sexual abuse | KNKX

sexual abuse

Jesuits sent abusive priests to retire on Gonzaga's campus

Dec 17, 2018
In Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, the Catholic church had a problem with Jesuit priests sexually abusing children. Priest James Poole was a repeat offender.
Photo of the Jesuit cemetery by Emily Schwing. Photo illustration by Michael I Schiller/Reveal / The Northwest News Network/Reveal

On the surface, Father James Poole seemed like the cool priest in Nome, Alaska. He founded a Catholic mission radio station that broadcast his Jesuit sermons alongside contemporary pop hits. A 1978 story in People magazine called Poole “Western Alaska’s Hippest DJ . Comin’ at Ya with Rock’n’Roll ‘n’ Religion.”

Behind the radio station’s closed doors, Poole was a serial sexual predator. 

Elaine Thompson / AP

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, at 3:40 p.m. with reactions from local officials, other details

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday afternoon that he is resigning. The announcement came hours after The Seattle Times reported that a fifth man has accused Murray of sexual abuse decades ago.

When faced with allegations of sex abuse against one of its bishops, the Church of England "colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward," the church's leader acknowledged Thursday.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

This series looks at how the Catholic church and its victims move forward from the legacy of abuse.

The young men who are now old enough to consider entering the seminary grew up in an era of crisis in the Catholic church. Clergy sex abuse cases cast a shadow over the priesthood. Yet the church is adding priests who will inherit that legacy.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

This series takes a look at how the Catholic Church and its victims move forward from the legacy of abuse.

Checks will soon be going out in the mail to some 500 victims of clergy sex abuse across the Northwest. They're part of a major settlement with an order of Jesuits based in Portland. Most of the victims are from reservations and native communities from Montana to Alaska.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

One of the largest clergy sex abuse cases in the country has turned into the case of a lifetime for one Northwest attorney.

The settlement between the Northwest Jesuits and abuse victims will soon go before a federal judge in Portland for confirmation. The north Idaho attorney who helped negotiate this $166 million deal says he was a small town “nobody” before the case.

KPLU’s Jessica Robinson tells the story of how going up against the Catholic church shook up his own long-held beliefs.