Perry made serious point about sex assault

first_imgBut common sense — and years of crime-watch meetings — tells me that adequate lighting doesn’t hurt women’s chances for safety. It’s sad for our profession when so many mainstream sites rush online with a “Perry links fossil fuel development to preventing sexual assault“ without any of this context.Now, if you want to have a real discussion, let’s debate whether fossil fuels really are the answer.My real-time reaction: This is exactly the kind of thing that cements in so many Americans’ minds that the media are biased.At the very least, it illustrates that we can’t wait to gang up on easy targets like Perry. Sharon Grigsby is a member of the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News.  Categories: Editorial, OpinionIn a white-hot-charged world of politics, where each side can’t wait to catch the other acting the fool, the headlines are flying about bumbling Rick Perry stepping in it again.  The former Texas governor and current U.S. energy secretary will never win any awards for being precise or even articulate in his public remarks. On Thursday, he gave critics a double whammy: A rambling, almost indecipherable anecdote that gave anybody with a Twitter account a chance to make fun of him for acting pro-fossil-fuel to the extreme and for being a dummy on sexual assault at the same time. Here’s the core of the story, as reported by CBS News: During an event with Axios and NBC in Washington, Perry brought up sexual assault after launching into a story about a trip to Africa, where he said “people are dying“ because they don’t have access to energy. “And it’s going to take fossil fuels to push power out into those villages in Africa, where a young girl said to my face: One of the reasons that electricity is so important to me is not only because I’m not going to have to try and read by the light of a fire and have those fumes literally kill people. But also from the standpoint of sexual assault: When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts.“ Perry’s remarks can be interpreted and misinterpreted a million different ways.But determined to get a quick laugh, news outlets and commentators were quick to report a sound bite that painted it in the worst light — without providing some important context:  First, Perry was sharing an anecdote he heard from a girl in Africa.According to Perry, she said she wanted electricity NOT ONLY because she wouldn’t have to read by a fire’s light, BUT ALSO because of sexual assault. Second, the fact is that bringing power to remote villages in Africa would do these people a lot of good. And, according to some researchers, yes, it would help prevent sexual assault. For the skimming reader, that may sound ridiculous: Tying sexual assault to fossil fuel? Especially when you consider that everyone in the Trump administration looks for every opportunity to push that form of energy. None of that makes Perry wrong. And given all the headlines of late about sexual assault, it’s not stupid that he would link lack of electricity and lights with the possibility of violence.Consider this National Public Radio piece on the links between access to home toilets in India’s largest state and sexual assaults:Lacking indoor plumbing, hundreds of millions of women in India, under the cloak of darkness, set out for an open field to relieve themselves.center_img In those circumstances, NPR reported, women are vulnerable to being preyed upon.It cited the case of two young girls who were raped and left hanging from a tree.But NPR was not saying that lack of home toilets are the underlying cause of male predation. Separately, The Guardian has reported on how poor quality and underfunded public services — from lack of lighting to sanitation and decent housing — leave poor women and girls vulnerable and exposed to violence and harassment. Of course “darkness“ alone doesn’t cause people to commit sexual assault. But what from Perry’s remarks gives people the impression that he said that? Willful misinterpretation. Of course, the most important deterrents focus on changing the behavior of the perpetrators. We need to be teaching young men not to rape. And to enforce strict punishments. And a whole lot more than that.  More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

Grateful for County Waste gift of bikes

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionRe Dec. 13 article, “Bikes for Tikes”: Recently, a truck and trailer from County Waste visited our Early Learning Center on Bigelow Avenue in Schenectady.An incredible team from County Waste delivered 39 bikes and helmets to some very special Schenectady kids. These kids are from families who struggle with poverty and who may struggle to get that special gift for their children during the holidays. On behalf of those 39 very grateful families whose kids will soon be cruising around on new sets of wheels, we want to thank County Waste from the bottom of our hearts.Wendy HopkinsonAlbanyThe writer is executive program director of Early Childhood Services Northern Rivers Family of Services.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

Income through the ages

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McCabe invests £10m in Chinese venture

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Biden racks up endorsements as Sanders goes on the attack in US presidential race

first_imgTwo former presidential rivals endorsed Joe Biden on Friday in the latest sign that the Democratic establishment is coalescing around the former vice president to stop the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, who ratcheted up attacks on his rival ahead of crucial contests next week.Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and John Delaney, a former Maryland congressman – both onetime 2020 candidates – backed Biden, as did a slew of other Democratic officials in states soon to hold nominating contests.Sanders, who is desperate to regain some momentum after Biden’s strong ‘Super Tuesday’ showing this week, launched a full-throated attack on his rival, assailing Biden over his record on trade, abortion, gay rights and Social Security. Topics : At a news conference in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday, Sanders dug deep into Biden’s 40-year record. He criticized Biden for having opposed the rights of gay people to serve in the US military and for voting against federal funding for abortions, stances the former vice president has since rejected.”I was there on the right side of history, and my friend Joe Biden was not,” Sanders said.Sanders also lambasted Biden for supporting trade deals he said had been “a disaster for Michigan” and accused Biden of trying in the past to cut Social Security, the government-run pension and disability program.Biden, who denies ever advocating cuts to Social Security, snapped back in a tweet on Friday: “Get real, Bernie. The only person who’s going to cut Social Security if he’s elected is Donald Trump. Maybe you should spend your time attacking him.”The exchange reflects mounting tension between the two White House hopefuls. The race became a tight two-way contest after US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ended their White House bids after disappointing showings in the Super Tuesday primaries.Sanders, 78, said he would support Biden, 77, if he becomes the Democratic nominee but insisted that only he, not Biden, could “energize the American people” enough to beat Trump.Warren’s exit meant that what had been hailed as the most diverse field of candidates in US history narrowed to a race for the nomination between two white, septuagenarian men. Tulsi Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii with virtually no chance of winning, is the only other remaining Democratic candidate.On Friday, the Democratic National Committee, which oversees the party’s presidential debates, released new qualifying thresholds for the next debate in Arizona on Mar. 15. Candidates will need at least 20% of delegates awarded so far, essentially excluding Gabbard, who has won less than 1 percent.Biden’s Super Tuesday turnaround benefited as the Democratic Party establishment began mobilizing this week to try and stop Sanders, a democratic socialist. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and US Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden.The former vice president said at a private campaign event on Friday that his campaign had raised about $22 million over five days.Biden also received endorsements on Friday in other states with upcoming primary contests, including from Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan in Washington state, and Ruben Gallego, an Arizona congressman.Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois are expected to soon announce endorsements of Biden, according to a source familiar with the matter. Illinois and Arizona vote on March 17, along with Florida and Ohio.center_img The pair contest six Democratic nominating contests on Tuesday, including the big prize of Michigan, with 125 of the 1,991 delegates needed to win the nomination at stake.Sanders, a US senator from Vermont who was until recently the front-runner in the party’s race to face Republican President Donald Trump in November, now trails in delegates. A big win for Biden in Michigan would deliver another major blow to Sanders’ hopes of becoming the nominee.Ahead of Michigan’s primary, the state’s lieutenant governor, Garlin Gilchrist II, backed Biden, as did part of the state’s United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and former US Senator Carl Levin.Four other states will hold primary elections on Tuesday: Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri and Washington state. North Dakota will hold caucuses.last_img read more

COVID-19 may reduce pro-IS activity, but attacks still possible: IPAC

first_imgThe COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to reducing the activity of the Islamic State (IS) group in the country, as highlighted by the latest report from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC).However, there remains the possibility of IS supporters launching attacks against the Indonesian government as it battles to contain the outbreak nationwide.The IPAC highlighted a decreasing level of IS supporters’ activity, reflected in the low number of arrests against terror suspects during the first months of 2020. It also argued that the reduced activity might be caused by IS sympathizers reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak by staying at home to wait for the end of the world as foretold in Islamic prophecies, rather than carrying out jihad operations.The supporters, it added, viewed the COVID-19 outbreak as a thaun (plague) mentioned in various hadiths. When the plague comes, Muslims are told by the hadiths to stay at home and be patient. If they eventually die of the disease, they will still be considered a martyr.“The IS supporters who take this view tend to choose to stay at home and not carry out jihad operations [amaliyah] – especially if they get the same heavenly reward by doing so,” the report suggests.Read also: What impact is COVID-19 having on Middle East conflicts? Others have seen the outbreak as a sign of the end of time, which occurred before the dukhan, which refers to a hot cloud that will cover parts of the Earth for 40 days and nights. Its appearance is believed to precede the coming of Imam Mahdi, the Islamic messiah.“The IS supporters who take this view believe the pandemic is a dress rehearsal for the dukhan,” the report read.“This second group will also take no action. They prefer to stay at home and train family members in preparation for the end of time, which they believe is imminent.”Despite the reduced activities, IPAC noted there was still a possibility for IS supporters to see the outbreak as an opportunity to launch attacks, as they see the Indonesian government as being in a state of weakness while trying to contain the disease.The report suggested that a possible method of attack would be to use IS supporters who were already infected with the virus to try and deliberately infect those they considered their enemies, such as police officers.In addition, the study predicted that IS supporters could also seek to join insurgent groups in the country that are currently active in recruiting members, as the government’s attention has been diverted to containing the outbreak.The same strategy was used after the Aceh tsunami in 2004, Yogyakarta earthquake in 2006 and Palu earthquake and tsunami in 2018.Authorities were also urged to watch the extremist inmates in Indonesian detention centers and prisons, as the prison population is deemed vulnerable to the disease.Violent unrest could be sparked off once the word on COVID-19 positive cases in prison spread, especially when prison healthcare systems are deemed inadequate to handle the disease, IPAC went on to say.Read also: Overcrowded regional prisons release inmates early to limit contagionThe IPAC suggests that Indonesian authorities also monitor fundraising efforts through online charities or religious organizations in connection with the outbreak, including appeals for protective equipment for healthcare workers.“Most of the private fundraising efforts taking place in connection with the pandemic are going to be legitimate, but over the last two decades, what has happened in Indonesia is that whenever disasters occur, extremists seek to benefit.”Law enforcement agencies were urged to remain vigilant during the pandemic by, among other measures, developing guidelines on procedures for handling unrest in penitentiaries as well as anticipating attempted escapes.The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) would also need to watch out for fundraising efforts for terror activities in the name of humanitarian assistance, the IPAC concluded.Topics :last_img read more

COVID-19: TVRI to air educational program to help students learn from home

first_img“All materials will be delivered in an easy and entertaining way. The program will be monitored and evaluated by the ministry and civil society organizations,” Usrin said.Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim said Belajar dari Rumah was the ministry’s effort to help students who faced hindrances in remote internet learning.”This program could help students who have limited internet access due to economic or geographic reasons,” Nadiem said on Thursday as quoted by (dpk)Topics : The broadcaster’s acting director of news and programs, Usrin Usman, said the education program would start airing on Monday at 8 a.m.”Besides educational programs for students from Monday to Friday, we will also air guidance programs for teachers and parents, as well as cultural programs on weekends,” Usrin said.Read also: To master home school, keep it fun and focus on the basicsThe programs will focus on developing students’ literacy, numeric skills, character and life skills. Public television broadcaster TVRI will air a full-day educational program called Belajar dari Rumah (Study from Home) for three months to help students who are required to study from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.TVRI acting president director Supriyono said the program was held in cooperation with the Education and Culture Ministry.”The program will cover learning materials for students of elementary school, junior high school and senior high school, as well as additional information on parenting,” Supriyono said during a press briefing on Friday.last_img read more

More mental health workers needed to address effects of COVID-19

first_imgPita, a Jakarta resident who asked to use a pseudonym for this article, said anxiety had kept her from sleeping for several days at a time during the pandemic. Social distancing prevented her from gathering with her friends and going out, which had helped her cope with her stress before the outbreak.She said she felt bad for reaching out to her usual therapist, who was busier than usual during the pandemic. She could either make a video call or meet her therapist in person at Mintoharjo Naval Hospital (RSAL Mintoharjo), a COVID-19 referral hospital, to obtain her psychological test results. The latter was a riskier choice.She initially hesitated to do an online consultation because of the lack of privacy in her home, where she lived with her siblings, but she managed to obtain the results on Monday on a video call. “The internet connection is slow and there are only a few psychiatrists. And even if it is online, it is also a matter of compatibility. I’ve found one that I am comfortable with after talking to six others,” Pita said. “It’s complicated.”Pita is one of many who have felt the pinch of Indonesia’s longstanding shortage of clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak despite patients’ need for regular access to mental health care.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), access to mental health treatment is critical. Failure to take people’s emotional well-being seriously during the pandemic, the organization says, will lead to long-term social and economic costs to society.“There is no health without mental health,” said Indonesian Clinical Psychology Association (IPK) chairwoman Indria Laksmi Gamayanti, quoting the WHO. “When mental health is ignored, there will be a decline in productivity and people’s character development.” Read also: Three stages of emotion on COVID-19 journey: Where are you now?Indria said Indonesia was already lacking clinical psychologists before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the current surge in virus-related inquiries had stretched mental health resources further. She said the deficit-stricken national health insurance (JKN) program had yet to include clinical psychological services in its scheme despite high demand for it.The 2018 Basic Health Survey (Riskesdas) shows that 7 in 1,000 households in Indonesia have members who experience psychosis or schizophrenia. In addition, about 6 in every 1,000 households have members below 15 years old who are enduring depression.No national data is currently available about the number of mental health workers and patients during the pandemic. However, past data shows that Indonesia lacks the mental health resources to cope with the country’s needs.With a population of about 250 million in 2016, the country had only about 773 psychiatrists – approximately one for every 323,000 people, the Health Ministry told Tempo in 2016. The figure is a far cry from the WHO’s recommendation of having one psychiatrist and psychologist for every 30,000 people.An article in The Conversation in 2018 argues that the country needs 7,500 mental health workers to provide sufficient psychiatric services for its population, basing the figure on the WHO’s benchmark. They estimated that the country could only meet 16.3 percent of its needs.Read also: Less than 1,000 psychiatrists for 260 million IndonesiansThe WHO warned last month that the world could risk a “massive” increase in mental health issues in the coming months if nations neglected investment in such services.“It is now crystal clear that mental health must be treated as a core element of our response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.To alleviate the burden, the Social Affairs Ministry, the Indonesian Professional Social Workers Association (IPSPI) and the Indonesian Social Work Consortium (KPSI) launched a set of psychosocial services on May 12. They include a 24/7 hotline for online consultation and regular webinars for mental health education.”The psychosocial service programs can reduce the emotional burden on individuals and society. The proper handling of the community’s emotional condition will also help the community’s readiness and endurance in the current situation,” Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara said.The government has introduced a psychological consultation service, called the Psychological Services for Mental Health (Sejiwa) program, to improve mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.Read also: Psychological consultation hotline launched in virus-stricken IndonesiaCounseling and development center Personal Growth CEO and founder Ratih Ibrahim said services like Sejiwa would not be effective without a sufficient number of clinical psychologists. She encouraged universities to increase access to clinical psychology programs and to shorten the period of study needed to be a clinical psychologist. According to IPK chairwoman Indria, Indonesia only has 17 universities that offer psychology majors.center_img Ratih’s firm found that 33 percent of the 327 cases recorded on its free online counseling platform from March to May were related to COVID-19. Some 9 percent of the 23 complaints involving children aged 13 to 17 were COVID-19-related.“Don’t underestimate the figures. If we generalize it to a larger population, the trend will likely be the same,” Ratih said.Topics :last_img read more

Australian state to send in the army to check on COVID-19 cases

first_imgTopics : Two cases were detected among Aboriginal people in the regional Victorian city of Ballarat, a cause of concern for officials given a high degree of health issues among Indigenous Australians.”No-one should be moving towards trying to provide definitive commentary that we have turned a corner,” Andrews added.NSW tightens restrictionsAustralia has so far escaped the high COVID-19 casualty numbers of other nations, with just over 13,300 infections and 139 deaths from the virus as of Friday.In the most populous state of New South Wales, restrictions were reintroduced on Friday after several clusters emerged, including dozens of cases stemming from a Thai restaurant. New cases in the state fell to seven overnight, from several days in the teens.Group bookings at restaurants, cafes and clubs will be limited to 10 people and patrons inside a venue will be capped to 300.Wedding and corporate events will be limited to 150 people with strict social distancing rules including a ban on singing, dancing and mingling, while only 100 can attend funerals and places of worship.Australia’s National Cabinet met on Friday and laid out new measures to combat the virus including tougher restrictions on truck drivers transporting goods between states, some of which have not seen any cases of community transmission for months.Prime Minister Scott Morrison reaffirmed the country’s aggressive suppression strategy to stamp out all community transmission, even as it looks to soften the economic blow.Australia’s budget is set to plunge into its biggest deficit since World War Two this year as the coronavirus crisis knocks the country into its first recession in three decades and forces policymakers to roll out hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus.  Australia’s Victoria state will send in the army to question people who have tested positive for COVID-19 as it battles to control an outbreak that claimed a record number of lives on Friday.Australia’s second most populous state will deploy Australian Defense Force personnel to the homes of people who have tested positive and who have not answered telephone calls, in order to kick start the contact tracing process, state premier Daniel Andrews said.A flare-up of infections in Melbourne, the state’s largest city, prompted the government to enforce a six-week partial lockdown and make face masks mandatory for its residents or risk a A$200 ($143) fine.center_img “This is about going that extra step to make sure that we cannot just call but we can connect… get that interview done and then begin the process of tracing contacts,” Andrews told a regular press conference.”If you were door knocked and you were not found at home…that would almost certainly lead to you being fined.”The state recorded six deaths overnight, the highest daily toll for the nation since the pandemic began.All the deaths were linked to aged care homes, of which more than 40 have recorded outbreaks. Statewide, 300 new infections were found, dropping from a record of 484 on Wednesday.last_img read more

Justice delayed, denied for victims of sexual abuse in Catholic Church

first_imgRead also: Depok Catholic Church molester launched ‘systematic’ assault for years, lawyer saysSince January of this year, the Post and have interviewed four victims – one man and three women – who say they were sexually abused in the Catholic Church. The events they described took place between 10 and 30 years ago. Three of the victims were minors, and one was an adult. Three never reported the abuse to authorities and the other faced silence when she reported her case and demanded that the priest she had accused be punished.Last December, in the cardinal’s first rebuttal of the sexual abuse allegations, he accused his subordinate in the Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI), seminary commission secretary Father Joseph Kristanto, of “violating the code of ethics” by discussing, in a public forum, 56 cases of alleged sexual abuse within the Church community.Suharyo, who is also the chairman of the KWI and the archbishop of Jakarta, said Kristanto, who called the 56 cases “the tip of the iceberg” of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, had apologized. Victims of sexual abuse and harassment in the Indonesian Catholic Church face “thick walls” of silence, secrecy and denial, having to bear trauma while the priests who they have accused remain on a moral pedestal.Sisca, who has chosen to use an alias to protect her privacy, said she was molested by a Catholic priest in Jakarta when she was 11 years old. The 38-year-old watches the same priest greet school children in the same Catholic school every morning, and in December of last year, she heard His Eminence Ignatius Cardinal Suharyo, the highest-ranking member of the Indonesian Catholic Church, deny that he had ever received any reports of sexual abuse in the Church.Sisca did not believe the cardinal could have possibly been oblivious to the alleged sexual abuse. “Where has he been? We had high hopes for him. He was appointed cardinal by the Pope. It’s a prestigious title. A cardinal is a chosen figure, and [the Pope] would not appoint a random priest,” she told The Jakarta Post in early February. “It hurts me to hear him say that. He doesn’t know how it feels,” Sisca said. “He bowed down, apologizing, because he brought up the numbers, which are confession secrets that should not be talked about,” Suharyo said.He questioned the validity of the data even though Kristanto had spoken in his capacity as a KWI official and had presented the data in a seminar on a book that sought to establish protocols to protect minors and vulnerable adults in the Catholic Church, as Pope Francis had ordered in May 2019.Read also: Depok case shines light on sexual abuse in Indonesian Catholic ChurchThe cardinal reiterated his stance in his reply to the Post and’s request to interview him about the sexual abuse cases and the progress of the protocols. “The issue related to sexual harassment, I really don’t know – if what you mean is the ones reported by one of the parish publications,” Suharyo wrote.No protocols in placeSuharyo was referring to a report in Warta Minggu, a publication by members of the Maria Bunda Karmel parish in Jakarta, from Dec. 8, 2019. The report, titled “Sexual Abuse in Indonesian Churches: An Iceberg Phenomenon?”, quoted Father Kristanto’s presentation at the seminar on the book about abuse protocols.The Archbishop of Jakarta declined to grant the Post and an interview and recommended another priest, Petrus Sunu Hardiyanta, who Suharyo said knew more about the protocol than he did.Read also: Justice for victimsIn an interview on July 23, Father Sunu, a Jesuit head in Indonesia from 2014 to May of this year, did not confirm the data and only commented that the cases Father Kristanto had brought up were supposed to be “confidential”.He verified that none of the dioceses, archdioceses or orders in Indonesia had established the protocols, even though Pope Francis’ deadline of June of this year had passed. However, he said that his order, the Society of Jesus, had planned a specific mechanism for reporting, in which it would designate seven people – three clergymen and four laypeople, at least two of whom would be women – to handle reports.In addition to Father Suharyo and Father Sunu, the Post and tried to contact five priests in Indonesia – heads of parishes and orders – to verify the accounts of three victims. Of the five priests, one said he had heard about the cases but claimed he did not know the details, two said they did not know of the cases and two never replied.Of the five priests, one said he had heard about the cases but claimed he did not know the details, two said they did not know of the cases and two never replied. (JP/Hengky Wijaya)Sister Chatarina Supatmiyati, in a discussion organized by Katolikana, a media outlet focusing on news related to the Catholic Church, said she had helped a number of women who had become involved with Catholic Church priests and parish officials. She said some of them had gotten pregnant and had to raise the children on their own.When she accompanied women and reported their situations to the church, the church officials accepted the reports and listened but nothing more. She experienced attempts by the church officials to protect colleagues who had been involved in such cases. Officials would say the man was being prepared for other duties or would ask the woman to forgive him because had only done it once.Denied casesIn November, Father Kristanto presented the data that was quoted by Warta Minggu. He said 56 instances of sexual assault had been reported, including 21 victims belonging to seminaries, 20 nuns and 15 laypeople. Thirty three of the alleged perpetrators were priests, while the remaining 23 were not, he said in November at the seminar organized by NGO Mitra Imadei and the psychology faculty of Atma Jaya Catholic University.Kristanto’s report, which was made during the protocol book event, sent a wave of restlessness through the Indonesian Catholic Church. Two priests in the parish who were in charge of Warta Minggu were transferred to other positions.The magazine’s counselor at that time, Andreas Yudhi Wiyadi, who was also the head priest of the Maria Bunda Karmel parish when the report was released, said he had reprimanded the reporters involved in the article because they had published sexual abuse data “whose validity had yet to be proven”.“For me it’s a sensitive matter. I’ve reprimanded those who made the report without consulting with me first,” said the priest, who was later transferred to the Palembang Archdiocese in Sumatra.Another priest involved in Warta Minggu, Andreas Dedy Purnawan, was also moved to Malang, East Java, not long after the report was released.Yudhi, however, insisted that his transfer had nothing to do with the magazine’s report.‘This is the injustice’Activists Mike Verawati Tangka and Damairia Pakpahan, who have acted as advocates for alleged sexual abuse victims in the Catholic Church, said the cardinal should have pursued the cases instead of denying them.The two women said the “thick walls” of impunity for perpetrators of sexual abuse and harassment within the institution were “absurd”. Usually, the Catholic Church would simply transfer accused clerics from one parish to another, where they could repeat their abuse or unethical behavior.Read also: Award-winning author accuses priest of abuse, detained after vandalizing parish propertyThey referred to the well-publicized case of the former bishop of Ruteng, Hubertus Leteng, who was assigned to the Bandung Diocese after his resignation from his seat in Ruteng amid accusations that he had embezzled money and had had an affair with a woman. Another case was a priest in Timor Tengah Utara regency who was moved to another parish after allegedly mistreating a woman, prompting anger from a congregation member, author Felix Nesi, who later damaged parish property.“Facing the Church institution is not easy. We have to be extra careful to protect not only the victims but also the ones inside the institution who are willing to help,” Mike said in January.Both Mike and Damairia demanded transparency in the Indonesian Catholic Church in dealing with unethical or coercive behavior and sexual assault instead of sweeping such actions under the rug. “But some Church leaders, including the cardinal himself, seem to deny and negate the findings. They even tend to cover up the case,” Mike said.Sister Chatarina said the women she accompanied had to accept that the priests would continue as priests in other places while the women relented, lived alone with their children and faced censure from the community they lived in. “This is the injustice,” she said.Karina M. Tehusijarana contributed to this story.Topics :last_img read more