Brief History of ECA
Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA) is a new effort that began in August, 2017, in Washington DC from an idea of Barbara Blaine. She asked, “Can we put together a team of clergy abuse activists from all parts of the world to confront the pope and the Vatican?” “Can we show our unity of purpose and no longer be isolated voices?” A group of activists answered positively and Barbara called it The Accountability Project or TAP. Barbara was planning a TAP meeting in Poland for November, 2017, when she died suddenly in September.
Timothy Law, an Attorney in Seattle was asked to continue the planning for Poland. About 12 individuals met there including Peter Saunders of the UK and Juan Carlos Cruz of Chile/USA. At that meeting we learned from Juan Carlos Cruz that the pope was coming to Santiago and Lima in January, 2018. We believed this was a prime opportunity to show global support for the people of Osorno, Chile, who were fighting the appointment of Bishop Barros and the pope’s refusal to believe allegations of abuse.
We put together an ‘action response team’ from Germany, the UK, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Jamaica, France and the USA and we arrived ahead of the pope and called a press conference that was covered by every major news outlet in Chile and beyond. At the same time Anne Barrett Doyle from Bishop Accountability came to Santiago and released a bombshell report of Chilean clergy sex abusers that was covered by the media. She joined us in our press conferences and demonstrations.
We assisted in bringing a bus load of protesters 500 miles from Osorno to Santiago and held a demonstration at the national cathedral that too received much attention.
By the time the pope arrived the press was primed and they challenged the pope about the appointment of Barros. This, we believed, caused the pope to go ‘off script’ and he said things that were proved not to be true resulting in an international scandal for him and exposing his true nature to the world on this issue. The pope, embarrassed, then called for a major ‘new’ investigation of the Barros’ matter.
We then traveled to Peru ahead of the pope and held another press conference to call attention to a major sex scandal in Peru involving the founder of the group called the Sodality. Again, this was covered extensively in the media and we believed depressed the crowd numbers and enthusiasm for the pope. Now favorable action on this abuse scandal in Peru is being addressed.
In Chile, in January 2018, we decided to rename TAP to Ending Clergy Abuse or ECA and planned our next meeting in Geneva in June where ECA was officially launched. Our base is expanding and we now have activists that encompass all areas of the globe. We have representatives from Africa (Congo and Senegal), Asia (Bangladesh), Australia, the United Kingdom, the Canadian Arctic, the Caribbean, USA and many countries of South America and Europe. We envision that our global movement will unite all activists and organizations and result in us working towards ending clergy abuse in our lifetime.