Church sexual abuse, protection of all children focus of Gallup panel
GALLUP – “Spotlight: A Public Discussion about Faith, Journalism and Protecting Children from Sex Abuse” was held Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at Gallup’s El Morro Theatre. The event was held in conjunction with free screenings of “Spotlight,” the 2015 Academy Award winner Best Picture of the Year.
Audience members made comments about the issue and asked questions of the panel. Rachel Kaub, station manager at KGLP Gallup Public Radio, was the event’s moderator. Panelists included:
• Terry McKiernan, of Boston, the founder of BishopAccountability.com and a consultant to “Spotlight”
• Ralph Lind, of Albuquerque, a licensed professional clinical counselor and former minister
• Phoenix attorney Robert E. Pastor, who represented 18 clergy sex abuse claimants in the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case
• Gallup attorney Billy Keeler, who has represented Navajo plaintiffs in Catholic sex abuse lawsuits and currently represents Navajo plaintiffs in abuse complaints against the Mormon Church
• Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola, a freelance journalist who has covered the Gallup Diocese for 14 years.
Bishop James S. Wall of the Diocese of Gallup was invited to participate in the panel discussion and provide the diocese’s perspective. However, he declined to participate or send another diocesan representative.
Discussion topics included the protection of children in society, particularly in churches, schools and families; the legacy of sexual abuse in the Four Corners Region; challenges adult abuse survivors face; and journalism’s role in covering these issues.
“Spotlight” is a modern day suspense drama that tells the true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that uncovered a decades-long sexual abuse cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal and government establishment. The film was released in November 2015, but because the film was never previously shown in Gallup, this was the first opportunity for local audiences to see “Spotlight” on the big screen.
-Terence McKiernan, from Boston, is the founder and president of BishopAccountability.org, an archive and research institute of the worldwide clergy abuse crisis (www.bishop-accountability.org). He compiled the lists of cities shown at the end of the movie Spotlight. McKiernan was born in the Bronx and attended Catholic elementary school and Jesuit high school. He studied Latin and Greek and Ancient Art History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the University of Bristol in England, and Stanford University. McKiernan worked as an academic editor and consulting firm manager before founding BishopAccountability.org in 2003. He is married, with two children now in college. Contact: email@example.com Cell: 508-479-9304
-Ralph Lind, M.Div., M.A., LPCC, CSAT is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who has been in private practice in Albuquerque since 2007. Working with couples, the frequent themes of sexual boundary violations, sexual compulsivity, and problems with pornography were extensive, and often associated with childhood trauma. This led to the training required to become a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT). Ralph also has training and experience in the Internal Family Systems model of psychotherapy, the Relational Life Therapy of Terry Real, and in the trauma modality of EMDR. Ralph graduated from Southwestern College in Santa Fe in 2003, and worked at the Samaritan Counseling Center in Albuquerque until beginning private practice. Ralph and 2 colleagues, also CSATs are forming a collaborative practice called Center for Relationship and Sexual Recovery (www.crsr.us). He also has a seminary degree and was a minister, pastoring churches in Oregon and New Mexico for 15 years.
-Phoenix attorney Robert E. Pastor is a personal injury attorney representing individuals and their families who suffered life-changing injuries including sexual abuse and death due to the wrongful acts of others. Born and raised in the Catholic faith, Pastor graduated from Boston College and then spent a year serving in the Jesuit Volunteer Corp, working for a non-profit legal center. He graduated from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in 2002. Pastor served as a deputy county attorney for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office from 2002 through 2005 where he prosecuted violent crimes, including crimes against children. In 2010, Pastor filed the first of 14 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Gallup, contributing to Bishop James S. Wall’s decision to file for bankruptcy protection. Pastor and his wife, Tiffani Lucero, have three sons. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Office: 602-279-8969
-Gallup attorney Billy Keeler is a founding partner of Keeler & Keeler, LLP, and has established a successful record of securing large settlements and verdicts for his clients in civil litigation throughout the Southwest. Keeler earned his undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico, where he was a member of the Lobo football team. Later, he received a Masters in Public Administration from Baylor University and a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Keeler worked with Patrick Noaker on abuse cases on the Navajo Nation involving the Diocese of Gallup and the Franciscans. He is currently pursuing claims on the Navajo Nation against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for alleged abuse in its Indian Student Placement Program with co-counsel Craig Vernon, Lee James and Patrick Noaker. Keeler is admitted to practice law before the State and Federal Courts of New Mexico, the Navajo Nation Tribal Court and the Hopi Tribal Court. He stays busy coaching all three of his kids and being involved in community activities. Contact: email@example.com Office: 505-722-5608
-Freelance journalist Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola is coordinating this panel discussion and public Q&A at El Morro Theatre on Sept. 24. A resident of the Four Corners region since 1970, Hardin-Burrola has worked as a correspondent for the Gallup Independent since 2000 and has covered the Diocese of Gallup for the past 14 years. She has reported on the Gallup Diocese’s bankruptcy case for the Independent and the National Catholic Reporter. Hardin-Burrola earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Arizona, in English and General Studies with an emphasis on American Indian Studies. She and her husband are former parishioners of Gallup’s Sacred Heart Cathedral, where they raised their two daughters in the Catholic faith and she served as a volunteer. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 505-870-0745