Thursday, June 2, 2011

My 28 year battle against the paedophile priests.

John Meagher talks to the US attorney who’s bringing his campaign to Ireland
Saturday February 12 2011 Irish Independent

In 1983, Jeff Anderson was just another lawyer working in St Paul, Minnesota. Then, by chance, the 35-year-old’s career — and life — changed forever when a man walked into his office saying he had been abused by a priest.

Soon after taking on the case, Anderson realised the problem was much greater than he had first imagined. It wasn’t just a paedophile priest who was culpable, but also senior bishops who had conspired to cover up the abuse. He promptly sued the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St Paul.

The bishops responded with $1m to settle the matter out of court, but Anderson’s client refused. And so began a landmark case which drew the attention of the US media to clerical abuse for the first time. He eventually won the case and the floodgates opened.

“Hundreds of survivors of clerical abuse who had been afraid to come forward finally spoke up,” he says, speaking to Weekend Review from his office in St Paul. “Many thought they had been the only ones who had suffered abuse at the hands of priests, and that case — and subsequent cases — showed that it was much more common than they had thought.”... read more