Monday, September 5, 2011
Pwoje Espwa - Letters from Road to Recovery President to Bishop Howard Hubbard and Brother Paul-Alan Carey, FSD
Road to Recovery, Inc.P.O. Box 279Livingston, New Jersey 07039Administrative Office:46 Morris RoadWest Orange, New Jersey 07052862-368-2800Bishop Howard J. HubbardDiocese of Albany40 North Main AvenueAlbany, New York 12203Dear Bishop Hubbard:I am writing in regard to the recent “incident” at a camp for poor children in Haiti, partially staffed by a community of Franciscan “third order” brothers based in the Diocese of Albany. Once again, the response of Church leadership was disappointing and inappropriate. Paul Kendrick deserves to be lauded as a hero for bringing this matter to the attention of Br. Paul-Allan Carey. Instead, he has been treated with suspicion and disdain.It is quite obvious that Br. Paul-Allan would not have acted in any way, shape, or form to the allegations of Paul Kendrick on behalf of a naked 11 year-old boy whose body was touched from head to toe by a member of the San Damiano community had it not been for Paul Kendrick’s communication to your office and your intervention in the matter. Perhaps the recent conviction of Fr. Gary Mercure and future indictments of Diocese of Albany priests have prompted your more timely attention and action regarding these cases.To think that Br. Robert-Anthony would publicize what he considered appropriate and legal action on a blog is indicative of the fact that nothing has changed in the Church regarding childhood sexual abuse by clergy and religious. Sexual abuse continues at epidemic rates. And Br. Paul-Allan’s response to Paul Kendrick is further proof that church image and internal controls are more important than protection of children and transparency.What will happen to Br. Robert-Anthony? Will you report the alleged crime to authorities in Haiti? Will Br. Robert-Anthony be suspended from all duties and watched carefully? Will the young boy whom he allegedly abused be offered services to recover from the alleged abuse?The ball is in your court, Bishop Hubbard. Will you bounce it to someone else or take the shot yourself?Sincerely,Rev. Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.Co-founder and PresidentCc: Br. Paul-Allan Carey, FSDRoad to Recovery, Inc.P.O. Box 279Livingston, New Jersey 07039Administrative Office:46 Morris RoadWest Orange, New Jersey 07052862-368-2800Br. Paul-Allan CareyCommunity of San Damiano414 Potter Hill RoadPetersburgh, New York 12138Dear Br. Paul-Allan:I write in support of Paul Kendrick’s attempts to keep the children of Haiti safe and secure. I am a priest who works with clergy sexual abuse victims numbering in the thousands.Unfortunately, the Haitian children are at particular risk of abuse because they were born and raised in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. In addition, the vulnerability of Haiti allows predatory persons of all sorts to “minister” there for their own gratification. It appears that one of your brothers was in Haiti for reasons other than bringing the Gospel to the people.Your recent recall of Br. Robert-Anthony Campbell from Haiti is laudable, but your protestations are not. A religious brother, married or single, gay or straight, young or old, is not supposed to be giving 11 year-old boys showers and placing his hands all over the boys’ bodies.The protection of children is, perhaps, the greatest responsibility we have as citizens. Br. Robert-Anthony did not take that responsibility seriously when he touched the body of an 11 year-old innocent boy during the taking of a shower. Eleven year-olds can shower themselves.Your approach to this issue was typical of the Church’s response: protect the abuser and ignore the victim. Perhaps this incident will change your mind and response.Sincerely,Rev. Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.Co-founder and PresidentCc: Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, Diocese of Albany, NewYork
In fact, I’ve asked our Vice-President, Mr. Chad Scott, to find a convenient time for the three of us to discuss your concerns. Mr. Scott will be at our facility in Haiti for the next two weeks, but I feel certain that he will make some time upon his return.
From what I’ve been told, you have further expressed aggravation to one of our Board Members, Mr. Robert Morris. Although I am a bit unclear about your specific concerns, I can assure you that Free the Kids/ESPWA is singularly focused on providing a safe haven and a nurturing environment for many vulnerable Haitian children. Our policy is quite simply one of zero tolerance with respect to child abuse, whether the abuse is from our staff, our volunteers, our visitors, our residents, or even our Founder.
I assure you that Mr. Scott and I will endeavor to address your apparent concerns at our earliest mutual convenience. In the interim, I would kindly ask you to have some respect for the efforts of our organization and those who support our work with Haiti’s children. That respect could best be shown by not posting further derogatory comments on our website.
We will thank you in advance for showing us some respect. We will also respect your need to convey your concerns to us. Mr. Scott or I will be in contact with you as soon as he returns from his field work.
Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
Saturday, September 3, 2011
CROSS INTERNATIONAL AND FREE THE KIDS (PWOJE ESPWA) 'WHITEWASH" INCIDENT OF INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING OF NAKED 11 YEAR OLD BOY.From: Paul Kendrick <email@example.com>
Date: August 31, 2011 6:31:44 PM EDT
To: Jim Cavnar <JCavnar@crossinternational.org>
Subject: Re: Our Conclusions about Your Allegation
You can't be serious in providing me and other advocates with such an undocumented and unsubstantiated statement.and expect that we will just walk away and be satisfied with your response.Your incomplete and evasive report raises more questions.First, who is the "attorney" who conducted the "investigation?"And, why are you the one reporting this information?Let's start with a written report from Pwoje Espwa's board of directors.Jim, I've been involved in advocating for child sex abuse victims for 11 years and the report you are sending me is as flimsy and unacceptable as I have ever seen.Again, what is the name of the "attorney" who supposedly conducted this "investigation?"Paul
______On Aug 31, 2011, at 6:09 PM, Jim Cavnar <JCavnar@crossinternational.org> wrote:
We recently had a lengthy and detailed conversation with the attorney who investigated your allegation of sexual abuse against Brother Anthony Campbell. He conducted a thorough investigation on site and within a few days of your allegation. His conclusion was that the allegation was without substance. We were fully satisfied with his report and accept his conclusion.
As I previously explained, we are developing policies on child protection for our ministry and for all organizations we support. We have not finalized our policies yet but are having them reviewed by attorneys with expertise in the area before formally adopting them. In the course of discussing this with Espwa in Haiti we were gratified to learn of the child protection policies for staff and volunteers which they already had been following and of the strengthening of those policies which is now underway.
I believe that while nothing harmful happened in this incident we will both emerge with much better policies and procedures for preventing harm to children as well as for dealing quickly and properly with all concerns or allegations.
God bless you.
President, Cross International Catholic Outreach, Inc.
FRANCISCAN BROTHER REMOVED FROM MINISTRY IN HAITI
FRANCISCAN RELIGIOUS BROTHER FROM DIOCESE OF ALBANY, NY, IS REMOVED FROM MINISTRY POSITION AT PWOJE ESPWA ORPHANAGE IN LES CAYES, HAITI, PENDING INVESTIGATION OF INAPPROPRIATE PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH 11 YEAR-OLD HAITIAN BOY
“I showered him from head to toe, scrubbed his hair, and washed his shorts. I also found time to re-apply the cream I’ve been using to help his rash and I’m happy to report the rash has cleared up (and he’s a lot cleaner too, lol) I’m going to pick up some new sandals for him tomorrow after I go to the bank. It was frustrating to shower him and re-dress him in clean underwear, shorts, and a T-shirt then let him leave barefoot…” May 3, 2011, Brother Robert Anthony Campbell, FSD
If anyone reading this has a teenager or 11-year-old son, I want you to think about what you would say and do if you came home early and discovered your houseguest, Brother Campbell, rubbing soap and shampoo with his hands all over your child’s naked, wet body in the bathroom shower at your home.
What would you do? What would you say?
Now, pause and think again about Brother Campbell’s hands being on your child.
“What’s not right for a child in the U.S. is not right for a child in Haiti .”
207 838 1319
Letter of Recall
May 20, 2011
Br. Robert-Anthony Campbell, FSD
Pwoje Espwa Sud
254 Rue Capitale
Les Cayes , Haiti HT 8110
Dear Br. Robert-Anthony:
Your brothers are concerned for your social and physical well being in the face of recent developments at the orphanage that you so love. For all that has and continues to transpire you are in everyone’s prayers that your pain might be eased and that this situation finds a happy conclusion.
Unfortunately, there is no other way to handle this situation in a way that is agreeable to all parties concerned but to meet the nemesis head on. As the facts became crystal clear these past two days I decided it was a matter of grave concern to be deliberated by our Board of Consulters. I believe you have a copy of the email I wrote in which my understanding of this situation was described and delivered to the BOC.
That having been said, it is the decision of the Board of Consulters that you should come home from Haiti immediately and until such time when the true facts are established, your name and reputation have been cleared, and the difficulties with Mr. Kendrick are laid to rest. Br. Mike, Br Giles, Br. Ron and I offer our personal hospitality for this to happen. You have only to choose where you wish to go.
This is not good news for you or for myself who is delivering it. I would prefer otherwise. I know you will take your Life Profession into Obedience seriously. Life is sometimes not fair and there are those who are punished for their good works. We are convinced you are one of these people. God will still bless your kind and loving heart, My Brother.
With Fraternal Affection,
Br. Paul-Allan Carey FSD
Cc: FSD Board of Consulters
Bishop Howard J. Hubbard
Sr. Nola Brunner
Subject: Franciscan Brother removed by Superior from orphanage in Haiti pending investigation
To: Brother Paul-Alan Carey, FSD
Please sir…enough of your high drama and histrionics.
Here are the facts.
On May 3, 2011, a member of your “religious” order wrote in his personal blog that he put his hands all over (“washed from head to tow”) and shampooed the hair of a naked 11 year-old Haitian boy at Proje Espwa in Les Cayes , Haiti .
You live in Troy, NY, Brother Paul. If a parent from your community walked into the locker room at your local Catholic school and saw the parish priest rubbing soap all over the body of his or her 11-year-old child’s wet, naked body, what do you think the parent’s reaction would be?
You and Brother Robert have had ample opportunity these past days to defend and explain why he was touching this naked child.
It is also on the record that I have repeatedly asked Father Marc Boisvert, OMI, the Executive Director of Pwoje Espwa, for a copy of the orphanage/school’s Child Protection Policy and Code of Ethics.
Boisvert is in hiding and refuses to address this issue.
And now, you write this angry missive about how sad and unhappy you and your fellow Brothers are that Brother Robert is being recalled from Haiti.
I can only hope that somewhere in between the lines is a genuine caring and concern by you for the protection, safety, and well being of children.
Freeport , Maine
207 838 1319
May 13, 2011
Chairman of the Board
Free the Kids/Pwoje Espwa
Les Cayes, Haiti
Please accept this letter as a formal complaint of inappropriate sexual contact with a minor by Brother Robert-Anthony Campbell, FSB, a current employee of Pwoje Espwa in Les Cayes, Haiti.
Although I made this information known to you two days ago, neither you, Rev. Marc Boisvert, nor any of your board members has contacted me for a clarification and further explanation of my concerns (two of your board members, one a lawyer, the other a pediatrician, reside right here in Maine).
As your first order of business, please make Brother Robert-Anthony Campbell's and Rev. Marc Boisvert's religious superiors aware of my complaint.
Rev. Boisvert's superiors are located In the United States. In 2002, the U.S. Bishops Conference implemented the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People for instruction and guidance as to what to do in matters like this.
What is your agency's protocol for handling sexual misconduct complaints? I am certain this is covered in your "child protection manual."
It's interesting, Bill, as to how this all developed in such a short time.
All I initially wanted was a copy of your child protection manual. When too much time went by, I asked again. This time I felt pushed back. I then wrote to Rev. Boisvert, who pushed back even further with his passive aggressive behavior. I then took a closer look at the organization and came across Brother Campbell's disturbing references in his blog.
I suspect you will say, hey Paul, this is Haiti. Things are different here. In Haiti, it's ok for a Catholic priest or brother (both adult men) to befriend one of the students in a loving way that makes (grooms) this particular child feel special and different.
You may say, hey Paul, it's ok in Haiti for a Catholic priest or brother to wash a child's bare back, shampoo his hair and help him into a new pair of shorts.
Or, Paul, don't you know that grown-up Catholic men who are priests and brothers in Haiti always wash and scrub a naked child's body in the shower "from head to toe" and then shampoo the child's hair (as Brother Campbell did to 11 year old Phillipe)?
If anyone reading this has a teenager or 11 year old son, I want you to think about what you would say and do if you came home early and discovered your houseguest, Brother Campbell, rubbing soap and shampoo with his hands all over your child's naked, wet body in the bathroom shower at your home.
What would you do? What would you say?
Now, pause and think again about Brother Campbell's hands being on your child.
What's not right for a child in the U.S. is not right for a child in Haiti.
You need to take immediate action.
207 838 1319
=Cross InternationalSeptember 1, 2011
Fort Lauderdale, FL
The more I ponder this situation, the more I realize how sad and disappointing it is that two respectable organizations, Free the Kids (Pwoje Espwa) and Cross International, are unwilling to take the highest of high roads and set the example as to how an institution should properly handle an investigation of alleged child abuse.
- We are waiting for the name of the attorney (and credentials) who conducted the "investigation."
- We are waiting for a written report of the investigation.
- We are waiting for a copy of Pwoje Espwa's Child Protection Policy and Code of Ethics.
These are not unreasonable requests. It would be a mistake for you and others to say, "This is none of your business. Go away."
Protecting children is everyone's business. Institutions must be open and transparent regarding their systems, policies and procedures that are intended to protect children.
One would think that Cross International and Pwoje Espwa officials would be anxious to share the findings of the investigation with the world.
And, if Pwoje Espwa does not meet the highest of child protection standards, it is the obligation of Cross International to stop all funding to Pwoje Espwa. As it stands now, Jim, Cross International is part of the problem, not the solution.
What possible reason could any of you have for continuing to keep secrets?
I am now more uneasy than ever about the incident between Brother Campbell and the naked 11 year old boy. It appears to me that Cross Internationaly and Pwoje Espwa officials are attempting to cover up and whitewash the issue.
Please, Jim, do the right thing. You are the head of a multi-million dollar corporation. No one needs to tell you what an in depth investigative report should look like.
Paul KendrickFreeport, Maine207 838 1319
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Bishop Richard Malone purchases $600,000, four bedroom home two months after writing this op-ed about the poor
While Maine is beginning to emerge from a terrible global recession, the recovery remains slow with ill effects being felt in many sectors. Too many people are without jobs, too many working families are struggling and more and more people are being forced to turn to the government for help despite their own best efforts at self-sufficiency.
Our own Catholic churches around the state are working in creative ways to bring relief to as many people as possible. They support homeless shelters and soup kitchens, provide services to the elderly and the disabled, and make sure children have access to quality child care.
But our efforts and that of many others in the faith community and private sector are not enough tosuffering and poverty. Government, as agent of the people, has a critical role to play.
Gov. Paul LePage has submitted his proposal for state spending for the next two years. In so doing he faced no easy choices, and I believe he put forward a plan that he believes balances the many competing demands of the state.
By all measures the state budget is a document about priorities; it offers insight into who we are as a community. It is a testament to our values as a state.
I believe that Mainers are kind and generous, that they care about their neighbors, the frail and the weak, the poor and lonely, children and the elderly, and that they would not want to turn their backs on them during a time of need.
Given those values, they feel a sense of responsibility for their communities.
I cannot, and I believe the people of Maine cannot, in good faith, support the proposed reductions in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, MaineCare, General Assistance and programs serving legal immigrants contained in the current budget proposal.
The budget contains proposals that would place strict and arbitrary time limits on the TANF program, while also placing unreasonable new limitations on General Assistance. There are also proposals to deny health insurance coverage to working families through MaineCare, and to eliminate support programs for legal immigrants until they have lived in Maine for five years.
These changes, if adopted, will create new chaos in the lives of people who are already struggling. The consequences are alarming and frightening.
If these proposals are enacted, I fear more children will become homeless, the elderly will lose access to their medicine and families won't have enough to eat.
The economic conditions of our times have forced more working families into poverty, and pushed more people to the edges of our society where they too often struggle alone without the support necessary to stabilize their lives.
With the recent rise in fuel prices, many people who have managed to remain independent, including many seniors living on fixed incomes, will be at risk.
If these cuts are implemented, churches and other community support organizations will not be able to fill the growing unmet needs. While Maine has a robust network of volunteers and charities, they won't be able to keep up with an influx of thousands of people desperate for help.
I am not an economist, nor an expert on the state budget. I cannot predict when Maine's economy will meet its full potential and provide opportunity for every person to live a happy and secure life.
Until that time, and in the spirit of charity and Christian love, the church will do, as it always has, everything we can to help those in need. But we can't do it without our partners in the state and federal government.
Gov. LePage faces serious challenges as he leads our state, and I do not envy the choices that he must make. But we must not balance our budget on the backs of the poorest among us, those with the least to give and the most to lose.
The state budget is about choices and about how we meet our responsibilities and obligations to one another. It is a moral document that tells the world who we are.
Scripture is clear: We must not abandon the weak and the poor, the aged and those who have lost hope, the immigrant and stranger, the homeless and the young.
It is our duty, instead, to reach out our hand, to lift them up, and to share what we have. Even if that means self-sacrifice. Our faith demands it. Our sense of justice demands it.
As the good men and women who lead our government work to find a better solution to the budget problems of our state, we must lend them our support, offer up our most creative ideas and never lose sight of our commitment to one another as the children of a loving and charitable God.
The Most Reverend Bishop Richard J. Malone, Th.D., ordained a priest in 1972, was installed as bishop of Portland in 2004. He was elected to the Board of Catholic Relief Services in 2010 and serves on the U.S. Operations Committee.