Survivor Stories: The Fortney Sisters

In this episode, we feature the stories and voices of the Fortney sisters—5 women in Pennsylvania who were abused by the same priest. Four of the sisters, Carolyn, Teresa, Laura and Patty Fortney, talk about the trauma of the abuse, as well as the pain that came with sharing what had happened to them with one another, their parents, the church and the authorities. Most recently, the stories of the Fortney sisters were highlighted in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report.

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If you missed last week’s episode, go back and listen to our interview with the Rev. Serene Jones, who talks about why it is both difficult and necessary to listen to survivor voices. Rev. Jones is president of Union Theological Seminary, an abuse survivor herself, and author of Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World.

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Vincent Gaglione
8 months ago

This was a powerful podcast, both in the descriptions of the abuse that occurred as well as in the advocacy for addressing the issues forthrightly. I especially agree with the idea of “listening” events in every parish in the USA. Our clergy are sorely lacking in understanding that the issues needs more than prayers and reparation hours etc. Our people need to be acknowledged, need to speak, need to be listened to!

[Explore America’s in-depth coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.]

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