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The sexual abuse scandal in the Salesian order is a major chapter in the series of Catholic sex abuse cases in various Western juridictions.

Abuse in Australia

In Australia, there are allegations that the Salesians moved a priest convicted of abuse in Melbourne to Samoa to avoid further police investigation and charges.[1][2]

In August 2008, the Salesian head in Australia, Fr Frank Moloney SDB, apologised to victims of a former priest Paul Evans convicted of a series of offences. Evans was a Salesian priest when the offences occurred at Boys' Town in Sydney in the 1980s. He was legally and canonically removed from the Order in 1991[3].

Abuse in Belgium

In 2007, a Belgian criminal court convicted Willem VC, a laicised Salesian priest, to 4 years imprisonment for sexual delinquency with multiple adolescent minors. During the criminal investigation by the police and judiciary previous acts of sexual delinquency were discovered that occurred during his membership of the Salesian congregation. He was expelled from this order in 2001 for these incidents.[4]

Abuse in the Netherlands

In February 2010 the Salesians were accused of sexual abuse in their juvenate Don Rua in 's-Heerenberg. Salesian bishop of Rotterdam van Luyn pleaded for a thorough investigation.[5]

Abuse in the United States of America

In 2006 the Dallas Morning News reported that the leaders of the Salesians of Don Bosco based in San Francisco had moved priests accused of child sexual abuse from country to country, away from law enforcement and victims. This included Rev. Frank Klep, who was allegedly moved to the Pacific island of Samoa in 1998 while he was under criminal investigation in Australia[6].

Furthermore it was alleged that the leaders chose to keep quiet when confronted with allegations of abuse.[7] In the United States, Salesian High in Richmond, California lost a sexual abuse case,[8]

In 2008 the Salesian Society of Los Angeles agreed to pay $19.5 million to 17 childhood molestation victims, ending the last unresolved case involving the Los Angeles Archdiocese's sexual abuse crisis.

The settlement came after jurors were preparing to hear allegations that the Salesians knew Father Titian Miani been accused of preying on youths when they assigned him to St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, where he allegedly molested four children. After his transfer to St. John Bosco in Bellflower, he befriended a family whose father had recently died. While the mother was busy at work and night school, Miani would show up at the family home and molest the 15-year-old son and two daughters, the court documents said. Miani left the order in 1974 but continued to serve as a priest until his retirement from clerical duties in 1993[9].

See also


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