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Local Stories by Local People
updated: Jan 17, 2013, 10:00 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

For years, Damian Eckert had been part of an effort to pry confidential files from clergy members at the now-closed St. Anthony's Seminary in Santa Barbara who'd been accused of molesting children.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 SBSURFERLIFE agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 10:23 AM

Wow powerful story, very sad.

 

 COMMENT 364507P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 10:40 AM

Too bad our vaunted Mission was used as the backdrop for the picture of Damien and Bob.

 

 COMMENT 364529 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 12:00 PM

507p, why is that too bad? It's realistic since it belongs in the realm of the same group who harbored child molesters, including the one featured in this story.

The time for protecting so called sacred images of places and beliefs is not when two men bravely stand up for justice for what happened to them as young children. For all we know some of the crimes took place on Mission grounds.

 

 COMMENT 364541P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 12:26 PM

Damian and Bob are my brothers. They were young boys who were taken advantage of and abused during a really difficult time in their lives, when our parents were going through a really nasty divorce. Children often don't know how to cope with an authority figure that does something wrong to them, they often think that it's supposed to happen or that they will get into trouble if they report it. Sometimes they feel too scared that they won't be believed or that people will judge them because it happened TO them.

I'm proud of my brothers for stepping up and doing something. I'm awed by their decision to become public figures in this fight against abuse by clergy. They are braver than most, including myself. Anyone that is willing to criticize them anonymously on the web is not worthy of an ounce of my, their or anyone else's emotions. That type of behavior is the epitome of cowardace and these two men, my big brothers, are the epitome of STRENGTH.

Love you guys!

Sandy

 

 COMMENT 364543P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 12:28 PM

Molestation is very difficult to recover from; it causes much unvoiced pain, substance abuse, distrust. Sorry it took took long for these incidents to be uncovered. May there be some comfort and resolution in the release of truths. These are one of the most most heinous crimes to have occurred in Santa Barbara.

 

 COMMENT 364557P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 12:55 PM

I can finally see the deleted post. Yes, the mission should be the backdrop, the seminary is right behind it and the sb mission is the catholic heart of sb. Too bad the clergy allowed these boys, and MANY others, to be abused in their backyard!

 

 COMMENT 364596 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 02:08 PM

I was molested! I know that pain! I know that secret! that lie! It is something that i will never forget and now having children of my own makes me so cautious over anyone! I pray for all the abused people that they find a voice and not ever be tied to the shame. for it is not our fault these perverts abused us BUT we can make a difference for others and more importantly the innocent children! I pray every night for any child being abused in anyway to be freed and to have a loving and caring childhood versus abuse of any kind.

 

 COMMENT 364614 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 02:48 PM

596, did you tell your mother? If not, why? Someone tried to molest me when I was eight, I got the hell away from them. Why do children continue to let themselves be alone with a creep is beyond me. I was molested before that incident, I was three or four. My brother told me just a few years ago. He said he saw his friend molesting me and turned around and walked away.

 

 COMMENT 364619 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 02:51 PM

Because children are easily intimidated and taught by adults that they need to listen to what adults tell them to do? Also, shame and embarrassment. Lack of understanding what is actually happening to them. Things like that.

 

 COMMENT 364621P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 03:06 PM

Sandy, that's the first posting I've read which brought tears. Thank you for posting and eloquently at that.

 

 COMMENT 364626 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 03:08 PM

I believe that 507 meant it was too bad the mission was in the background because the mission didn't really have anything to do with it. It was the seminarians that did this. That said, anyone who blames the victims needs to get their head on straight.

 

 COMMENT 364665 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 04:56 PM

614, you're treading way too far into the territory of victim blaming.

Adults who are straight out raped don't often go to the police for myriad reasons that are hard to understand unless you've been in that situation. Now imagine a child, as you were, confused and sometimes not able to physically escape their attacker.

Please, if anyone should have empathy and understanding that not every situation is a black and white case of why-not-get-away it should be you, given your comment. Please don't add to the stigma of survivors by perpetuating the myth that any victim of sexual abuse or assault always has a choice to stop it. That's wrong.

 

 COMMENT 364667 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 05:00 PM

665, It's not wrong if you have a chance to get away, but didn't. If you had a chance to walk away, wouldn't you?

 

 COMMENT 364675P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 05:39 PM

Children don't have mature judgment usually. When the neighborhood teenager wanted to fondle me, it felt wrong, but I didn't tell anyone. I came from an awesome family, with parents who trusted and protected me. I wanted to trust my friends and not tell on them too. It isn't black and white to a kid. Have compassion and understanding please.

 

 COMMENT 364716P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 08:02 PM

667, you don't know what these boys went through, don't judge them as if they did something wrong, they were victims of a sick man who had told other priests that he was sexual with boys and nobody did anything, they let him work at a live-in boys school and take boys on trips without parents to perform in a choir. Did you even read the story or are you just commenting out of speculation?

 

 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 09:51 AM

I was discussing Catholic schools w/a 75 yr old friend; abuse came up. He said if he'd told his mother a priest was molesting him she'd have whipped him w/a stick for speaking against "the good Father". A grammer school principal here in Carp was molesting boys; 2 turned him in and no one believed them, even the parents. They finally recanted to make the fuss go away. Years later the (can't use the word here) was busted and sent to prison.

 

 COMMENT 364848P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 10:50 AM

Both the Mission and the Seminary were owned and operated by the Franciscan Order of the Catholic Church whose members are as close knit as "brothers". The priests who were not active pedophiles certainly knew--or should have known--of the perverted activities of the others. Their silence and coverup over the years makes them accessories to their "brothers'" pedophile crimes. All members of the Franciscan Order are all equally guilty for what happened at the Seminary..

 

59% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.

 

*** 2 comments were deleted from this thread by the Edhat Board Nanny for violating Edhat Comments Board policy. Click Here to see them.

 

 

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