The first, the largest and the most research-friendly. Under is the world’s largest underwater restaurant with a total seating capacity for 100 guests, it’s the first of its kind in Europe, and it also functions as a research center for marine life. The Snøhetta-designed dining experience started operating just yesterday but people are already adding it to their Norway destination lists.
In Norwegian, ‘under’ means both ‘below’ and ‘wonder.’ Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s 111-foot long monolithic form breaks the surface of the water to rest on the seabed below. Taking it a step further, the structure is built to eventually fully integrate into its marine environment, as the roughness of the concrete shell will function as an artificial reef, welcoming limpets and kelp to inhabit it.
Thick concrete walls allow it to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions and, like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive panoramic window offers a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.
“Under is a natural progression of our experimentation with boundaries,” Snøhetta Founder and Architect, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen said. “As a new landmark for Southern Norway, Under proposes unexpected combinations of pronouns and prepositions, and challenges what determines a person’s physical placement in their environment.”
The restaurant focuses to create a fine dining experience based on high quality, locally-sourced produce, emphasizing on sustainable wildlife capture. Danish expatriate Nicolai Ellitsgaard from the acclaimed restaurant Måltid in Kristiansand is the Head Chef, bringing an international, 16-person kitchen team with experience from top Michelin restaurants.
In Norway, Lindesnes is known for its intense weather conditions, which can change from calm to stormy several times a day. Upon arriving at the site, the visitor’s impressions of the unruly outdoors quickly dissolve as they are ushered through into the hushed, oak-clad foyer. The rich interiors create a warm, welcoming atmosphere inside the restaurant.
As a metaphor for descending from land to sea, textile-clad ceiling panels reference the colors of a sunset dropping into the ocean, accompanying one climbing down the stairs. Moreover, the elegance of the finely woven ceiling panels provides the building with a serene ambiance.
The furniture perfectly represents the philosophy of the whole project as well; to build solid structures for the future without compromising the natural beauty that lies inherent in the raw materials.
But Under isn’t just a restaurant. The building also houses a marine research facility. It welcomes interdisciplinary research teams that will be able to study marine biology and fish behavior through cameras and other measurement tools that are installed on and outside the facade of the restaurant. They will be able to document the population, behavior, and diversity of species that live in the surrounding areas. The goal of the research is to collect data that can be programmed into machine learning tools that monitor the population dynamics of key marine species on a regular basis.
According to Snøhetta, Under is a story of contrasts: the contrast between the landscape and the sea as well as above and below. The project underscores the delicate ecological balance between land and sea and draws our attention to sustainable models for responsible consumption.
It emphasizes the coexistence of life on land and in the sea and introduces a new way of understanding our relationship with our surroundings – above the surface, under the water, and alongside the life of the sea.
“For most of us, this is a totally new world experience. It’s not an aquarium, it’s the wildlife of the North Sea. That makes it much more interesting. It takes you directly into the wildness,” Rune Grasdal, lead architect of Under, told Dezeen. “If the weather is bad, it’s very rough. It’s a great experience, and to sit here and be safe, allowing the nature so close into you. It’s a very romantic and nice experience.”
“The idea was to make a tube that would bring people from above sea level down under the sea,” Grasdal said. “That transition is easy to understand, but it’s also the most effective way to do it. It also feels secure, but you don’t feel trapped.”
Living Big in a Tiny House recently toured Matt and Lisa’s impressive tiny house with some interesting features and design elements.
Matt’s skill as a builder is evident and he also runs his own kitchen and bathroom remodelling business. You can see the video tour embedded above and find more information and photos on the tiny house here.
The predator nun walked into Trish Cahill’s life straight out of the blue, on a busy summer day in the late 1960s.
Cahill was a teenager back then, wire thin with long, chestnut brown hair framing her face. She was babysitting her cousins in Glen Rock, New Jersey, and there were eight of them to look after ― a big Catholic family, much like her own.
One cousin was playing outside that day and Cahill had another little one in a high chair in the kitchen. It was quite a common child care tactic at the time, she said ― stick a kid in a playpen in the yard and watch through the window while doing chores and taking care of the others inside.
Cahill was washing dishes at the sink when she looked up and spotted a nun, in a full religious habit, hovering over the baby’s playpen.
At that point in her life, the teenager was still trying to make sense of a painful secret ― the sexual abuse she says she experienced just years earlier from her uncle, a Catholic priest. So when she saw the nun leaning over the baby, Cahill said, she sprinted outside to protect the child.
“It was like, ‘You’re not going to touch her, you’re not going to put your hands on her,’” Cahill remembers thinking.
But the nun she met took her by surprise.
The woman introduced herself as Sister Eileen Shaw, telling Cahill that she was out on a walk from her nearby convent.
“She’s nice to me, which was confusing,” Cahill recalled.
The two struck up a conversation, Cahill said, which led to an invitation for the teen to play guitar at an upcoming Mass. That invitation led to more special treatment, private phone calls and private trips.
In fact, this strange encounter on the lawn was just the beginning of a long period of grooming and emotional manipulation, Cahill said. She didn’t realize until much later that the 12 years of history she had with Shaw was not a relationship ― but sexual abuse.
“She stole from my body, my mind and my soul,” Cahill, now 66, told HuffPost. “The woman was a thief who did not keep her vows.”
For over a year, the Roman Catholic Church has faced a reckoning over the crime of clerical sexual abuse. Catholics are once again demanding answers about bishops’ mishandling of abuse allegations, after high-profile scandals in the U.S., Australia and Chile toppled prominent figures. In response to this renewed call for transparency, Pope Francis acknowledged for the first time ever this February that nuns have been victims of sexual abuse by priests and bishops. Nuns from across the world have come forward to share their stories and demand change.
But stories like Cahill’s, about nuns being the perpetrators of sexual violence, have largely been lost in this new wave of accountability. Although abuse allegations against “women religious,” meaning nuns and Catholic sisters,are rarer than allegations against priests or monks, Cahill and other survivors of nun abuse are convinced that there are more stories out there. But because of gender stereotypes about female perpetrators of abuse, it is much harder to see the broader picture.
As survivors push more states to extend their statutes of limitations for child sex abuse cases, experts believe more of these stories will start coming to light.
“Why are they not coming out?” Cahill mused about fellow survivors of abuse by nuns. “They don’t have any other survivors to see what’s happened. They’re the only one.”
“The boys thought they were the only ones for a hundred years,” Cahill added. But now, she said, “the girls think they’re the only ones.”
A Childhood Lost
Church was an integral part of Cahill’s life growing up. Her family made sure to respect holy days of obligation ― the days in the liturgical calendar that Catholics are expected to attend Mass. Her parents sent her and her siblings to Catholic schools. Cahill said she was taught from a very young age to believe that heaven and hell were real places where people would be sent based on their earthly deeds.
So when her uncle ― the priest ― allegedly threatened that she would “burn and blister in the fires of hell” if she told anyone about the sexual abuse he was inflicting on her, Cahill said she believed him.
Cahill said the alleged abuse from the Rev. Daniel F.M. Millard, who died in 1973, happened between the ages of 5 and 13. (The Diocese of Camden told HuffPost that Millard’s name was not on a recently released list of credibly accused priests because Cahill’s allegation against Millard ― “the only accusation ever received about him,” it said ― “was deemed not credible.” The diocese also pointed to a 2005 article in which a family member questioned Cahill’s reliability. The diocese said it has not been provided with additional information since 2002.)
Because of the abuse Cahill claims happened to her as a little girl, when she met Shaw, she was already feeling vulnerable and lost.
At the time, Shaw was a teacher at St. Catherine School in Glen Rock. Cahill was a student at Paramus Catholic Girls’ High School, which was staffed by Shaw’s religious order, the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth.
Back then, Cahill said, she was just flattered that an adult who seemed so kind and caring was paying attention to her.
“For her to be nice to me was just fantastic. She cared like she wanted to be with me. She was 36. I was 15. Who gets to hang out with a 36-year-old?” Cahill said. “Everything was in my favor.”
Looking back, the unusual nature of the pairing seems so obvious, Cahill said. She said she now wishes she had somebody “just watching out for me.”
Cahill remembers Shaw calling her at home for private, scheduled chats. The nun gave the teen gifts. Cahill said she soon felt safe enough to confide in Shaw about her uncle’s abuse.
About three months after they first met, Shaw allegedly invited Cahill to her bedroom at St. Catherine Convent ― which is where the abuse first turned physical.
In the years afterward, Shaw used to pull the teenager out of high school in the middle of the day, Cahill said. They would go to a nearby motel, where the pair would stay for hours.
“Then she’d bring me back to school, so I was there for dismissal,” Cahill said. “Nobody questions a nun.”
They started taking trips together ― to Shaw’s parents’ house and vacation home, to religious retreat houses, to Atlantic City, to the Meadowlands Racetrack. They traveled all over the East Coast, Cahill said, from Florida to Quebec. They went on camping trips and slept in the same sleeping bag, she said. Shaw allegedly taught Cahill how to gamble on horse races and introduced her to alcohol and drugs. The nun told her how to dress and fashion her hair, and discouraged her from dating boys, Cahill said. They once went to a gay bar in New York City’s Village neighborhood, she said.
“She told me she loved me,” Cahill said. “I believed it.”
Shaw had a medal inscribed with the religious name she took when entering her religious order ― Sister Marian Anthony. That medal took on another meaning during their time together, Cahill said.
“She would take it off of herself at night and put it on me, and then we would have sex. Not a relationship, sex,” Cahill said. “And then, in the morning, it would go back on her. It was the seal of confessional.”
Cahill told HuffPost that members of the Sisters of Charity knew or at least suspected that she was spending an inordinate amount of time alone with Shaw.
“At one point, I slept in the same bedroom with a nun in the next bed while we were in bed,” Cahill said.
But the Sisters of Charity maintains that its leadership was unaware of Shaw’s abusive behavior until 1994, when Cahill, then 41 years old, approached the religious order with an attorney.
“The Sisters of Charity have worked to act in a responsible, compassionate and just manner for all concerned,” the religious order told HuffPost in a statement.
Shaw, now 85 years old, is still a member of the Sisters of Charity. Her religious order has placed her in a “restricted, confined lifestyle.”
“She accepts responsibility for her actions and the harm that they have caused,” the Sisters of Charity told HuffPost. “She continues to pray daily about this.”
Seeking A Legal Remedy
When she was 27 years old, Cahill started attending a 12-step recovery group to confront her alcoholism and other drug addictions ― coping methods often sought out by childhood abuse victims. It was there that she started opening up to fellow group members about her experiences with the nun.
“They were the first ones that said this is not a relationship, and I thought they were crazy,” Cahill said.
She moved to Europe to try to get away from Shaw. Eventually, with her life spiraling out of control, Cahill decided to go back to Shaw’s religious order in 1994 to seek justice. But at the time, she was far outside the statute of limitations in New Jersey, so she had no basis to file a lawsuit.
In 1994, the Sisters of Charity agreed to an out-of-court settlement with Cahill, according to documents provided by Cahill’s current lawyer James Marsh. The settlement had a confidentiality clause that prevented Cahill from talking to the media about her claims. In the agreement, the Sisters of Charity denied that the order was negligent or otherwise legally responsible for Cahill’s abuse. (The order declined to tell HuffPost where it stands on that statement today).
Marsh told HuffPost that back in 1994, there were fewer options available to victims seeking justice ― so for the Sisters of Charity to offer any financial compensation may have seemed an act of charity at the time.
“Trish got caught in this trap where zero times zero is zero and some money is better than no money,” Marsh said. “That was a reasonable position to take in 1994.”
Cahill claimed a significant amount of the money from her settlement went toward lawyers’ fees and therapy. But more than the money, she said she wanted an apology from the sisters for failing to speak out and stop the abuse.
The Sisters of Charity told HuffPost that the order was “deeply saddened” that Cahill did not view the settlement as a “heartfelt response to her situation.”
The religious order claims that immediately after receiving Cahill’s allegation in 1994, it removed Shaw from ministry and had a “response team” composed of lay and religious professionals conduct an investigation, which substantiated Shaw’s “improper conduct.” Since the settlement, the Sisters of Charity said that Shaw has been ordered to undergo therapy and restricted from working with individuals under 21 years of age. She continues to live with fellow sisters and is currently engaged in “relapse prevention” with a licensed social worker.
In the years that followed, while abuse committed by priests began to capture more headlines, abuse committed by nuns largely remained under the radar.
Bishop Accountability is a website that collects data on the abuse crisis. Of the many U.S. settlements it has tracked online, only a handful involve abuse allegedly committed by religious women.
One of the best approximations of the occurrence of nun abuse in the Catholic Church comes from a nationwide study of child sexual abuse published by the Australian government in 2017. The Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse gathered data from Catholic Church authorities in the country regarding claims of child sexual abuse received between Jan. 1, 1980 and Dec. 31, 2015. The data showed that of all known alleged perpetrators, 5% were religious sisters.
This dovetails with statistics collected by U.S. police departments that suggest female sex offenders are relatively rare. According to data collected by the FBI between 2007 and 2017, women represent only about 2% of adult arrests for rape and about 8% of adult arrests for other sex offenses.
Lara Stemple, director of the health and human rights law project at the UCLA School of Law, has studied female perpetrators of sexual violence. Stemple said it’s highly likely that sex crimes committed by female offenders are underreported.
Stemple said a better picture of the prevalence of female sex offenders comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, which is collected through phone interviews with victims across the country. Stemple and her colleagues analyzed the 2011 data and found that men and women were equally likely to report experiencing nonconsensual sex in the previous 12 months, and that most male victims reported female perpetrators.
The CDC data suggests to Stemple that female perpetrators of sex abuse are more prevalent than is often assumed.
However, Stemple said, because of gender stereotypes about women being passive and nurturing, people may find it hard to believe that women are capable of sexual violence. Mental health, social work, public health and criminal justice professionals also tend to think of female sex offenders as less serious offenders than males. They may try to explain away female-perpetrated sexual violence as a “misguided expression of love,” she said ― something she noted would rarely be said about the actions of male perpetrators.
Stemple said these stereotypes make it harder for survivors of this type of abuse to come forward.
“[Women are] not seen as the stereotypical abuser,” Stemple said. “So a lot of times, victims have trouble identifying what happened to them as being abuse.”
No matter the gender of the perpetrator, Stemple said, it’s important to remember that at its core, sexual abuse is about an imbalance of power. And nuns have considerable power in the eyes of a Catholic school student ― both as teachers in charge of the classroom and as people who are set apart and consecrated within the church.
As a feminist, Stemple said, she doesn’t think it does the feminist movement any good to assume that women are incapable of committing abuse.
“Women are complex, they’re multidimensional. They have good traits and bad traits,” Stemple said. “And sometimes, when they have power, that they abuse it is no surprise to me.”
Mary Dispenza, a Seattle activist with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), is the advocacy group’s point person on nun abuse. A former nun herself, Dispenza said that religious women have largely been the “face of service, kindness and dedication” for the Catholic Church, often serving as teachers and social workers.
“When I think of them as perpetrators, even for me, it kind of gives me the shivers a bit. It’s so far from what you expect from them as women, as nurturers,” Dispenza said. “But the truth is men and women are both perpetrators, and to shy away from that is a sin.”
Marci Hamilton, CEO of the advocacy organization Child USA, told HuffPost there has been so much publicity about boys being sexually abused by priests that it detracts from the fact that there have also been a number of girls sexually abused by priests and girls sexually abused by nuns.
“Abuse by a female nun of a girl, it’s so far outside the expected parameters of what we read about,” Hamilton said. “It’s hard enough for victims to come to terms with what really happened to them, but to try to come to terms with something that doesn’t seem to be happening to anyone else is doubly hard.”
Dispenza said that several nun abuse survivors reached out to her after last year’s landmark Pennsylvania grand jury investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church. She said she now has a list of about 56 people who claim they were sexually abused by nuns or sisters.
Hearing from survivors prompted Dispenza to come to her own realization earlier this year. She said she remembered that while she was a postulant for her religious order in the late 1950s, one of her superiors called her into a private meeting and kissed her.
“I’ve held it as a story of confusion and just never named it for what it was,” Dispenza said. “It was just recently that I named it and realized that was a misuse of power and sexual abuse.”
Dispenza said she thinks more survivors of nun abuse will come forward once they realize they are not alone.
“These stories are very, very, very important,” she said. “I think with one story being told, it gives courage to another survivor. That’s going to make the difference, I believe.”
Another Survivor Speaks Up
After spending years as an anonymous “Jane Doe,” Anne Gleeson has decided to open up about her story of nun abuse.
Gleeson, a 61-year-old from O’Fallon, Missouri, told HuffPost she was sexually abused by Sister Judith Fisher, a former member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Although she revealed her identity in 2008, this is first time she has publicly described the abuse in detail.
Gleeson said it began in 1971, when she was 13 years old. At the time, the nun would have been around 37 years old ― about 24 years Gleeson’s senior.
Both the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and the Archdiocese of St. Louis, where the sisters are based, declined to comment on Fisher’s case out of “respect for the privacy of any person who reports abuse.” The religious order stood by this statement even after being informed that Gleeson was giving it her “full and complete permission” to answer questions about the case.
Fisher was Gleeson’s eighth grade homeroom teacher at the Immacolata School in Richmond Heights.The nunstarted grooming her for abuse not long after the school year started, Gleeson said, leaving presents on the teenager’s desk and adding special personal notes on graded papers. The nun asked her to stay after school frequently, played with the teenager’s hair and pressed up close while the class watched movies, Gleeson said.
“It would kind of send these waves through me, and I didn’t quite understand it,” Gleeson remembered.
By December of that year, Gleeson said, Fisher had invited the teen to a sleepover in the basement of her convent. The next time Gleeson spent the night, it was in the nun’s bedroom. That’s when she said the nun asked to touch her.
“It just became sexual all the time after that,” Gleeson said.
Gleeson said the nun always described the abuse as “God’s love” and claimed it had to be kept a secret because, “Nobody else is gonna understand it. It’s too special for them to get.”
Fisher also became close to Gleeson’s mother, siblings and grandmother, Gleeson said, lulling family members into thinking it was safe for the teen to spend so much time alone with the nun.
Gleeson said she kept a record of everything that was happening between her and Fisher in a calendar that she used as a personal diary. Her parents discovered the diary under her mattress in 1974 ― and were devastated.
Like Cahill, Gleeson said she was raised in a staunchly Catholic family. Her father was an active and devout member of their local parish ― volunteering in the choir, as an usher, and as a lector. Her mother, through Fisher’s influence, had become very close to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
When her parents found out that Fisher was preying on their daughter, they did what many Catholics did at the time ― they went to the church for help.
Gleeson said that her parents confronted their local priest with proof of the abuse. She said the priest promised to take care of it, urged Gleeson’s father not to go to the police, and asked him “not to bring scandal to his parish.”
“So he kept quiet,” Gleeson said about her dad. “And he believed that they would fix it. And reprimand [the nun], and that there was no need to go to the police.”
But Gleeson claims nothing came of the priest’s promises. In fact, the abuse became more of a secret, she said, and Fisher was able to prey on her for years afterward.
Her parents tried pushing her to stop meeting with Fisher. But as a teenager, Gleeson said her instinct was to fight against that. So she began lying to her parents about where she was, just so that she could go see the nun. As the nun drew her closer, she began to be increasingly isolated from friends in high school.
Gleeson said Fisher made it seem like the abusive relationship was like a “romantic novel or a Romeo-Juliet thing.”
“An adult grooms you like that and preps you, it’s like the longest foreplay in the world,” Gleeson said. “And it’s got that forbidden aspect, and so it’s enticing, and it singles you out, and that person becomes everything to you.”
The sexual abuse allegedly continued until Gleeson was 19 years old, she said.
“It was all done gently. It was all done in the name of love,” Gleeson said.
Fisher was eventually transferred to Colorado, where she became the principal of St. Francis de Sales School in Denver. Around 1977, Gleeson said Fisher told her she was going to be exclaustrated, meaning that she was getting permission to live outside her religious community while remaining bound by her vows. (Church officials declined to confirm Fisher’s exclaustration to HuffPost. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet told The Associated Press in 2008 that Fisher left the religious order in 1979.) The pair remained in touch for years, Gleeson said.
When she was about 40 years old, a therapist suggested to Gleeson that she had been sexually abused as a child. At first, Gleeson said, she defended Fisher and insisted that what she had with the nun was a love that no one else could understand. But eventually, she came to understand that Fisher had been a pedophile.
“It rocks your world,” Gleeson said of the realization. “And it takes you back to a new starting place, and it makes a fool out of what you thought was solid.”
In the late 1990s, Gleeson started attending SNAP meetings and hearing from fellow survivors of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. In 2003, Gleeson decided to file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and Judith Fisher.
She said the archdiocese immediately sought to distance itself from the abuse.
“Even though they employed her, even though that’s who my parents went to, even though they knew of it, they’re like, ‘You can’t get us,’” she said.
Since so many years had passed, Gleeson said, she hoped that Fisher would want to confess and answer questions about the abuse. But Fisher died in 2004, before she could be deposed. The death left Gleeson feeling “robbed.”
“I thought maybe she was ready to answer some questions so that I could forgive, put things aside. And it never happened,” Gleeson said. “It wasn’t the money I was after, it was just some closure. And I couldn’t do that without explanations, and it’s left me with questions.”
Gleeson eventually decided to settle with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. (The archdiocese was not a party to the settlement, according to her former lawyer.) In 2005, the religious order’s leaders sent private letters to Gleeson apologizing for the harm caused by Fisher’s sexual abuse. Gleeson provided photos of these letters to HuffPost.
Looking back, Gleeson said she has regrets about remaining anonymous during the suit. She revealed her name to The Associated Press in 2008. Since then, she’s watched fellow survivors coming out of the woodwork thanks to the Me Too movement. The movement, Gleeson said, has given survivors hope that if they speak up, they might be believed.
Gleeson believes survivors of nun abuse are “everywhere,” but are afraid to come forward because of the bias against seeing nuns as sexual abusers.
“Nuns kind of get a free ride. It’s women. They’re sweet,” she said. “You think of women as being nurturing. And you trust them more. And when it’s done gently and sweetly and they paint it to be to your benefit, you believe it.”
“It’s a true form of brainwashing,” she said. “I have to believe that, because how else could I have been so blinded?”
A Scandal Uncovered
After The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team began reporting on the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis in 2002, U.S. Catholic bishops came together to set up guidelines for how to prevent child abuse in the future. The document that came out of these discussions, the Dallas Charter, set up procedures for how the church should respond to sex abuse allegations, cooperate with civil authorities, discipline offenders, and be accountable to its lay members. The charter has been updated several times since it was first approved in June 2002.
While the charter was a step forward with respect to Catholic priests, it doesn’t apply to all Catholic officials. Only men can be ordained in the Catholic Church. While nuns and religious sisters are consecrated members of the church, they are technically part of the laity. The church generally has closer oversight of clergy than it does over its nuns and sisters.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80% of Catholic sisters in the U.S., told HuffPost that it encourages members to adopt sexual abuse prevention policies and believes most of its affiliated religious orders already have these in place. However, the group is a volunteer organization that can’t mandate that its members take that step, a spokeswoman said.
Sharon Euart, a religious sister and canon lawyer with expertise in matters concerning religious orders, told HuffPost that as of now, there is nothing similar to the Dallas Charter that applies to all orders of religious women in the U.S.
In response to the sex abuse crisis, Euart said thatreligious institutes ― another phrase Catholics use to describe religious orders ― have typically created their own standards and procedures for handling abuse allegations. These groups look to the Dallas Charter and to her group, the Resource Center for Religious Institutes, for guidance. However, the RCRI can only recommend that each order has an abuse policy in place, Euart said ― there’s no way to enforce that suggestion.
“What’s happening right now for most institutes is that it’s the first legal action they’ve ever had,” she said. “Hopefully they have a policy on what to do.”
Even if a religious order is of pontifical right, meaning it is under the authority of the pope, this technicality doesn’t mean the diocese is off the hook in a sexual abuse lawsuit. Religious orders need to have permission from local bishops to operate in a specific diocese.
Hamilton, from the advocacy group Child USA, said that both a religious order and its local diocese can be named as defendants in lawsuits.
“Archdioceses try to argue that they don’t have any obligation and try to move all responsibility to the order,” Hamilton said. “That’s not the way canon law operates.”
With a renewed push to change to laws around sexual abuse, there’s a chance that many survivors of nun abuse can finally get their day in court.
Most survivors take years to come to terms with childhood sexual abuse. Studies suggest that the average age that victims disclose their abuse is 52. This means that by the time survivors are ready to come forward, they’ve often missed the legal deadline ― or statute of limitations ― to pursue their claims in court.
Marsh, Cahill’s lawyer, said when his client got her life together in the 1990s and realized that what happened to her was abuse and exploitation, she was far outside New Jersey’s statute of limitations.
But changes are brewing.
Since 2002, survivors and advocates have been pushing for states to change their statute of limitations laws to accommodate child abuse survivors. For many, this means extending the amount of time victims have to file criminal or civil lawsuits. It also often means opening a temporary window for victims who previously missed the deadline to file lawsuits.
The Catholic Church has lobbied hard to prevent statute of limitations reform, arguing that doing so would expose the church to financially crippling lawsuits that would impact its ability to keep schools and social service programs open.
But for the first time in years, the scales seem to be tipped in favor of victims. This year, New York, which had some of the most restrictive statute of limitations laws, passed the Child Victims Act. The law gives victims until their 28th birthday to seek criminal felony charges and until their 55th birthday to bring civil lawsuits. The law also creates a one-year-long “look-back window,” starting this August, that will allow old claims to be revived.
Lawmakers in New Jersey, where the Sisters of Charity order is based, passed legislation in March that gives victims more time to file lawsuits. The bill, which is expected to be signed by the state’s governor, will establish a two-year look-back window for older cases, beginning on the date the law goes into effect.
Marsh said he is now considering taking legal action against the Diocese of Camden and the Sisters of Charity based on his client’s claims. If that happens, it could be the first time Cahill’s claims are heard in court.
“Trish’s long struggle for accountability exemplifies the pain and despair that so many victims and survivors experience,” he said. “Now that the playing field has been leveled in New Jersey, Trish and others like her can hold accountable the institutions responsible for her abuse and begin the long, difficult, but hopeful, process of recovery.”
For her part, Cahill said she also wants justice and accountability. But years of grooming from Sister Eileen Shaw have left a deep wound. So sometimes, she wavers.
“I want her in jail. I’ve been in jail for my entire life,” Cahill told HuffPost.
A little later, she hedged that statement.
“I say that, and then I say to you, ‘I don’t want to hurt her,’ and I don’t,” Cahill said. “There’s a real conflict here.”
Decades after she first spotted the predator nun who would change her life, Cahill’s pain is still raw.
“I feel like I’m in a hole. I feel like that little girl that fell in the cave a hundred years ago, and they almost didn’t get her,” Cahill said. “And I can see the blue sky, but I can’t get up. I feel like I’m doing that right now with my life.”
“Why doessheget to live on the blue sky, the pink cloud, and I’m in the dungeon? I never hurt anybody.”
Andrew Rannells is opening up about a particularly tough time in his life in his new memoir, Too Much Is Not Enough.
The former Girls star has revealed — in an excerpt from the memoir first published by Vulture — that a Catholic priest in his 60s allegedly molested the then-future TV star when he was just a teenager back in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
A good portion of the memoir looks back at Rannells’ upbringing in the Catholic church, where the now-openly gay TV star had served as an altar boy at his local diocese. The star claims in the book that at one point during his days as a high school student at a Jesuit school, he was struggling with his sexuality before fully coming out — and he decided to confide in a priest who he refers to as Father Dominic, describing the older man (below):
“He was probably in his sixties, but he worked out every day and remained lean and sinewy. He also took an interest in me because I did well in his classes. That’s what I thought anyway. He seemed so strong, but so kind, and I was hopeful that he could save me from myself.”
The now 40-year-old also recalled that first rite of confession about struggling with homosexuality — and how the alleged sexual contact with Father Dominic began (below):
“This was not your typical confession with private rooms and curtains drawn. Priests would set up two chairs close to each other in various darkened corners of the quad, turn on music at a low volume to muddle the sound of confessions, and then you would basically just get right up in a priest’s face and whisper your sins. Sometimes he would close his eyes and grab the back of your neck firmly while you confessed. I sat across from him in a dark corner, our knees touching. He grabbed my neck, as expected, and I started to talk. I started to try to explain what was happening with me, but I couldn’t make the words come out right. Instead, I started to cry. I was so embarrassed. Father Dominic squeezed my neck harder, and he grabbed both my hands with his free hand. His hands were like baseball mitts. We just sat there while I cried. He finally said, ‘It’s okay. You’ve done nothing wrong.’ It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but it still felt nice.”
Obviously, as the A Simple Favor star notes, that’s far from a “typical’ confession”… but things quickly went from bad to worse, he alleges, when the 60-something priest took things to the next level with the vulnerable teenage boy.
Andrew continued, describing the point of no return (below):
“He stood up and pulled me up with him. He hugged me tightly. I felt safe and heard and understood. Then, with unexpected force, he kissed me. On the lips. He muscled his tongue into my mouth and held the back of my head still. Then he released me and made the sign of the cross on my forehead. He smiled.”
The forcible kiss is disgusting enough, and then when combined with the religious imagery and the vulnerable moment in which Rannells came forward only to be allegedly taken advantage of… so predatory and scary!
Understandably, the actor was “stunned” by the encounter — and as most anyone would do, he tried to avoid Father Dominic for the rest of the year. That worked well for much of the time, until his mother — who didn’t know about the alleged sexual assault — invited the priest and a few of Rannells’ other teachers to his graduation party that spring.
He recalled (below):
“At some point, Father Dominic needed to leave, and he asked if I could show him out … We stood at my parents’ front door and said our good-byes for the final time, and then he grabbed me by the back of the neck and forced his tongue in my mouth. I just stood there and let him. I didn’t kiss back, but I also didn’t move. He smiled at me and walked to his car. I went into our kitchen and slammed a glass of wine before going back out to the party.”
Such gross (and illegal) behavior!!!
While those two moments have understandably had a profound affect on the actor through his entire life, though, it sounds like he quickly resolved to move past the situation as well as could be expected.
The author shared (below):
“It was time to leave high school, it was time to leave the Catholic Church, it was time to leave Omaha, and it was time to leave this idea that I had to go along with whatever older man was calling the shots, behind. I was eighteen years old, and I couldn’t be anybody’s altar boy anymore.”
Amen!!! (No pun intended.)
Obviously, a couple powerful sentences resolving to move past a sexual assault won’t just make things magically better, but at least it’s a small relief to know he quickly found himself determined to move forward as best he could.
Here’s hoping the star continues to find the good things in life — though it’s scary to think about the flip side of him leaving Omaha, and the potential that other young boys were also taken advantage of by this Father Dominic. Ugh…
What do U think, Perezcious readers? Let us know your reactions to this memoir reveal in the comments (below)…
It was the worst news. It was the darkest moment. I asked my husband to pull the car over. “I’m sick to my stomach,” I said as he held my hand, guiding me to the nearest bathroom.
All came out — my dreams for a happy marriage and a promising future all spilled out.
The culprit was the blindness that robbed my sight at 30. It turned my world upside down with grief, with anguish and hopelessness. And my husband, who wasn’t prepared to handle such tragedy in our marriage, announced he was leaving me for someone else.
I begged for an answer. And I asked him a thousand times why. But my unexpected blindness covered any trace of wisdom or reasoning.
I was empty. What I needed to fill me was buried in my sorrow. Until the day God whispered to my soul. He spoke the truth of who I was. And He poured His grace and wisdom to express the needs I had tucked inside for way too long. Here are 10 things I needed but didn’t know how to ask for.
1. A wife needs her husband to acknowledge her worth.
As rejection seared my heart, I longed to silence the lies that I was ugly, unworthy and pitiful. Instead, I clung to God’s view of who He said I was.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psa 139:13-14
2. A wife needs her husband’s love to mirror Christ’s love.
In the depth of my pain, I cried out for my husband’s love to [mirror] Christ’s.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27
3. A wife needs unconditional love.
What my heart hungered for was to have his unconditional love…whether I was sighted or blind.
“In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church.” Ephesians 5:28-29
4. A wife needs a humble husband.
I prayed for his humility so he would accept God’s discipline as well as His love.
“Do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves…” Hebrews 12:9
5. A wife needs a marriage marked by repentance and forgiveness.
I needed God to purify our marriage by revealing our flaws, sin, and weaknesses.
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord…”
“See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau…” Hebrews 12:14 and 16
6. A wife needs a husband committed to their wedding vows.
I needed God’s help for us to look beyond our pain and instead make a commitment to uphold our wedding vows.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31
7. A wife needs a husband who is full of wisdom.
Because heartache shook our relationship, I longed for my husband to be filled with wisdom to lead the restoration of our home.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25
8. A wife needs a husband who longs to follow all of God’s commands.
Since we were both vulnerable and lost, I needed my husband and [me] to be filled with Godly discernment.
”My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble…” Proverbs 2:21-23
9. A wife needs a husband she can trust.
I wanted to hear the truth from his lips. I longed to believe in his word and trust in his commitments.
“Above all, my brothers, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.” James 5:12
10. A wife needs a husband dedicated to prayer.
I stayed awake at night, wishing him to repent, to express remorse and wished to hear his acknowledgment that he had marred our marriage.
“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge… a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:4
After weeks of diligent prayer, I drew courage from God’s wisdom. And I drew strength from His truth. In a loving way, I expressed my needs and expectations clearly.
He heard them all as he saw the change in me. I wasn’t the shaken up, afraid wife anymore. Instead, I had become confident In God’s power to change. He did a transformation in me. And I knew He would do the same in my husband too.
We sat at the kitchen table one evening and he held my hand. “I made my decision,” he said, “I’m leaving it all behind and I will be devoted to you and our sons.”
We began to pray together. We started to talk. He became my best friend. We fell in love all over again, and on a cruise ship, we recently celebrated 41 years of marriage.
**This post originally appeared on Crosswalk.com. Published with permission.
As I’ve done all this I’ve become increasingly fascinated by our food system, from the fact that we can get out-of-season strawberries or watermelons any time we desire them by just going to a store to the crazy amount of food we waste (much of it perfectly edible) and the plastic packaging all this stuff comes wrapped in.
For my latest challenge, I wanted to find out if someone with minimal food growing experience such as myself could grow and forage 100 percent of what they eat for a year – in my case, someone living in a modern U.S. city. And I mean 100 percent – no grocery stores, no restaurants, not even a pinch of salt from a friend’s pantry.
First and foremost, I needed somewhere to live that had outdoor space in my new home city of Orlando, Florida. This was quickly resolved when I went to an herbal conference and met Lisa, a 62-year-old Orlando resident who had a lawn that she worried was going to waste.
Within several months, some friends and I had built a 100-square-foot house out of repurposed materials in Lisa’s backyard, and I had started to turn the empty surrounding space into an edible landscape. Instead of rent, Lisa gets to eat as much of what’s growing as she wants, and the garden and tiny house are hers to keep even after my time here is over.
Some people might think that, in doing this, I’m living completely moneyless. That’s not the case. I do public speaking about sustainable living to earn the little bit of money that I need to get around and buy the occasional new things I require, including garden tools and other supplies.
Growing and foraging all your own food when you’re starting with an empty lawn needs preparation. I began with lots of reading, joined a local permaculture group and visited a couple dozen farms and gardens to build up my knowledge. I sourced sweet potato slips from the dumpster at the neighborhood plant nursery, purchased cuttings and seeds from local food growers and traded skills I have in things like social media in exchange for guidance and plants from a local growing expert.
I spent a lot of time online learning about what is and isn’t edible, not to mention pretty basic stuff like how much water different plants need and what to plant when and where. If I didn’t get this stuff right, I’d have a lot of hungry days ahead of me.
It took ten months to get to the point where I was ready to start my yearlong project. I’m now just over a third of the way into the challenge and, looking down at my dirt covered hands as I type this, I realize how much has changed in such a short space of time.
The shelf beside me is piled high with grapefruit, oranges, lemons and starfruit. Right outside my window, I can see honeybees, and the garden is packed full of greens like kale, Swiss chard and collards. I’ve currently got more papaya than I know what to do with.
I’m also foraging for food, which you might think would be hard to do in a city. But wild food is growing abundantly in so many places in Orlando. Earlier today, I picked loquats from a tree in a public park and Surinam cherries that I found in a hedge.
I harvest wild, invasive yams that grow between the edge of the nearby golf course and the bike trail, and often venture beyond the outskirts of the city to source salt and fish from the ocean. I’ve also tried foods I’d never even heard of before, like the monkey oranges some fellow foragers introduced me to the other day in a forest near their land.
I’d be lying if I said it’s all fun. I miss olive oil and bread, and although I grow at least 20 herbs and spices like basil and turmeric, I long for the flavors you can get from store-bought condiments. I also still haven’t yet made enough oil to be able to fry some of my meals, although I have coconuts ready to make coconut oil when I get the time.
The main thing I’m missing though is convenience. Being food self-sufficient means spending many long days working from morning until night to harvest and forage. After a long day in the garden, there are times when then needing to spend an hour in the kitchen preparing a meal is the last thing I want to do. These, however, are just minor downsides. One-third of the way into this challenge I’ve set myself, I’m still here and happy and healthy.
Aside from the personal challenge, I’m doing this because I want to inspire people to think about what we eat and where it comes from. That doesn’t mean I think we all need to grow all our own food. It could be as simple as planting a small herb garden on a balcony, turning a front yard into a garden, or supporting local farmers at a nearby farmers’ market. However differently people approach it, one thing is certain – we can’t keep going on with our current industrialized food system forever.
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Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg are reminiscing about Guy Fieri.
Guy Fieri wants to come on so bad, Martha tells the Daily Dot.
Hes your friend and hes mine, Snoop responds.
Their mutual admiration is in response to a question about which celebrity the pair would invite to compete against them on season 3 of their competitive VH1 cooking show, . Other suggestions include Bobby Flay and the Iron Chef, but ultimately, it doesnt matter who the challenger is, how impressive their culinary pedigree, or how many years of fine dining experience they boast.
Wed whup them, Snoop assures me.
His confidence is well-earned. After a combined 89 years in the industry, Stewart and Snoop are at the top of their respective games, both of them juggling multiple projects. And somehow, theyre not completely exhausted.
They could use a break, though. Were at a Los Angeles press junket in late February,and they filmed until midnight last night—or what feels like 3am for Stewart, whos based on the East Coast. Shes concerned because as an early riser, she keeps waking up at 6am every morning and now shes the most tired.
Because youre three hours behind, Snoop reminds her.
Snoop is also tired, but hes less worried. In reality, he says, This show is so fun that I leave about 12, 1 in the morning knowing I gotta be back the next day. But Im having so much fun, its kind of hard to leave. I wish theyd build me a room on set.
Theyll need their energy because this year, the show plans to kick it up a notch, adding what Stewart describes as an element of friendly competition. Both Stewart and Snoop will be paired with a famous guest as the duos face off in a low-stakes culinary contest supervised by a celebrity judge. The guest list is also getting an upgrade this season, with invites extended to three Jonas Brothers, two Oscar winners, and a diverse group of artists and personalities.
Stewart and Snoops jaw-dropping work schedules may have contributed to one of this seasons more notable changes. This year, the show will ditch weekly episodes in favor of seasonally themed specials. The first debuts on April 3 at 10pm ET and features Method Man and Matthew McConaughey duking it out to see who can create the best munchies in anticipation of 4/20. The nine subsequent specials will tentpole around holidays like Halloween and Valentines Day, although the dates for these remaining episodes have yet to be announced.
As for the shows stars, Stewart and Snoops friendship remains iconic, their odd-couple status legendary. The duo famously met back in 2008 while making mashed potatoes on Stewarts cooking show. The next year, Snoop returned to vamp his way through a segment on baking holiday brownies. Their who knew? chemistry translated to TV and in 2016, the two partnered up to debut the first iteration of Potluck Party Challenge.
The show is sustained by the sheer force of their combined charisma and benefits from excellent timing. Season 1 debuted the day before the 2016 presidential election and almost three years later, it remains sincerely enjoyable to watch two people from such different backgrounds hanging out, cooking with fellow celebrities, and enjoying a home-cooked meal.
In a period of intense polarization, Stewart and Snoop maintain an enviable live and let live approach to friendship. Stewart refuses to step foot inside Snoops trailer (although the second-hand smoke permeating the set is apparently more difficult to avoid). But she clarifies that shes not anti-weed and in fact, thanks to an introduction from Snoop, shes recently entered into a partnership with marijuana grower, Canopy Growth, to help develop a line of CBD products for pets. Snoop is similarly busy—his debut studio album, Doggystyle, turned 25 in November and hes celebrating with multiple concert dates.
Stewart and Snoop may share a mutual appreciation for Fieri, but theyre less united on who they would invite to a dinner party. (Snoop: Michael Jackson and James Brown, Stewart: Escoffier and Julia Child.) They also diverge when it comes to their post-show relaxation techniques. (Stewart: a night out exploring L.As extensive food scene, Snoop: sleep.)
The conversation comes around, as it sometimes does, to the topic of comfort foods. When Stewart and Snoop do find time to leave set and relax, both turn to food to unwind.
Snoop, a purist, gravitates toward an old classic, the peanut butter sandwich. No jelly. Just straight peanut butter, he clarifies.
Stewart, a minimalist, doesnt keep bread in the house: I do keep peanut butter in the fridge. Not in my fridge … In another fridge in the kitchen thats not mine.
Just do peanut butter with celery, Snoop advises, pragmatically.
Stewart and Snoops relationship is special, especially now that the internet has commodified friendship. Audiences are both fascinated by and skeptical of celebrity pairings, especially those with something to gain from manufacturing drama. In February, 7.5 million viewers tuned in within 24 hours to watch about the deterioration of her relationship with the Kardashians and her best friend, Kylie Jenner. The controversy appeared authentic, but nothing could stop die-hard conspiracy theorists from suggesting the spectacle had been invented to create buzz and a storyline for an upcoming season of the familys show.
When it comes to Stewart and Snoops decade-long association, however, nobody has anything negative to say. Stewart and Snoop are friendship goals, but the attainable kind. You get the feeling they dont text every day, but in person, they compliment each other as naturally as gin and juice.
This season, Stewart and Snoop will square off a total of 10 times as they and their partners compete for the shows ultimate honor, the Potluck Party Platter. The stakes are low, the tension is nonexistent, and the winners are likely to be all of us watching at home.
The UK’s lowest-paid workers are about to get a pay rise – the result of an increase in the minimum wage on Monday.
Since it was introduced in 1999, the minimum wage has risen much faster than average pay. The government is considering what to do after 2020 and further rises are possible.
What happens affects everyone from bar staff to waiters to nursery nurses and sales assistants.
So, is there a limit to how much they could be paid? And what are the benefits and risks of paying more?
How high is the minimum wage?
The UK has one of the world’s highest minimum wages.
For workers aged 25 and over, it is now known as the National Living Wage and rises to £8.21 an hour when they return to work on 1 April.
This is 59% of the hourly rate of £14 per hour earned by those on the median (middle) wage.
The minimum wage has increased by 50% over the past 20 years, after adjusting for inflation, compared with 15% for those on an average wage.
It is now paid to 1.6 million people aged 25 and over, up from only 700,000 in 1999. This is because the minimum wage is now a greater proportion of average pay.
Lower minimum wage rates for about 230,000 under-25s range from £4.35 to £7.70 and have not risen as fast.
Only four industrialised countries – France, Portugal, New Zealand and Australia – had a higher minimum hourly wage (as a proportion of average salaries) than the UK in 2017, the last year for which figures are available.
Some wealthy countries have much lower minimum wages, including the US, Spain and Japan.
However, many countries – including Italy and Sweden – are not included because they do not have a minimum wage.
Who benefits from a higher minimum wage?
The obvious reason for having a higher minimum wage is to boost the pay of those with low hourly pay.
In the UK, this often includes cleaners, hairdressers, carers and kitchen assistants.
More than six out of 10 people on the minimum wage work part-time. A similar number are women, and almost nine out of 10 work in the private sector.
Boosting their wages may also help those on slightly more pay: employers often have to maintain different wages between different jobs.
However, while raising the minimum wage is often seen as a way to reduce poverty, it is not that simple.
Only one in five of those on the lowest wages lives in the UK’s poorest households.
This may be because many people on low incomes have a partner who earns more – raising their household income to a higher level.
Many of the very poorest people are not affected by the minimum wage. This may be because they are out of work, or because they are self-employed.
And on its own, a higher minimum wage will not necessarily lift many people out of poverty. This is particularly true if they have a high cost of living, for example because of having children or high housing costs.