TOGETHER WE CAN DO MORE
WHY CLASS ACTION VS MCs IS NEEDED
Despite the many stated and actual changes regarding clergy sexual abuse and criminal neglect in the Roman Catholic Church’s congregations, the actual struggle of each survivor remains a tortuous process. Survivors are subjected to victim blaming, gaslighting and bullying. Fighting back requires enormous personal, psychological, legal and administrative resources.
For this reason, after going through an MC-orchestrated hell of being stalked by a “big shot” American lawyer, I am reaching out to other survivors of sexual, religious and labor abuse within Missionaries of Charity for us to submit a class action complaint - both to the Vatican in demand of comprehensive investigation, and to the relevant state authorities in different regions.
WHY CLASS ACTION
Missionaries of charity is the biggest active women’s religious order in the world, and with its acceptance of donations from individuals, businesses and governments, it is by far the richest one. However, MC is literally accountable to no one but the Pope himself. While other orders submit to the general hierarchy of the Church, MC’s “special treatment” status has led to human rights violations and criminal neglect on unprecedented levels in the 21st century, both in comparison to any other Christian order and to other international NGO’s.
To avoid responsibility and accountability, Missionaries of Charity juggles representing itself alternately as an NGO and as a religious order. For the religious hierarchy it presents itself as special due to its charitable activities; for the state hierarchy, they are “different” because they are religious.
CALL TO ACCOUNTABILITY
In the end, no one seems to have any authority to actually control what is going on inside the order, both regarding the rights of MC members and workers, and regarding its conduct to the population it claims to serve.
Missionaries of Charity have three accounting systems - one official, which is reported to the respective states in which it works; the second one is non official - donations from around the world are reported to the headquarters in India, but not reported to the respective states (they remain hidden and are transferred within the order in cash.) The third accounting system belongs to each house, and financial figures are not even reported to Indian headquarters. This makes estimations about the actual budgets of the congregation very complicated. It has been established that MC’s yearly budget and assets are comparable to some of the international charity giants. However, while every other large charity in the world remains under constant public attention and examination, Missionaries of Charity are uniquely exempt from being accountable. MC houses in Calcutta and elsewhere are badly staffed and maintained; medical support for the “poorest of the poor” continues to adhere to 1946 standards; and sisters’ and workers’ human rights (especially pertaining to labor laws) are non-existent.
Only a comprehensive reform of MC’s hierarchy, organizational culture, and conduct can stop the abuse of public support and its money, and protect those who are not able to protect themselves from this powerful religious conglomerate.
Only a coordinated class action law suit will get the public, Vatican and states’ attention. Only then will the comprehensive pressure needed to demand adherence to 21st century standards of accountability, transparency and responsibility be enforced. The organization of MC touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people around the world, and damage control is no longer enough.
Have you been a client, volunteer, in formation, a sister or an employee of Missionaries of Charity? Join me and submit your primary report on criminal neglect and human rights violations within the order below.