Colville woman heading to Italy to discuss church abuse
Clara Vargas, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation of Washington, will testify about Catholic school abuse before the Italian Parliament this Saturday.

Vargas, 50, attended St. Mary’s Mission on the reservation. She said she suffered abuse and witnessed abuse but that the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus did nothing about it.

“I’m going to tell them how the abuse and neglect affected me and how I reported it years ago and they never did anything," Vargas told The Yakima Herald-Republic.

Vargas and other tribal members from Washington, Oregon and Idaho sued the Oregon province in federal court. The case was dismissed after the Jesuits declared bankruptcy but the plaintiffs are in mediation, the paper said.

Vargas is part of a delegation of Native people from the U.S. and Canada who hope their trip to Italy puts more pressure on the Catholic church. Pope Benedict XVI has rejected calls to take personal responsibility.

Get the Story:
Colville tribal member will carry abuse issue to pope's doorstep (The Yakima Herald-Republic 3/31)
Vatican, Catholic officials defend Pope Benedict XVI's record on child abuse cases (The Washington Post 3/31)

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