I really must draw attention to the following, an article in today’s St. Lucia Star regarding the Archbishop’s response – or lack thereof – to news of Father William Hodgson Marshall’s guilty plea:
07 July 2011: Archbishop silent on priest’s conviction!
I am floored by the Archbishop’s response. Floored!
The Archbishop, a Dominican, allegedly refuses to talk to a reporter with the St. Lucia Star because the Star’s previous article on Marshall was headlined “Children’s Home Priest Admits Sex Offenses!”
Well, Hod did admit he had sexually abused 16 boys and one girl here in Canada. Assuming that the Archbishop did indeed say what he is reported to have said, does he think the header implies that Hod admitted molesting children at the home in St. Lucia? Is that it?
I don’t see it that way at all, but, what else could it be?
Bottom line, a priest who served in the area for many years has been convicted for sexually abusing children in Canada, ….and this is the Archbishop’s response? He is not taking the opportunity to encourage those who may have suffered childhood sex abuse at the hands of Hod Marshall to go to police. Nor is he taking the opportunity to offer words of comfort to those who may have been so abused.
I think common sense says that there is a darn good chance – if not probability – that Hod Marshall was molesting while he was in St. Lucia. We did, after all, hear the defence claim that Hod has not molested since he was treated at St. Luke’s Institute. That was 1996. Where was Hod when he was shipped off to St. Luke’s? St. Lucia. He had been there for at least seven years.
Yes, I am floored.
I suppose that in light of this kind of response it is no real surprise to learn that, only recently, Archbishop Rivas has advised those with allegations of clerical sex abuse to report to Church authorities, NOT to police!
In closing, reposrter Alisha implores:
“We suggest Archbishop Rivas should take note and reconsider his decision regarding an interview with this newspaper!”
Amen to that!
I personally hope and pray that anyone in St. Lucia who was sexually molested as a child by Father William Hodgson Marshall will go to police. I also hope and pray that Archbishop Rivas will speak to the St. Lucia Star, and will through that medium encourage any victims of Hod to find the courage to speak out. A little episcopal compassion and good sense are surely in order in this situation.
What, of what will it take for bishops to do the right thing immediately, and not kicking and screaming all the way?
Enough for now,