The Rape of Kalu Rinpoche
In October 2011, a famous and highly-respected reincarnate Tibetan Buddhist master, Kalu Rinpoche, posted a Youtube video in which he reveals the abuse he suffered as a young monk at the hands of adult monks in his monastery. Rinpoche’s allegations caused shockwaves within the Tibetan Buddhist community (particularly his western students). Since that time, I have not heard any Tibetan Buddhist teacher (especially those connected with Kalu Rinpoche) publicly respond to his allegations, let alone suggest there be a formal investigation and those responsible brought to account. One can only hope Kalu Rinpoche’s video exposure of this serious issue has not gone to waste and been brushed under the carpet in the hope that people might forget about it. Rinpoche recently gave an interview in which he details the rape he suffered:
Kalu says that when he was in his early teens, he was sexually abused by a gang of older monks who would visit his room each week. When I bring up the concept of “inappropriate touching,” he laughs edgily. This was hard-core sex, he says, including penetration. “Most of the time, they just came alone,” he says. “They just banged the door harder, and I had to open. I knew what was going to happen, and after that you become more used to it.” It wasn’t until Kalu returned to the monastery after his three-year retreat that he realized how wrong this practice was. By then the cycle had begun again on a younger generation of victims, he says. Kalu’s claims of sexual abuse mirror those of Lodoe Senge, an ex-monk and 23-year-old tulku who now lives in Queens, New York. “When I saw the video,” Senge says of Kalu’s confessions, “I thought, ‘Shit, this guy has the balls to talk about it when I didn’t even have the courage to tell my girlfriend.’” Senge was abused, he says, as a 5-year-old by his own tutor, a man in his late twenties, at a monastery in India.
If that weren’t bad enough, Kalu Rinpoche’s former incarnation was himself accused of sexually exploiting June Campbell, his former female student and translator. Her story is just one in a number of cases of sexually predatory and exploitative conduct by male Tibetan Buddhist teachers towards their (mainly western) female students (see Mary Finnigan’s recent article “The Lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name”).
Putting aside the issue of sexual misconduct and abuse, much has also been said and written about on the everyday specter of violence as corporal punishment within Tibetan monasteries. Stories of excessive corporal punishment and violence in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries are commonplace.
One Tibetan man I know very well (who was a monk for 15 years from the age of 12) told me that physical beating of young monks was the norm in his monastery. He related a story to me of how as a young adolescent he was held down on a bed by four adult monks and beaten with a heavy stick for the minor infraction of being late to morning puja. I can also personally verify that there was a violent incident at a respected Kagyu monastery in Nepal a few years ago, where a young monk used a meat cleaver to attack another young monk about the head and body, almost killing him in the process.
How was it dealt with by the monastery? Instead of handing him over to the police on an attempted murder charge, the monk was kicked out of the monastery and no more was said about it. Such conduct would have resulted in a criminal investigation in the UK.
The UN has called on the Vatican to hand over details in the cases of tens of thousands of children allegedly abused by clergy.
The list, published on the committee’s website earlier this week, calls on the Vatican to give “detailed information” on cases of alleged abuse “committed by members of the clergy, brothers and nuns”.
The committee said it wanted to know what measures the Church has put in place to ensure clergy members accused of sexual abuse were cut off from contact with children.
It has also asked what support has been given to victims of sexual abuse by the Holy See.
Moreover, the UN has requested details where kids “were silenced in order to minimise the risk of public disclosure” and what measures the Vatican has taken to prevent further abuse.
The UN has long raised concerns about the ongoing paedophile priest scandal, but the committee’s list represents its most far-reaching request for information about the cases.
Pope Francis has vowed to “act with determination in cases of sexual abuse”.
His predecessor Benedict XVI was the first pontiff to apologise to victims.
However, campaigners have argued that Vatican words outstrip action when it comes to tackling the widespread problem of abuse and subsequent cover-ups.
The list also includes questions about other issues, including its labelling of kids born outside wedlock as “illegitimate”.
Ex-Catholic brother Bernard Kevin McGrath loses extradition fight over 252 child sexual abuse charges – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
The extradition order was made in the Christchurch District Court for 66-year-old Bernard Kevin McGrath.
He has 15 days in which to appeal or voluntarily return to Australia, otherwise he will be arrested and extradited.
New South Wales police say the alleged offending involved 35 boys from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s.
McGrath’s conditional bail was continued.
Fr. Anthony Musala
In late March the Catholic Church suspended indefinitely a Ugandan priest, Fr.Anthony Musala, who chose to blow the whistle on widespread sexual abuse of children and other crimes committed by African clergy.
Musaala’s leaked letter to Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga that cited numerous instances of wrongdoings among the Uganda priesthood, including secret wives, children and abuse of minors prompted his suspension. Musala was abused himself by a priest when he was 16yrs old, at a top Ugandan school before he went to England to seminary.
Archbishop Lwanga later confessed that child rape indeed took place and launched an inquiry into the matter. The announcement came amid another scandal that brew up after South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban told the media he had dealt with similar abuse cases that were handled internally by the Roman Catholic Church and were never reported to the police.
Africa’s Catholic priests fathering children is an open secret, many local church-goers admit it but talking about it is a taboo. The church has accused Musala of being homosexual to deflect from his criticisms. Homosexuality seems to be a more serious taboo than rape from the tone of the interview.
The following lengthy interview is taken from ‘Morning Breeze’ of NBSTelevision Uganda. One of the interviewers is quite combative but it’s worth bearing with. Musala tells tales of Catholic priests having sex with a young Ugandan relative who was raped by two priests and became pregnant and had to have an abortion. Further stories include tales of priests with many children from different women.
Catholic Church offers apology to victims after report published
The report, published yesterday, brought an immediate apology from the Catholic Church, which said that not only had the victims been blameless, but they had been entitled to live and study safely in the homes and schools where much of the abuse took place.
In a statement last night, the church said the victims were entitled to apologies from the bishops and superiors of the religious orders who had failed to protect them. It also said there should be a period of “recognition and healing” in tandem with financial compensation.
The 1,100-page first report of the Deetman commission – chaired by former Dutch education minister Wim Deetman – shocked the Netherlands last year when it revealed that 800 Catholic priests and monks abused as many as 20,000 children in their care between 1945 and 1985.
It said the abuse took place in boarding schools, children’s homes and orphanages, but was not openly acknowledged by the church authorities because of their “culture of silence” and determination “not to hang out their dirty washing”.
What surprised the Deetman investigators was the scale of the abuse of women and girls. In just one home for children with mental disabilities, 40 girls under the age of 12, many just babies and toddlers, died over a three-year-period in the 1950s. As a result it was decided to make this the focus of a second report.
Yesterday’s report examines in detail a sample 150 cases of sexual abuse and physical or psychological violence. Three cases are so serious they are to be referred to the public prosecutor – even though technically they are outside the statute of limitations. The report said 40 per cent of the 150 cases involved “severe sexual abuse”, and the perpetrators had almost always been priests, brothers and other male clerics.
A former Oxford professor, Richard Dawkins, has said that raising a child Catholic is worse than child abuse and that the “mental torment” inflicted by Catholic teachings is worse than any sexual abuse from priests, reports the Daily Mail.
Dawkins is an atheist biologist whose 1976 book “The Selfish Gene” revolutionized the theory of evolution.
His remarks were to be broadcast this weekend by Qatar-based TV network Al Jazzeera.
When asked by interviewer Mehdi Hasan about previous comments he made, Dawkins said: “Horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place.”
Hasan asked: “You believe that being bought up as a Catholic is worse than being abused by a priest?”
Dawkins replied: “There are shades of being abused by a priest, and I quoted an example of a woman in America who wrote to me saying that when she was seven years old she was sexually abused by a priest in his car.
“At the same time a friend of hers, also seven, who was of a Protestant family, died, and she was told that because her friend was Protestant she had gone to Hell and will be roasting in Hell forever.”
“She told me of those two abuses, she got over the physical abuse; it was yucky but she got over it.
“But the mental abuse of being told about Hell, she took years to get over.”
Dawkins added: “It seems to me that telling children that they really, really believe that people who sin are going to go to Hell and roast forever – that your skin grows again when it peels off with burning – it seems to me to be intuitively entirely reasonable that that is a worse form of child abuse, that will give more nightmares, that will give more genuine distress because they really believe.”
Politicians and activists have condemned Dawkins for what they call attention-seeking and “unhelpful” remarks.
Peter Saunders, the chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said: “At NAPAC we know that recovery from sexual abuse can take a lifetime. People never get over it. It is entirely unhelpful to make such comparisons.”
Roman Catholic former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe said: “Dawkins doesn’t know what to say next to get attention. No sane person would believe that being brought up in a force for good, in the Ten Commandments, in the Beatitudes, and in the Gospels can be worse than child abuse.”
Follow us: @IrishCentral on Twitter | IrishCentral on Facebook