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Mother of Catholic church abuse victim in Kansas laments 'third-degree burns to the soul' - News - Salina Journal

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Mar 13, 2019 10:18 PM 1+ week ago

Mother of Catholic church abuse victim in Kansas laments 'third-degree burns to the soul'

Mar 13, 2019 at 9:18 PM Mar 13, 2019 at 9:18 PM

Janet Patterson ripped the blinders off when her adult son killed himself shortly after revealing a priest sexually abused him as a child.

For three decades, Catholic church leaders in Wichita, Newton and Conway Springs ignored reports of children suffering at the hands of Robert Larson. At least five victims committed suicide.

"Suicide is a very real thing," Patterson said. "Not only suicide but dying slowly on the vine, so to speak, when you have third-degree burns to the soul. Nobody can see those burns, but they hurt, and they hurt so badly that they influence everything in your life."

Patterson urged a Senate panel Wednesday to approve legislation that would require faith leaders in Kansas to report sexual abuse to authorities.

Larson was quietly removed from priesthood in 1988 and pleaded guilty in 2001 to abusing three boys. He died in 2014 ...

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