Mary D. ~ Making the public aware of kids being sexually abused by nuns is a big taboo in society. Some of the reasons for that, is the societal inability to accept the fact that women, and for that matter, women dedicated to God, can sexually abuse children, or teens, or vulnerable adults.
The latest conference of Women Religious has 450 orders that are part of it. It's only the leaders of the individual orders that go to these conferences ...and they're not responsible to each other. And, they're darn not going to reveal that they've been sexually abusing children and teens. And, as I said, the bishops won't take responsibility for it.
I was 15 years old when I was abused, 15 through 17 ...the way I grew up, I had such a bad self image ...and I could just see that imprinted on my children and grandchildren and great grandchild. I'm referring to attitude-wise. I think they picked up from me how not to feel valuable, and not to trust people.
So often, it's in orphanages, there were about 200 children victimized in an orphanage in New York, in the town of WaterVliet. It was Saint Colman's Orphanage. The children were abused sexually, and abused physically, abused psychologically. One boy was beaten to death there. He'd also been sexually abused.
Joy Bubbles was in the newspaper, recently. He was in a home for the blind, he was sexually abused. He changed his name. He'd been abused from the time he was 5 or 6 years old, in a home for the blind out East, run by nuns. He was abused, there.
Then, there were a lot in a home for the deaf.
Then, down in New Orleans, there were two orphanages, one for females and one for males. Six men have brought charges against this place in New Orleans and against the archdiocese there. Then, 21 people joined in that lawsuit. One guy, that I've talked to personally [Editor's note: as a Snap counselor], said that the children there were physically abused, beaten, and locked in closets ...and, sexually abused by seven nuns ...by nuns ...by religious brothers, by a Monsignor, by the truck driver on the facility, by the camp director, and various men who'd come to visit. I'm figuring, the nuns pimped the children. This was a fellow I talked to from Milwaukee who had lived down in New Orleans in this orphanage and grew up in there, he and six of his friends were abused by these people who ran and visited the orphanage, and men who would stop to visit ... the children were brought to them. That's why I think the nuns were pimping the children.
[AA] You mean, the nuns were running a child prostitution ring?
[M] It really sounds horrible, to say that ...but, he told me that men would come to visit, and that children would be brought to them, and be abused. The name of that place was, Madonna Manor, in the New Orleans Diocese. In Kentucky there was an orphanage where five girls from the same family were put in, and the older sister would offer ...when the older nuns would come through to pick up little girls to take to Father, the nuns also abused them sexually, but they'd take them to Father, and he'd have sex with them ... this older sister would offer herself, so they wouldn't take her younger sisters.
[AA] Did the sexual abuse of the teens by the nuns include intercourse?
[M] In a minority of cases. But, there was an awful lot of fondling, taking off their pants.
[AA] What percent of men or women are abused by nuns?
[M] I'd say, even.
[AA] Fifty-four orders of nuns who have sexually abused children?
[M] That's just that I know of, victims who have contacted me, or contacted Steve. Victims from 54 orders. About 650 victims abused by nuns have contacted me. Some of those are where a lawyer in a newspaper article says, besides the person that contacted him, there are another 200 people who were also abused and who are also coming forward.
~ Mother sent me to Villa Maria Academy, in Frontenec Minnesota. That was run by the Ursaline Nuns. I started there in my sophomore year. It was a day school, and a boarding school. Most of the kids were boarders.
In my sophomore year, Mother Borgia Fehlig was not there. She was on sabbatical in Rome. She was an artist. I think she might have been doing some art training, there. She came back during my junior year. Very soon, she latched-on to me. I think, that over the years, she had many girls that she abused. I think she chose the most intelligent and most accomplished girls, those with the most potential ... to be her ‘little friends'.
So, very soon, she was coming up to room every night. And that's what she did, for the next two years.
I had a roommate in my room, and our beds were so close together ... there were about four feet apart ... so, when Mother Borgia came every night, removed her upper clothing, and kissed me on the mouth, and encouraged me to suck on her nipples and touch them. There was nothing that she did to me, sexually. I know that doesn't make any difference, that's still abuse. And, gradually, as is the case with so many people who are abused, she isolated and alienated me from all of my classmates and schoolmates.
In school, I held a lot of offices during my junior and senior years. I was head of the National Honor Society. I was the Senior Class Secretary. I was the editor-in-chief of our yearbook during my senior year. I was a class officer in my junior and senior years.
She really, with her favoritism, made other kids turn away from me. I think she made them angry, and I don't blame them a bit. The gal that was my roommate the first year, my junior year, that was also abuse towards her ...because, she was confused, she had to pretend she was asleep, she knew something weird was going on, but she didn't know what it was, she didn't know how to deal with it. I think it was equally destructive to her.
I'm angry because they wrecked my life. That might be alright if it happened if when I went back to them and said, ‘This is what happened and it's really screwed me up and messed up my family and I'm really having a hard time" ...if they'd said they were sorry. But, they didn't.
‘Restorative justice' ...that's a Catholic teaching, that when you harm someone, you have to do restorative justice. Well, ‘restorative', to me means getting somebody getting back to how there were before you harmed them.