Meghalaya: Woman names two Catholic Church priests in #MeToo campaign

Shillong, Oct 19 (PTI): A woman named two priests of the dominant Catholic Church in Meghalaya on Friday on social media in a #MeToo campaign and alleged she was sexually abused by them many years ago.

The 40-year-old woman, who had attempted suicide thrice in the past, has in her Facebook post accused the two priests — Br Francis Gale of the Christian Brothers and Br Muscat of Don Bosco — for sexually abusing her since she was a five-year-old.

The victim, who overcame her suicidal tendency three years ago through counselling, said her poor family background often made the ideal profile of a victim to the sexual predators in the church.

She alleged Br Francis Gale started sexually abusing her when she was a five-year-old and her most trusted family member had slapped and rebuked her on hearing her story. The abuse continued till she turned 12, when she started menstruating. She had then mustered the courage to refuse to meet him as she was afraid she would get pregnant, the woman said in her post.

The accused is now based in West Bengal. Br Muscat, the second priest named by the woman in her post, is a priest of the Don Bosco group and is posted in Shillong. She alleged he would abuse his victims under the pretext of giving them sweets and toffees kept in a huge desk. "He would call victims to his side of the table (while the accompanying adults are on the other side). While we did (choose toffees from the drawers), he would slide his hands up our thighs," she said.

She said she did not speak to anyone about the abuse by Br Muscat because of the larger abuse she faced from Br Francis Gale. "The #MeToo has triggered a lot of distress but it also brings me hope and belief that justice will come," the victim said in her post. She said, "I do hope that in some small way my story will make perpetrators feel less empowered to abuse with impunity."

The woman said the reason for her to come and speak up now was to also try and support victims of similar crimes or connect them to counsellors and growing list of supporters.

When contacted, she told PTI that she had spoken to lawyers. "But at the moment coming out and going public has come at a huge cost. All I want is to support and listen to people of their stories." The head priest of the Archdiocese could not be contacted for his response to the allegation.

Comment on this article

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    Bishop France was also given a Clean Chit ...

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Silent Pooki, MANGALURU

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    One one ಪ್ರಕರಣ is coming out 😄😄😂😂 all are not saints 😂😂

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Biddu Appiah, Mangalore/Coor

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    The Self proclaimed 'Romans' who bashed others are stumped again. More to come ?

    DisAgree [5] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangaluru

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    No, not everyone.
    Straight forward people fro all communities condemn bad things even if it belongs to their own religion. Majority of the Hindus here condemned Asaram Bapu and majority of Christians condemned Franco.

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • H.A. D'souza, Damoh

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    Don't become priest unless he should be born again.( Surrending Life to Jesus )

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mangalurian, Mangaluru

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    It would have taken enormous courage for the woman to come forward.

    Hopefully she is not shunned by other members of the community.

    Whether she is successful in convincing others or not, she must be supported by all.

    It is time the laypersons stop recognising the Catholic church hierarchy as "holy", and instead must them just as plain and simple administrative persons. By wearing an antiquated, outlandish, middle-eastern garb, one does not become holy.

    No Catholic "religious" person should be allowed anywhere near a young person when no third person is present.

    PS: I do not say the same thing for the late 40's nun from the "protesters' own country". According to various reports the nun admitted having visited the guest house (where the bishop stayed) by herself on 13 separate occasions over a two-year period.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Katapadi/Bangalore

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    Many more religious priests will be named under MeTwo in the days to come.

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rohan Pinto, Mangalore

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    Its weird , All through years from her child to teen age and from teen to middle age she kept herself quiet , Now she suddenly realized that she had sexual abuse

    DisAgree [13] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jenifer, Mangalore

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    No, we should let them speak, whether the victim is female or male. Its not easy for the victim to yell from the roof top that s/he was molested/abused. If you don't believe her/him, that is because you imagination about his charisma is much huge that it should be.

    Let them all speak. If its just one, we can understand but when two/three/four or more accuse the same person, it should be understood as to who is right, and who is wrong.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangaluru

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    Yes, let them speak.
    Let every man who has abused the helplessness of any girl be shamed or atleast live rest of their lives in fear of getting named in 'Me too'. This might probably slow down the predator perverts, from now onwards.
    Whether it is Asaram Bapu, MJ Akbar, Franco or this priest, all of them deserves punishment.
    I wish some young girls too get emboldened and report abuses from their near and dear ones. there should awareness camps for the parents too take the complaints of the children seriously, even if the complaints point towards any prominent man!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Tilak, Blore

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    Mein Karun tho chamatkar... literally..

    DisAgree [3] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn, Mangalore

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    Time to make money. Just blackmail first and if not satisfied post some sexual harassment in #Me Too and enjoy.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • John Tauro, M'luru / Kwt

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    Do you think it’s so easy for a woman to come in public by risking her dignity and modesty? What about the threats to her life and biased public backing if the predator happens to be an influential or powerful person?

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • steven, dxb

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    First meet two secretly and when deal doesn't click then join for this stupid stunt of nonsense agenda of gender division accusation business.Shame on such womens and their supporters and for men who act stupidly and not understand their responsibilities towards crooked women.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    I do believe her,It is sad that her parents didnt believe her and she was beaten in return.May be her parents didnt believe that priests may not indulge in such things.when I think back in my younger days ,a certain priest who was famous in giving retreat had visited our parish,retreat,and on sunday he came to sodality as a preacher.afterwrds talking to us young girls ,asked whether we wore carmel mothers Benthin.we said yes.where it is cant see ,do you wear inside your blouse he asked and put hand inside the blouse in one of a girl.she was bit well built better than others.At that age we couldnt make any reim out of it.Later as we grewup,came to know the cause.He used to do many times I must be this girl too.Now after so many years whether she can nail him is another question.Hope she could one atleast and he should be punished.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Tell The Truth, Mangalore

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    True colors of priests in church are coming up one by one.
    All are kept earlier hiding in pandora's box during congress regime.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Daniel, Mangalore

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    Almost all cases pertaining to Roman Catholics , don't blame the entire Christian community . There are Christians in India apart from Catholics too .and our pastors do get married , this is why Martin Luther brought reformation .

    DisAgree [6] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Tell The Truth, Mangalore

    Sat, Oct 20 2018

    Daniel I agree with you fully. Things happen much in america..italy than british or in germany. Pope already informed to act in right money given by authorities to victims crossed Four Billion Dollar.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Report Abuse

  • Swamy, Mangalore

    Fri, Oct 19 2018

    Thank you so much for this great initiative by feminine group. This is blessing in disguise and will reform the society and will make men more responsible and behave themselves. It's good for men not to get involved with women without valid reason and with discipline if they have to.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : Meghalaya: Woman names two Catholic Church priests in #MeToo campaign


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