It’s almost unheard of for a priest to sue over allegations that he was sexually abused, but it’s happening right now in Oregon.
Details, from the Oregonian:
The priest, who was ordained in 1986, is identified in the lawsuit only as Father X.
It’s rare for priests to sue for alleged sexual mistreatment they suffered as children at the hands of church leaders. David Clohessy, executive director of the Missouri-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said several have filed claims. The first was in 1993 when Father Gary Hayes sued a New Jersey diocese claiming two priests sexually abused him when he was a boy.
Father X claims that the late Father Emmanuel Clark hugged him with his pants unzipped; pressed his head to his chest and told him that his heart beat with love for him; referred to him by a pet name; and encouraged him to go to adult book stores.
Newport attorney Bill Barton, who is representing Father X along with Portland attorney Erin Olson, said his client thought carefully about whether he would seek compensation for a lifetime of damages caused by the alleged abuse.
“He’s a man of great conscience and integrity, and this is not an easy thing for him to do,” Barton said. The suit was filed Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
According to the suit, the sexually inappropriate behavior caused Father X physical and emotional pain, an eating disorder, shame, anxiety, sexual orientation confusion, loss of professional identity and loss of his religious faith.
Stephen English, a Portland attorney representing the abbey, noted that none of the alleged conduct involved sexual touching. English said he will fully investigate whether the alleged hugging and other conduct by the now-deceased priest led to the damages Father X claims.
Read more at the link.