Added: Raya Golding - Date: 28.09.2021 20:04 - Views: 20529 - Clicks: 3160
The Rev. James G. Gannon, the leader of a Wisconsin-based group of Franciscan Friars, arrived at the crowded pancake house with copies of a legal settlement for La Jarvis D. Love, who had arrived with his wife and three young children. As La Jarvis skimmed the four- agreement, his thoughts flickered back more than two decades to the physical and sexual abuse he says he suffered at the hands of a Franciscan Friar at a Catholic grade school in Greenwood.
We felt like we had to take what we could. It includes a confidentiality requirement, even though American Catholic leaders have barred the use of non-disclosure agreements in sex abuse settlements. In addition, the amount of money Gannon and the Franciscans offered is far less than what many other sex abuse victims have received through legal settlements with the Catholic Church.
Francis of Assisi School, differ from most victims with sex abuse claims against the church because they are black, desperately poor and, until recently, never had a lawyer to argue their case. The abuse they say they endured at the hands of two Franciscans, Brother Paul West and Brother Donald Lucas, included beatings, rape, and other sexual violations beginning when they were nine and 10 years old.
Catholic officials have been promising to end the cover-up of clergy abuse for nearly two decades. And earlier this year, Pope Francis issued a new church law requiring Catholic officials worldwide to report sexual abuse — and the cover-up of abuse — to their superiors. But the confidential deals the Franciscans reached with La Jarvis and Joshua show that, in some cases, the American church continues efforts to limit financial fallout and keep sexual abuse under wraps — as it did in the years before when settlements with victims were routinely arranged in secret for small sums of money.
Gannon, during interviews with the AP, said he believes that both La Jarvis and Joshua were abused and acknowledged that the settlements are less than generous. Gannon also said the Franciscans have no intention of enforcing the confidentiality clauses, noting that La Jarvis and his cousins have discussed the settlements among themselves.
West declined to answer questions for this story, and Lucas died in The Mississippi Delta stretches nearly miles, from Memphis in the north to Vicksburg in the south.
It is 40 miles wide, uniformly flat, and etched by rows of cotton, soybeans and corn, all running to a distant, sweltering horizon. Near its heart lies Greenwood, a small city of 15, with a legacy that looms far larger. It was a flashpoint during the voter registration drives of the civil rights movement, and the Delta is where guitar legend B. King and other blues players got their start.
It is also a place where the conditions that gave rise to the blues continue to haunt everyday life: racism, unemployment, despair, and a more recent scourge — drugs. Often, more than 10 people in their extended family were crowded into their three-bedroom home.
Among them was their grandmother, family matriarch Lou Alice Bolden.
The Franciscan order was established in the early 13th century by St. Francis of Assisi to evangelize and work among the poor. The church lists 26 parishes in the Jackson Diocese, out ofwhere blacks have a ificant presence. It was the same with her nine grandchildren. Back then, it was often up to Miss Lou, then an orderly at Greenwood Leflore Hospital, to cover tuition and pay for school uniforms for her grandchildren.
Times were especially hard when La Jarvis and Joshua were fourth and fifth graders. The boys would alternate weekends, so they were never working together. And he sometimes drove one of boys home with a stack of pizzas for the entire family. West, then his fourth-grade teacher and later the school principal, encouraged Joshua by telling him he was a good student with a bright future. But this classic grooming soon led to sexual assaults, Joshua said. On some occasions, Joshua said, West asked whether he preferred to be beaten or molested.
La Jarvis recalls similar experiences. He began working as a cook and quickly took an interest in Joshua. The cousins say the abuse by West continued during summer excursions to Wisconsin, where the Greenwood Franciscans were based, and to Centerport, New York, the site of a summer camp established by the Franciscans in the late s. During one of those trips, Joshua said, West was teaching him to float on his back in a motel swimming pool when he suddenly pushed his head under water. After he came up gasping, Joshua said, West threatened to drown him if he ever told anyone he was being sexually assaulted.
West drove the Love boys to Wisconsin, again alternating among them so they were never there together, to live with white, middle class families for a few weeks and escape their troubles back home.
La Jarvis remembers these trips fondly, even though, he said, West continued to molest him there. La Jarvis also said he treasures memories of a summer visit to Camp Alvernia, the Long Island summer camp established by the Franciscans, although he believes West drugged him and molested him on the way there and back. For the long drive home to Greenwood, La Jarvis said, West brought Joshua along for the ride and, during a motel stop, told the boys he wanted to watch them having sex with each other.
In Raphael was in the fourth grade at St. Francis, and La Jarvis and Joshua were no longer students there. It was his turn, Raphael said, to work weekends at the compound — and be molested by West. Unlike his older brother and his cousin, who waited until two years ago to report their alleged molestations, Raphael told his family and church authorities about West while the abuse was taking place. According to a Greenwood police report provided to the AP by the Jackson diocese, Raphael was working at the compound on a Sunday after Mass in August of when he visited a rest room.
Stephen J. But apparently neither the police nor the diocese discovered the alleged abuse of La Jarvis and Joshua. Greenwood Police Chief Ray Moore told the AP that he could not find any record showing that police investigated the report. By the time Raphael stepped forward with his allegations, he had lost two father figures: His grandfather, Eugene, and a neighbor who often rewarded him for good grades with the change in his pockets.
A year later, his biological father, never a strong presence in his life, was murdered. Then, inwhen he was 13, his mother, Linda Faye Love, was stabbed to death on the streets of Greenwood. After moving to Memphis to live with an aunt when he was 16, Raphael was home with her one evening when teenagers from another neighborhood drove by shooting. Raphael recognized the assailants and went after them.
He drove with friends to confront them, and then shot into a crowd of young people, killing two bystanders. A jury convicted him of murder and gave him a double life sentence. Terence McKiernan, president of Bishopability. And if Raphael had gotten the help he needed, two young people in Tennessee might not have been killed, and Raphael might not be serving two life sentences. Belenchia said he hopes attention devoted to the Loves will encourage other black survivors of abuse by Catholic authority figures to step forward and tell their stories.
At a recent national conference held by SNAP in Arlington, Virginia, attendees noted the lack of black representation at the event and voiced concern that many African Americans abused by priests are not being heard or getting the support they need.
Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute, Gannon said. The following year, inBrother Lucas was found dead at St. Francis Church, an apparent suicide. But he said West asked to leave the order and that the Vatican granted his request in After that, Gannon said, the Franciscans lost touch with West, to the point where Gannon had to hire a private detective to find the former Friar two years ago, so he could let him know about the abuse allegations made by La Jarvis and Joshua.
West held his teaching job at St. John School in the village of Little Chute until at leastaccording to records reviewed by the AP. When the AP tried to interview West at his home, the year-old former friar declined to answers questions about his time as a teacher and principal in Mississippi. InLa Jarvis got married. His wife landed a steady job at a home for adults with special needs, and the couple soon had three children. Suddenly, La Jarvis looked a lot like a middle-class family man. He tried landscaping but never had enough money to keep his mowers and his car running.
At times he resorted to robbery and selling drugs and served prison time for those offenses. Then, late inwhen the news was full of stories about comedian-actor Bill Cosby and the sexual abuse charges he faced, La Jarvis decided it was time to tell someone about West. Francis of Assisi School. After making the call, La Jarvis was referred to Gannon, who traveled to Mississippi to meet him at his home. And before long, Gannon was sending him money for therapy and transportation to see a therapist. Francis Church bulletin, Joshua stepped forward with his accusations about West and Lucas.
Then La Jarvis, during a phone call with Raphael, learned that his younger cousin had reported his alleged abuse two decades earlier. Of the three Love men, Raphael alone turned down the offer of a settlement from the Franciscans. Law enforcement officials in at least four jurisdictions, meanwhile, are reviewing the sexual abuse allegations against West made by La Jarvis, Joshua and Raphael. Milwaukee District Attorney John T. Chisholm would not discuss details of his review but said his office is devoting more attention to sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, in part because the Vatican has yet to take specific measures to address the issue.
John F. The Jackson diocese also played a role in negotiating the settlements with La Jarvis and Joshua. Valerie McClellan, a therapist and the victim assistance coordinator, accompanied Joshua to his first negotiating session with Gannon. But Belenchia said it was a conflict of interest for McClellan to be on the scene in any capacity. Joshua, meanwhile, offers discount haircuts to friends and family in the three-room shotgun shack in Greenwood that he calls home. IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
Hispanic Heritage Month U. Share this —. Follow NBC News. Associated Press.Black Vicksburg sex
email: [email protected] - phone:(670) 578-9141 x 5438