Perspective

Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Philadelphia

There's a short post at dotCommonweal commenting on the clergy abuse situation in Philadelphia, noting that it explodes the Church's mantra that abuse is a thing of the past - History repeating itself (for a quick look at the background, there's actually a Wikipedia page with some good links on the Sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic archdiocese of Philadelphia). The comments to the dotCommonweal post are also worth a read ...here's one of them ...

# Joe McFaul 03/10/2011 - 5:40 pm

“I ask because if there was evidence that the priests in question were guilty and not removed from ministry then it is a really appalling situation and I am not easily appalled.”

A review of diocesan files and the grand jury reports show that criminal prosecutions are rare for a number of reasons.

It does go beyond mere accusation. The files show that cumulate accusations and admissions of guilt were often identified with respect to many priests. Priests were sent to treatment centers becaue they had self admitted “problems with boys.” The use of euphemisms to disguise and minimize the violent sexual assaults was rampant.

The numerous self admissionof guilt and the referrals to treatmetn centers for sexual disorders seems to be pretty clear evidence of criminal behavior or tolerance of that behavior. Howver, once the priest was either returned from treatment or “promised to sin no more” the priest would then be transferred to a new parish where he could prey upon a new unsuspecting crop of children.

Here is a transcript of the deposition testimony of a now-sitting bishop. Notice the flat out and evil prevarication:

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/ma-boston/archives/PatternAndPractice/0067-McCormackDepoExcerpts.pdf

He testified that he was aware in 1985 that a particular priest “Father X” had abused children.

He objected in his then official capacity in the Boston Chancery to the priest’s appointment as pastor of another parish.

The priest was appointed as pastor of the new parish anyway.

In 1987, two years, later, he received a letter from a parishioner of the new parish, a father of young boys, inquiring if the pastor was the same “Father X” who had abused children earlier. The name was common so the parent did not want to leap to unfounded conclusions.

The Bishop testified at his deposition that he knew why the parent asked the question:

Q: “So this man is raising a legitimate concern in your view about a man that even you had hesitations about being named pastor in 1985. He wants to know about whether it’s the same Father “X.”

The currently sitting bishop responded to the parent’s concerns by writing a letter telling him he had no “factual basis for his concerns.”

I know a lot of people have not followed this situation closely. If you haven’t, it’s beyond apalling–it is far worse than you could imagine. Think organized crime prostitution and sex slavery rings.

If you have the stomach, I’d recommend reading the deposition transcripts posted at Bishop Accountability and the actual grand jury reports. Don’t rely on those with axes to grind.

The actual documents are chilling.



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