Waiting

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I am trying to keep abreast of the unfolding sex abuse scandal in Europe.  Since it is impossible to keep on top of all the coverage I will post articles which I think best reflect what is going on.  Keep an eye on New to the Site on the Home page.

While I am not thrilled with what is coming out of the Catholic scandal virtually all over Europe I must admit that I am thankful that it is happening.  If Church officials refuse to clean house on their own, then, unfortunately, it had to come to this. 

Meanwhile, how many children world wide have been sexually abused by clergy who were given a ‘second chance’ ? or a third? or a fourth? 

I am a firm believer that Roman Catholics have a right to know if the priest in the sanctuary is a sexual predator.  Common sense says that it is impossible for parents to adequately protect their children if, unbeknownst to them, a known predatory priest has been dumped on them by their bishop and is dipsy-doodling freely around the diocese.

In that vein I am waiting with baited breath for the bishops of Canada to follow the lead of some their brother bishops in Europe, specifically to invite victims of sexual abuse to come forward,  (I suggest that the victims report first to police and then to the diocese.)  I am also waiting for the day when all those in the Church in Canada who allowed known or suspect clerical predators to function in dioceses will be held accountible.

 I also wait with baited breath for the Canadian bishops to publish the names of every known clerical sexual predator in their diocese, both those who were charged and convicted and quietly sent off to another diocese, and those who were reported and their victims quietly paid off, and those who were shipped out of a diocese and sometimes out of the country with a promise that charges would not be laid if they stayed away, and those who were shipped into Canada from afar to elude whispers, scandal and/or exposure on their homefront.

I am waiting with baited breath for our Canadian bishops to say Enough!

I am waiting.

Yes, I do believe that Catholics – and non-Catholics –  have a right to know when a clerical molester is in their midst, a sexual predator whom the powers that be have opted to recycle into another parish, or another diocese, or a hospital as chaplain, or a seminary or university for further studies, or another country.  I beleieve they also have a right to know when a priest from their diocese has been ‘caught” and shipped away.  That information has not been readily available in Canada.  Far from it.  Now is the time.  If transparency is the name of the game, let the games finally begin.

And I might add that it is not good enough to let a one or two parishioners know that “Father” had a little problem.  For starters, Father should be laicized, but, barring doing the right thing, if “Father” is to be recyled let’s give all parishioners opportunity to decide for themsleves if they personally want to have a sexual predator in their sanctuary, and/or saying Mass, and/or hearing confessions, and/or doing or studying canon law, and/or working in the diocesan centre, or the hospital, or the convent or the old folks home.

 I recall some years back phoning the diocesan centre in Ottawa to find out where convicted molester Father Michael Mullins was.  (Mullins, an Irish man incarinated in the Archdiocese of Ottawa,  was charged in Ottawa in the late 80s, got off, went to Ireland for a little R & R and promptly got caught at it over there and was convicted.)  It was after Mullins was released from an Irish jail some eight years later that I called the diocesan centre to find out where he would be serving now that he was out of jail.  I was essentially told to mind my own business – Father Mullins had a right to privacy!

I have no idea where Mullins went.  I was led to believe that he might be leaving the priesthood, but, it was a big secret.

Where is Father Michael Mullins now?  Did he leave the priesthood?  Was he shipped out of Canada to another diocese?  Wherever he may be, do those around him now know that he is a convicted sexual predator?

So, I am waiting!  And waiting!! For honesty and transparency.

****

There are too many articles to comment on in a catch up, but I will make brief comment on the following:

A. 19 March 2010:  Bishop says ‘no obligation’ to report sexual abuse  and other related articles

Quite unbelievable this one is.  A Danish bishop candidly stating that “in cases of sexual abuse, he has been advised by a lawyer that he is not obliged to immediately notify the authorities.”

And,  Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, claiming that a confessor should not be obliged to urge a molester-penitent to disclose his acts publicly or to a superior.

Two questions and/or comments:

(1) Who was the lawyer who advised the Danish bishop?  Is he a canon lawyer?  He should be properly identified so that he can either explain or defend himself.

(2) I do believe that a confessor is bound to withhold absolution if he believes true contrition is lacking.  And I do believe true contrition would be lacking if a clerical abuser refuses to have both police and the parents of his victim(s) notified.  Anything else is an easy out.  

How can a confessor give absolution to a clerical molester who refuses to be accountable for his sins and crimes?  And why would any confessor not urge a clerical molester penitent to hold himself fully accountable for his sins?  And why would a confessor not  withhold absolution until such time as the penitent takes the proper steps to be held accountable for his actions?

Finally, the confessor has the right and in this case I believe the duty  to ask such a penitent to discuss the matter outside the confessional and therefore free of the seal of confession.  If the penitent is seriously contrite I believe he will be anxious to make amends as best as he can and agree to do so.  The confessor is then free to go to the authorities and ensure that justice is done.

(B) 18 March 2010: View of Monsignor Dooley rejected and other related articles

There it is again.  From another corner of the world.  A canon lawyer.

Is this erroneous notion that clerical molesters are everyone else’s responsibility but the bishop’s the doing of canon lawyers?

 Which reminds me, how many known or suspect clerical sexual predators have been recycled through canon law studies?  Does anyone know?  I ‘m by no means saying that all canon lawyers fit into that category, and that there are good and decent canon lawyers, but I do know that a goodly number of sexual predators have been recycled through canon law studies.

Perhaps in the clean up it’s high time to do a purge of canon lawyers – laicize those who are known sexual predators and thoroughly investigate those who are suspect molesters.

© 19 March 2010:  Abuse scandal edges closer to Pope Benedict and other related articles

Was then Cardinal Archbishop Ratzinger told about the psychoanalyst’s report?  I am hard-pressed to believe he wasn’t, but, we’ll have to wait and see.  If in fact no one advised him, those responsible for failing to relay such damning information up the food chain should be fired.

(D) 18 March 2001: Brazilian priest allegedly taped having sex with teen and other related articles

Here’s proof positive that priests accused of sexual abuse should stand trial no matter their age.  Never mind the nonsense that elderly priests are too old to stand trial on charges of sexual abuse.

(E) 18 March 2010: Vienna Boys’ Choir Caught Up in Sex Abuse Scandal 

It’s everywhere.  Absolutely everywhere.  Even the Vienna Boy`s Choir. 

No surprise reaaly.  But, ….Those angelic voices.  Those angelic faces.

How many have been sexually abused?  

(F) 18 March 2010: Cardinal Brady must go and other related articles

And it just goes on and on and on.  But at least the rot is coming out.

How could Brady not know that it was wrong to ship that monstrous pervert elsewhere?  How could he not have known in his heart of hearts that it was wrong ?

A final thought here.  Those children were silenced.  So was David Silmser. 

(G) 17 March 2010: Priest charged with sexual abuse faints in court as new allegations arise and other related articles

It’s not in the articles, but, this priest is in fact the godfather of the little 8-year-old boy he started molesting five years ago . 

Think of it.  While he was in seminary studying for the priesthood Flores was busily molesting his own godson!  And, not only that, having some sort of sexual interaction with a 17-year-old fellow seminarian!

Flores was ordained all of a year ago. 

And then he was caught indulging his fantasies with pornography. 

Questions:

(1) Did anyone in the seminary know what was going on with this pathetic and perverted man?

(2) During his years in seminary did Flores ever confess that he was molesting his godson?  If yes, did his confessor urge him to take responsibility for perverted actions?  If not, why not?

(3)  Flores was obviously a “late” vocation.  Is this the best we can do?

(4) Who made arrangments to get Flores into the seminary?  Who opened the doors to get him into the U.S.?

(H) 16 March 2010: Vatican completes probe of Legionaries scandal

Finally! 

Questions:

(1) What will the recommendations entail? 

(2) What pray tell becomes an order whose founder was molesting boys and, as we more recently learn, bedding women, fathering children, and molesting his own son?  And, according to reports, Macial was preying on youth right after he started the Legionaires.

(3) Will those who turned a blind eye to the allegations against Maciel over the years be held accountable?

(I)  17 March 2010:  City makes bid for 1.7M

$8.7M! 

$8.7M for the Cornwall Police Service to malign and vilify Perry Dunlop, and paint victims as good-for-nothing liars, and protect it’s former Chief Claude Shaver.

Now perhaps people can understand why CPS did not, as it obviously should have, apply for funding at the start of the Cornwall Public Inquiry.  Had CPS applied for and received funding at the start it would have been sorley hobbled by inquiry caps.  There would have been no $8.7M flowing into a host of high-priced lawyers’ pockets, and hence no ability to chalk up countless hours poring through documents and parsing and twisting and spinning, and countless more hours prepping its own witnesses to take the stand.

 They did it.  They were able to have their cake and eat it too.

The reported legal tab for parties with standing at the inquiry was $21M.  That’s for how many parties?  (i) The Diocese, (ii) the Victims Group, (iii) Citizens for Community Renewal, (iv) Coalition for Action, (vi) Father Charles MacDonald, (vii) the estate of Ken Seguin, and (vii) Jacques Leduc.  I won’t tally them in because I’m not sure, but I believe it would also cover the legal costs of Jos van Deepen, and probably those of John MacDonald, David Silmser and Albert Roy.

So, eight parties plus probably a few others for a total of $21M.

And CPS chalks up $8.7M

Where’s the justice?

(J) 17 March 2010:  Taking the ‘next step’

Men and women are different.  The manner in which male victims of same-sex sexual abuse respond to sexual abuse is different than the manner in which females respond to sexual abuse inflcited by males.

It’s that simple. 

Let`s stop trying to fit these grown men into a mould tailor-made for females.

(K) 18 March 2010:  City taxpayers paying more

Interesting.  Do the extra costs incurred by CPS have anything to do with its hefty legal tabs?

Enough for now,

Sylvia

(cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

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4 Responses to Waiting

  1. AbsentObserver says:

    Not sure if you saw this yet but I thought I’d post it just in case.

    Boards remove letter in textbooks by Bishop accused in child pornography case
    WINDSOR STARMARCH 19, 2010

    WINDSOR, Ont. — Windsor’s Catholic school board has combed through textbooks for hundreds of elementary students and pasted over the writing of a former bishop now facing child pornography charges.
    School boards across Canada have also made the change after direction came down from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishop Ronald Fabbro of the London Diocese also endorsed the initiative.
    The writing was a letter of introduction in a series called We Are Strong Together for students in grades 7, 8 and 9.
    It was written by Raymond Lahey, who once helped broker a $15-million settlement for victims of priest sex abuse in Nova Scotia. He’s now charged with possessing and importing child pornography.
    Lahey, 69, has resigned from his post in Nova Scotia.
    In September, five days after a court approved the abuse settlement that Lahey helped achieve, he arrived in Ottawa on a flight from the United Kingdom. Border guards pulled him aside for secondary inspection. He was later charged.
    “Nobody knows if he’s guilty or not,” said Christine Choury, communications director for the CCCB. “But because these books were destined to children, that was the idea. It was done out of pastoral concern for the students and their families.”
    © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

    Comments:

    anonymous
    12:51 AM on March 20, 2010
    “It was done out of pastoral concern …”
    Really? Because it looks like it was done out of guilt.

    anonymous
    12:00 AM on March 20, 2010
    I think this stinks of a cover up job.

    anonymous
    9:45 PM on March 19, 2010
    Don’t pull the books though, right? Just paste over them with another page. Come on! This is why the Catholic Church is creating its own demise. Just cover it up (with a page) and keep on pretending things are just fine. It’s the Catholic way. What a joke.

    anonymous
    9:13 PM on March 19, 2010
    “Nobody knows if he’s guilty or not”? Excuse me, but he got off a plane having traveled to destinations where child abuse and porn are common and his laptop had child porn on it. How much more do you need to know? This is just disingenuous propaganda. Innocent until proven guilty, – I know. But they wouldn’t have pulled his letter unless they had accepted the facts.

  2. Sylvia says:

    I hadn’t seen the article AbsentObserver. Thanks. I have been online checking the coverage and will post tomorrow.

    Does anyone out there by chance have the actual wording of the text which has been obliterated? I see no quotes and am curious.

    If someone out there happens to have a copy or has access to a pre-obliterated copy would you either copy the text or scan and send along? I and I am sure others would like to see what Lahey had to say which perhaps prompted such unusual action on the part of the CCCB against one of their own, who, as you have pointed out anonymous, is presumably innocent until proven guilty.

    Perhaps the CCCB might follow up the ‘removal’ of the Lahey name from textbooks with a plea for his removal from the general populace – i.e., perhaps they might urge the Crown to have him put behind bars until he finally stands trial next April? Why take the chance?

  3. AbsentObserver says:

    I believe Library and Archives Canada have copies. And likely they’re intact. Might be worth a jaunt down to Wellington Street.

  4. Sylvia says:

    Yes, I’m sure there are copies at the library and archives – and if worst comes to worst I will go that route. I am looking for the lazy man’s way and hoping not to have to make the trip 🙂

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