Catholic Diocese Child Abuse
Sexual abuse of children by clergy and priests continued virtually unchecked for decades. Reports suggest that church officials actively covered up allegations of abuse and discredited victims in order to protect abusers and the reputation of the church.
Claims can be brought against the individual priests as well as the institutions they represent. Many clergy abuse cases have demonstrated that leaders in the Catholic Church were aware of the abuse and turned a blind eye. However willful blindness will not purchase divine absolution. If the Church was aware of the abuse and did nothing to stop it, they are liable for the conduct of their priests.
Child predators often use a tactic known as "grooming" to establish trust with a victim.
- Identifying potential targets
- Gaining trust and access
- Isolating the victim
Child sexual abuse victims are likely to face many challenges in life. TCB Law recognizes the severe and lasting damage caused by sexual abuse, as well as by being disbelieved, ignored, or victim-shamed. When you reach out to us, we will do everything we can to uncover the truth. We will determine what happened, in addition to any parties that played a role in allowing the abuse to occur, and build a case to hold those parties accountable.
Representing Vermont Clergy Abuse Survivors
Sexual abuse allegations and legal claims have forever altered the Catholic Church’s reputation and revealed decades of abuse by clergy, cover-ups by church leaders, and thousands of victims. Increasingly, more victims are now stepping forward to share their experiences, and more investigations are being initiated to learn the truth.
Pope Francis recently revised the Vatican’s Code of Canon Law that reflects new awareness within the church that power dynamic inbalances can often be a significant factor in sexual abuse.
“Even in cases where there is no explicit legal obligation to do so, the ecclesiastical authorities should make a report to civil authorities if this is considered necessary to protect the person involved or other minors from the danger of further criminal acts.”
If you or someone you love has been a victim of abuse within the Catholic Church, increased awareness now provides a more transparent and victim-oriented environment in which you can begin the process of making your voice heard. While asserting your rights, ensuring accountability, and pursuing justice may seem like a difficult task, you don’t have to do it alone.
The Law Office of Thomas C. Bixby is proud to offer our support to victims who suffered any form of abuse committed by clergy, teachers, and others within the Burlington Dioceses. If you would like more information about your rights, reporting abuse, and how we can guide you through the process moving forward, please call us 802-775-3229 for a free and confidential consultation.