Lundowski locked the doors, lowered the window shades, removed his dentures and performed oral sex on him in the missionary’s rectory bedroom. Lundowski gave Kobuk a $20 bill and told him he was a “special kid.”

* The same boy, over the next four years, was plied with altar wine by Lundowski, sodomized and forced to engage in sex acts with other boys and girls.

* Lundowski performed oral sex on a nine-year-old, and fterward gave the boy 25 cents that he shook out of an Easter Seal donation can.

* when one boy planned to tell Lundowski told him to go ahead, insisting that no one would believe a child over a man of God — and threatened to flunk the boy out of catechism class.

* After one attack on a boy that left bruises on his arms, Lundowski told him: ‘You’re a little kid. People will just think you fell down.’

What a f*cking dirtbag. OK, so you might ask, what did the church do about this low-life bastard? Take a guess. Many victims told their stories but were not believed. Three boys did report Lundowski’s conduct to Father Endal. He promised to take care of the matter, but the molestations continued.

Endal died in 1996 and has since been accused of molesting a minor.

…Now the men must prove their claims. As victims of clergy sexual abuse across the country have learned, reconstructing events that occurred decades ago in secret is a daunting task. For the Eskimos, the job was complicated by the church’s initial insistence that there was no record that Lundowski had ever volunteered for the church.

Ken Roosa, attorney for abuse victims.

The villagers and their attorneys dug through church archives, family photo albums and old letters looking for evidence. [Ken Roosa, a former state sex crimes and federal prosecutor who filed the first abuse lawsuit] came across a grainy copy of a 1975 church newsletter that listed participants in a training program for deacons in the Diocese of Fairbanks. It included a photo of a bald man with horn-rimmed glasses. The caption read: “Joe Lundowski, 59 yrs., Stebbins.”

This was proof that the church had trained Lundowski as a deacon and knew he was serving in Stebbins.

In the same file, Roosa found a 1965 letter by a senior Jesuit stating that the church “should have gotten rid of [Lundowski] a long time ago.”

The letter was written three years before Lundowski arrived in St. Michael by Father Jules M. Convert, then in charge of the Jesuits in Alaska, to Father Jack Gurr, chancellor to the bishop of Fairbanks. Convert began by asking for a shipment of food for his men and more nails to complete the building of a village church, but most of the letter was devoted to his concern about Lundowski.

Convert expressed dismay that the bishop in Fairbanks, Theodore Boileau, had moved Lundowski from one village to another after receiving “complaints” about his conduct.

“I absolutely believe that church officials intentionally sent abusive priests to minor communities, transient communities, where kids may be less apt to tell and have less faith in the justice system,”

— David Clohessy, national director of Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

This story, along with an earler AP article, suggests that the Catholic church used Alaska as its dumping ground for pedophile priests that they couldn’t “control”, unleashing them in places where there would be less scrutiny. Note more hand-washing by the church… (via CNN):

All together, 12 priests who served in Alaska have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct. Most of the alleged abuse occurred in remote villages, and most of the alleged victims were Alaska Natives.

Patrick Wall, a former Benedictine priest and consultant for a Costa Mesa, California, law firm that has worked on more than 300 church abuse allegations nationwide, said rural Alaska was a prime place to send abusive priests. Alaska’s isolation and its cultural reverence for authority figures, such as elders and priests, meant parishioners would be less likely to speak up.

Fairbanks Bishop Donald Kettler disputed the notion of Alaska as a dumping ground. “My reaction when I hear that is that I feel the opposite is really true,” said Kettler, who has been bishop for three years. Those who work or volunteer in the diocese “come with a commitment wanting to serve the peoples of Alaska. They were not forced to come here.”

Rev. John Whitney, a church official in Portland, Oregon, vehemently denied Alaska is a magnet or hiding spot for problem priests. “It’s absolutely untrue,” he said. “I have never seen any evidence of that. People were sent to Alaska who requested to go to the missions there. It was considered the hardest place to go, because of the remoteness and the conditions they had to work with at the time. They wanted to spread the gospel.”

Right. That’s not all that was being spread in the villages.

Women in Alaska are also coming forward with stories of abuse at the hands of pedophile clergy, so the pending Vatican “solution” to ban gays from the seminary isn’t going to do squat because they are not looking at the criminals in their midst. Here’s a story on another sick perv (KTUU):

Rev. James Poole and the Catholic Church of Fairbanks are facing another lawsuit… Poole is a former Alaska priest who has been accused by several women of sexually abusing them as children. According to a complaint filed in Nome Superior Court today, the woman, only identified as Jane Doe IV, claims Poole sexually abused her when she was seven years old, which was in 1968 or 1969.

The complaint alleges that Poole told Jane Doe IV that they were going to “play doctor” after catechism class. It goes on to say Poole attempted to touch her before she got scared and insisted on going into another room.

It is tiring and enraging to see Prada Papa Ratzi and his homo-hating hierarchy purposefully MIA on this kind of evil. Instead they choose to spend time (and parishioner’s money) composing irrelevant documents that saypracticing gays with ‘deeply rooted’ homosexual tendencies or those who support gay culture cannot be admitted to the priesthood.” Ratzi was also too busy worrying about immunity against prosecution for the coverup of the mass molestation of children in his criminal enterprise to be concerned with the destruction of those lives at the hands of men charged with serving the flock.

When will it stop? When will people finally say “enough is enough” to the men willing to sacrifice the faithful’s children for “the good of the church”?

Previous post

The Deal That Shook Washington

Next post

When You Fail To Plan...

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding