Father Lawrence Murphy worked at a Catholic school for deaf boys for 24 years. In that time, he abused as many as 200 deaf boys. Pope Benedict, then Cardinal Ratzinger, intervened to halt the canonical trial that would have possibly led to his defrocking.
Father Murphy not only was never tried or disciplined by the church’s own justice system, but also got a pass from the police and prosecutors who ignored reports from his victims, according to the documents and interviews with victims. Three successive archbishops in Wisconsin were told that Father Murphy was sexually abusing children, the documents show, but never reported it to criminal or civil authorities.
Instead of being disciplined, Father Murphy was quietly moved by Archbishop William E. Cousins of Milwaukee to the Diocese of Superior in northern Wisconsin in 1974, where he spent his last 24 years working freely with children in parishes, schools and, as one lawsuit charges, a juvenile detention center. He died in 1998, still a priest.
I used to think that the notion that the Catholic Church is an institution devoted to fucking young boys was just a joke. But it’s clearly a fact.
They are very thorough. The rest is all busywork.
Bill E Pilgrim
I think there has to be an investigation into whether law enforcement in that county didn’t respond to reports from citizens.
It is unimaginable to me that complaints were made, to the extent of handing out fliers, as late as 1996, and the county children’s services agency did not initiate an investigation and refer it to the prosecutor, on abuse neglect or dependency, especially as the children were handicapped.
They have an absolute duty to investigate even unsubstantiated complaints of child abuse. I’d like to see if anyone reported, and whether the normal process for a citizen report of possible child abuse was followed. There has to be a record. It exists.
The fliers alone were enough to do a follow-up, get in that school and talk to the kids. They can reach a private home, but they can’t get past the doors of a Catholic school? I find that very hard to believe.
Wow, if I were a pedophile, I know what I would do to maintain my “lifestyle choice”. And, as a bonus, the Catholic church would bless me, maintain my connection to God, and give me the feeling that my work screwing children was a holy endeavor. I’d end my days saying, “Thank you sir, may I molest another?” And the Catholic hierarchy would endeavor to make it so.
It’s a molester’s life in full.
NAMBLA is really missing out on a golden opportunity to go legit and get tax-exempt status in the process.
1) Wear funny collars and frocks
2) Hang up a big crucifix at their meetings
3) Profit! (and legalized child fucking)
In Phoenix, for over 20 years Bishop Thomas O’Brien did the same thing that countless other bishops here and abroad did: sweep child molesting under the rug and hush up the victims.
He only left office when he committed a hit-and-run, left the scene and then tried to (lamely, very very lamely) cover up the evidence.
I guess we now know why some Catholics are very vehement in their defense of the faith. Like the GOP, the only ones left in the pews are the true believers.
This blog is indulging in anti-Catholic bigotry. It is grossly unfair to smear the entire Church just because of a few bad apples in every parish.
“By their fruits shall ye know them.” Matt 7:16
My diocese was one they transferred a molester through. The rectory he stayed in shared a lot with the grade school. And yet these bastards claim moral authority on issues like abortion.
I’ll spare you all the comments I make to priests at RTL protests in DC, but let’s just say I’m the one with the moral frakking authority by the time I’m done with them.
check your sarcasmometer, Regnad. I think it needs calibration.
punk’d again by lack of coffee in the a.m.
consider my invective re-directed toward your local diocese
I’m going to regret saying this but “he who fucks children/will later join the church.”
Here in Boston we’ve had the scandal up to our eyeballs, for years. I have many Catholic friends who spent the 90’s reading this stuff in the paper, and remembering how fond their grandmothers were of various priests, all of whom turned out to have been molesting children. Horrifying though this story is, as awful as it is for the children and their families, the widening gyre of horror lies in the way an entire generation of people have had to go back over what should be their happy memories of family, friends, church, neighborhood, and school and discover what a crashing lie it all was. The more you know about the Catholic Church as an institution the more clear it is that it took the worst parts of the Roman State and institutionalized it.
Did those three archbishops violate the law?
Put aside for one minute their moral duty to adequately address this child abuser in their midst. Wasn’t there a legal duty here that they violated?
I thought we had laws requiring anyone who learns of probable child abuse to report it to the police. And I believe such laws generally specify clergy, as well as school officials and other specific groups especially likely to become aware of such abuse, as having a particular duty to so report.
And let’s not forget our great catholics on the Supreme Court.
Why is the Bible like a penis?
Priests shove them both down children’s throats.
It never gets old.
Heckuva job, Popey.
There are mandated reporters. Absolutely. I don’t know if those laws were in effect during this period. They were in effect in 1996 in my state.
What I would like to see pursued, because I am an American, and have no interest in what the Catholic Church did or didn’t do, is what civil authority did not do, and how or whether they were compromised by religious.
I believe religious are given too much deference in this country, and I think that has to do with political power, and how they shut down debate or inquiry with cries of bias.
I want very much to know why they were afforded really extraordinary protection from civil authority, why “police and prosecutors” ignored complaints of child abuse, and what civil actors went along with that. Because everyone has a vital interest in what happened here, and how civil authorities failed to act.
I really don’t know how anyone can remain a member of the Catholic Church. How they can put their hard earned money into that collection basket each week when it has been made clear that they are an organization of pedophiles. No, not just some errant priests but an organization that hid that fact and allowed these known pedophiles to molest children in parish after parish.
How can you be part of that organization? How can you let your children anywhere near a Catholic Church? How can you donate to this organization? Oh, don’t get me wrong, tons of wonderful Catholics I’m sure (btw I was raised Catholic), tons of great priests, tons of great nuns, but all that is irrelevant if those that are PEDOPHILES are allowed to continue to molest children by the church hierarchy.
Disgusting. Shameful. Criminal
@kay: I’d like to know this too. This is the part that makes no sense.
The Church heierarchy itself resembles a corrupt police department — someone breaks the law, and everyone else works to cover it up. Crime goes unpunished because the prevailing sentiment is that priests close ranks among fellow priests and prevent them from having to face the consequences of their actions. Combined with too many enabling parishioners, this corrupt behavior is dreadfully effective. And, as we can see, it goes all the way to the top.
In a way, I’m pleased when these stories of official rot and corruption hit the news, because I know that this is what it takes to finally shake people up and get them serious about cleaning the corruption out of a police force. It’ll probably take a couple of generations, and I’m resigned to the fact that I probably won’t see it concluded in my lifetime. But I’m optimistic that if even (and especially) the pope becomes a legitimate target for criminal prosecution, it’ll force right-minded Catholics once and for all to reinvent the Church — because it’ll take nothing short of reinvention to fix this.
I used to consider myself a bitter atheist who would have believed anything about large organized religions, particularly one given a history of imperial power such as the Catholic Church.
Gosh, was I optimistically naive — it just didn’t occur to me that the Catholic Church was so thoroughly and institutionally dedicated to raping children.
Hell, they’ve turned the dudes behind South Park into documentarians.
This is one where people stood up, though. The contacted civil authorities.
I work in child abuse and neglect.
There is a criminal component (child abuse is also a crime) but the civil action is the protection mechanism, because children are removed until an investigation is completed. It has a lower bar than a criminal charge, so they can move fast. That’s the trade-off we settled on because kids are so vulnerable. We’d set a lower burden for child abuse, so we could protect, and not just wait for a horror.
There is a real problem here. Someone got to law enforcement and the prosecutor. It is just unimaginable that there wouldn’t be an abuse or neglect inquiry.
I believe the correct phase is “Raping young boys” since these kids are minors and have no say and are being attacked by not just large adult men but an entire system. Saying F’ing young boys does not fully show the crime these monsters – especially that bastard asshole, low-life, money hungry, power mad monster that people call pope is doing everything in his power to protect his fellow monsters. Words fail.
I can just imagine if there were just a ‘few bad apples’ raping young children over decades and protected by their leadership at ACORN.
@kay: I’d hate to think that the law enforcement people and prosecutor in this case were lay enablers themselves, but I suppose it’s possible. At the same time, though, it seems improbable. Whatever happened, I hope that comes to light too, and the sooner the better.
I’m an atheist (or perhaps, a deist…I flit between the two), but grew up Catholic. I saw these frauds for what they were as a child.
But my younger sister still has hung in both because she of a more romantic soul than I and because she wants to ground her daughter in a moral construct. It has bothered her more and more over the course of the last few years because she is really very socially liberal and her belief is that Jesus would support the things she believes. She is quite sincere and I can’t fault that even if I find the need for religion to do that unnecessary.
She called me last night in anguish. She has just had enough as of this past Sunday. Her parish pastor said Mass and before dismissing them with the “go with God” ending Mass, he had to editorialize about the HCR vote to come and how everyone should pray that it would be defeated. My sister, her husband, and her 8 year old daughter who adores Obama were sitting in the front pew right in front of the priest. When she heard what he was saying, she started shaking her head “no.” Her husband put his hand on her arm because she was on the verge of walking out in the midst of it. She was so upset, she had to leave through a side door so as to not have to confront the priest at the main doors and create a scene.
I feel bad for her. She is also very upset that he has not made one single mention of the child molestation issues, even if to mouth the Vatican platitudes. She is seriously considering changing over to an Episcopal church. I am encouraging this notion. I really don’t like religion at all, but if you have to have one and grew up Catholic, Episcopal is a pretty good alternative.
See, that’s the trick. Being a priest doesn’t make you a child molester — it’s that child molesters want to be priests. They tend to seek positions of respected authority that have access to children. There’s no better place than the Catholic Church. (Teaching works better for people who want to fuck teenagers — all the same benefits, except for people who do at least prefer kids who have hit puberty.) It’s also a very popular place for closeted Catholics to hide, in that no one questions why they’re unmarried. (Note that I am in NO way saying that being gay and being a child molester is the same thing, only that the “hiding your sexual appetites through institutional practices” can appeal to both.)
This is why I have doubts that allowing priests to marry would help anything — it wouldn’t stop priests from “turning into” pedophiles, it would simply be a litmus test for who might be one. Any priest who (for one reason or another) is disinclined to marry will be under suspicion as some sort of deviant.
I keep hearing media say that attitudes were “different” in the past. That’s not actually true, regarding child abuse in the recent past and it shouldn’t be true in this case, because of the timeline.
There was almost a witch hunt that went in the 80’s and 90’s regarding child sexual abuse. As often happens, prosecutors went from ignoring to charging anyone who moved. You’ll remember this: the day care cases. They used coerced testimony from children to wrongly convict. The State went WAY too far to the “protective” side. It’s since moved to a more rational stance.
My point is that the 80’s and 90’s were a high-water mark for child sexual abuse allegations being taken seriously.
So what happened? Why were complaints coming from citizens about the Catholic Church ignored? Because they were here, and these kids were handicapped.
I want a federal law enforcement investigation into why state and local agencies did not act. They have to keep records. I want to know what those records reveal.
Everyone (of a certain age that is) remembers Sinead O’Conner ripping up the picture of Pope John Paul on SNL, but few remember why. She was protesting the sexual abuse of children that the church had covered-up. She was vilified and her career arc essentially stopped. Of course, her allegations were never looked into despite the preponderance of evidence. It’s always easier and more fun to tear a celebrity down.
@kay: In those ‘day care’ cases, you had local authorities frequently kow-towing to right wing religious types obsessed with the notion less of sexual abuse per se but sexual abuse as a manifestation of their paranoid visions of Satanic rituals.
So, the short answer is that these charges are to be taken seriously when they’re paranoid visions by right wing religious fundamentalist types, but when the right wing religious fundamentalist types are the accused, and who are part of the local power structure, they aren’t to be taken seriously.
@DanF: This is accurate. At the time, I didn’t know nor pay much attention to O’Connor’s claims, I just thought it was a good thing for someone to rip up a religious authority’s picture on stage in, what was to my mind, a protest against mindless adherence to authority.
That’s true, that the claims morphed from “sexual abuse” to “ritual demonic sexual abuse”, and, as per fucking usual, religious were in the mix, screwing everything up.
It’s like how we went from “admitted gang member” with my juveniles to “once wore a bandanna and is Hispanic”. Same thing!
It’s a low bar, because it’s not criminal. The child is adjudicated “abused”, and then the whole protection mechanism kicks in, and it kicks in fast.
A “substantiated” abuse claim means “one adult verified that this may have happened”.
That’s enough to get in there. So, what happened?
“Instead of being disciplined, Father Murphy was quietly moved by Archbishop William E. Cousins of Milwaukee to the Diocese of Superior in northern Wisconsin in 1974, where he spent his last 24 years working freely with children in parishes, schools and, as one lawsuit charges, a juvenile detention center. He died in 1998, still a priest.”
-I hope he’s burning in HELL!
@DanF: Someone here posted a link to this recent article about O’Connor a few days ago.
I thought we had laws requiring anyone who learns of probable child abuse to report it to the police.
Actually, due to their actions the Bishops in question have gone beyond that and would (or at least should) be considered “accessories after the effect” (ie, accomplices) and, thus, personally liable under the original crimes of those they aided and abetted.
We call getaway car drivers “bank robbers” even if they didn’t point a gun at anyone. We should call Ratzinger and his cabal “child rapists”.
People really need to start recording this crap and sending it to the IRS. It’s bad enough that the RCC acts like NAMBLA… we don’t need to be giving them tax breaks for acting like a GOP PAC, too.
I know the Catholic Church does a lot of good. But I attribute that to the people in the church.
They could do that kind of good, anywhere.
You obviously misunderstand; this is just an isolated incidence that does not reflect on the clergy as a whole. If he’s moved somewhere else, I’m sure he’ll stop professing his personal political beliefs to the lay people; after all, that worked so well for the pedophile priests.
Also, those American bishops are just concerned citizens exercising their rights; they are in no way agents of a foreign power conspiring to enforce a specific agenda upon our government.
Great. They sent him to a place where the kids couldn’t escape, and couldn’t fight back.
@kay: Yes, there’s a bit of cynicism there.
The Original Sin of the Catholic Church, if I may be so bold, is the strain of virulent mistrust of the body, and all that flows from it, from passionate feelings… to actual passion.
If the Catholics didn’t have so many twisted ideas about sex in the first place, they might have gotten a better handle on the problem, way back.
They blame the kids for their own molestation, you know. That is what diluted my sympathy.
Axe Diesel Palin
Where is the outrage? This country came to a complete stop during the hysterical period that included the McMartin preschool and other cases of alleged abuse. Lots of people went to jail with little or no evidence based on bizarre claims.
Yet I don’t think I see the same level of anger here (except of course among the victims).
The inference I draw from the latest papal shit storm is that somebody has more than the cover up on Ratzinger and is putting the screws to the old Nazi bastard. He’ll get his prescriptions mixed up or take a fall in the bathroom before the year is out.
This. It makes me sad how many people really want to remain Catholic, want to stay with their churches. I remember the dust up over one of the gay issues…I can’t recall if it was marriage, or equal benefits, or whatever, but my husband’s brother was gay, and their mom was so conflicted because the church was literally asking her to chose between her son and her god. It was heartbreaking for her, and believe me, when the priest railed in support of whatever anti-gay referendum was up for vote in our state at the time, we all walked out of the church in disgust. She didn’t.
I can no longer reconcile any of this in my heart, let alone my head. I was raised Catholic but have abandoned most of it years ago. Each time I read one of these stories it makes me more firm in my decision to stay away.
I’m less than surprised that this happened to deaf children. A lot of charitable benevolence aimed at handicapped people has a distinct undercurrent of devaluation in it, and there’s still a widespread presumption that even adults with only physical disabilities (and no mental impairments) aren’t necessarily mentally competent, so when you’re talking about handicapped children who are in care already, the likelihood that anybody would take them seriously is slim to nil.
Also, could people please keep in mind that there are an awful lot of female victims of priest child rape as well? Apparently it’s much more horrifying to always talk about priests raping little boys. It’s almost as though we live in a rape culture, where the systematic rape of girls and women is so commonplace it’s unremarkable. Who knew?
“I used to think that the notion that the Catholic Church is an institution devoted to fucking young boys was just a joke. But it’s clearly a fact.”
I enjoy this blog because it (generally) doesn’t go (too far) over the top…interesting discussions, not dumb ones. I hope this kind of post doesn’t become the norm. I’m not Catholic. I am a way left progressive. I loathe what has happened and how the Church is responding. But to characterize the entire institution in this way is pathetic and lazy.
As a former Catholic, I only ask…
How’s that Popey-Shamey thing going for ya?
>>also got a pass from the police and prosecutors who ignored reports
That part is important too. People outside the Church also failed the victims.
The serious comment first: Very creepy for me. I grew up in the Catholic culture of SE Wisconsin in the 60s and 70s. The town’s name was St. Francis, fergawdsakes! St. Francis had a school for the deaf, a seminary my mom took me to visit, a retirement home for nuns, hundreds of acres of church owned property, etc, etc. In SE WI, Catholicism was the dominant culture – period. I’m sure most of the cops and prosecutors were Catholic, and “counseling” meant “talk to your CYO counselor.”
This is a perfect example of why church/state separation has to be so strict. Imagine the social pressure to not find anything wrong with the local Southern Baptist guy in some town in the south. It was no different in Milwaukee with the priests – it’s just that it was OK for the pervert to not have a hairpiece.
Now the flip comment: to be fair, the fucking boys thing is not dominant in the Church in the US. Many priests go through it as a phase, then settle down, get married and raise a surreptitious family like normal Latin American priests.
@Ann: What world do you live on? Do you read newspapers? Note: Pope = Absolute control of entire Church (all people, property, and defines all policy including who can be, isn’t or ever was a catholic – these are dictatorial powers that most dictators only can dream of. This monster (granted, before being pope) protected a child rapist and hid this and allowed said rapist to continue raping CHILDREN for thirty more years and only weeks ago, did something about it. Now said pope and still covering his ass by the way (or the church’s ass) is THE absolute head (not figurative) with 100% of the authority and control of said church; hence, it IS, by definition, the WHOLE CHURCH (thanks to that ass wipe) that is now guilty! So, stop trying to act as if this is a vast independent body and only a few bad apples are to blame – don’t forget that a whole country (Ireland) for decades had tens of thousands of girls and boys forced into near slave labor, often raped (some apparently murdered) and the fucking church system ran the whole system! That is the system at fault, not just a few people in a vast church of good people – this excludes the countless other victims in third world countries, the US, and Italy that we have only heard pieces of but in the US it is many of hundreds and has been occurring for most of the last century – how is this just blaming the system? The fucking system is rotten to the core!
Sorry, but the whole institution certainly IS that way. They were running a goddam prostitution ring straight out of the damn Vatican! Literally, not figuratively.
Individuals who are congregants or parishioners should not be characterized this way, but the institution itself is a snake pit of corruption and evil.
With this level of corruption leading right into the Pope’s chambers, everyone in a position of power, from a parish priest all the way up to Pope Ratso, is complicit in the corruption.
@Ann: Allow me to pile on.
Horseshit, Ann. There have been so many instances of child rape and coverup of child rape and aiding and abetting child rape by moving the molesters along to new parishes (usually poor, minority parishes), that it is pure ignorance to believe the Catholic church has been unfairly slandered.
Child rape and enabling it is the rule, not the exception in the Catholic church. Tens of thousands of victims and their family members are the proof.
If we were talking about a run-of-the-mill pedophile ring, they all would have been rounded up and tossed in the clink. But because it’s the church, somehow it’s different. Even here in the US where church and state are separate.
I am wholly with Ann. geg6, you are very confused about cause and effect. The Church is filled with hundreds of millions of believers, including the vast majority of the frontline priests and many of the bishops (although fewer since JPII’s crackdown put careerists in charge of everything).
I wish you could grasp that that very fact makes the tragedy – and the evil of JPII’s and Benedict’s actions – all the worse. Those two were so obsessed with making the Church a tool for doctrinal conservatism that they expunged all the advocates for rights and interests of the lay people, and squelched all those who would have had the courage to force the Church to confront the bad apples.
The effect of this, after the liberalization of the 1960’s gave so much hope to the faithful, is really crushing.
The murdered bishops and nuns of Latin America, the thousands of priests and nuns in the US and Europe kicked out for being “not in line with Church doctrine,” millions of dead in Iraq/Afghanistan because the Church was embroiling itself in US politics on behalf of Republicans in 2000 and 2004, and thousands of exploited boys (and girls and women, probably more of the latter group), were all collateral damage to JPII’s and Ratzinger/Benedict’s desire to reinstate the authoritarian church.
The Church is not an enterprise devoted to fucking boys, and that is over the top – and smears millions of honest people. But the top of the Church is devoted to elevating its authority over the interests of anything or anyone else. And for that vanity, millions have died, and thousands have been exploited.
the head is rotten. Go after that.
If attitudes were different then, they wouldn’t have felt the need to cover it up.
I’m a secular citizen, and I have questions not for the Catholic Church, but for my own government.
I want two things:
1. an investigation into the state actors ( prosecutors, police) who went along with this, and who did not act, and why.
2. those people held accountable.
I have no interest in the Catholic Church, and no faith that any of these people will be held accountable in any way. This “scandal” is 20 years old. If the Catholic Church intended to do anything, they would have done so.
I DO have an interest in why civil authorities failed to do even a cursory investigation of the Church and School in response to citizen complaints of child sexual abuse,because those citizen complaints were made.
If civil authorities are now in the business of shielding religious from legal sanctions, I want to know about that.
Yes. Maybe after 40 years all you get is apologies from retired cops, but the secular authorities need to know they can never escape the consequences of ignoring their duties.
No, our information on it is 20 years old.
The scandal is still ongoing.
Catholic NAMBLA is still fucking little boys and girls around the world.
I’m sick of it.
The New York Times headline is “Vatican Failed to Defrock Priest”.
Talk about missing the point.
Guess what. I don’t follow Vatican law. I don’t give a rat’s ass what the Vatican did or did not do.
The one and only question is why the Vatican didn’t follow US law.
This whole thing has been framed from the perspective of religious. There’s something wrong with that. We have lots and lots of laws to protect children, and none of them were followed.
I refuse to extend religious some kind of crazy absolution for this.
@MattR: Thanks for the link MattR – Glad to see she’s still fighting the good fight.
@Dollared: No one here blame’s the faithful laymen, that I see and I most certainly do not. I blame the church and it IS wholy at fault and is rotten to the core. I don’t care how many priests are solid, good souls; they support a system that has raped and murdered children for a century (that we have a lot of details on) and by their silence have carefully protected these monsters. If these priest had risen up and demanded accountablity, then I would give them a pass but where are they? I’m listening and all I hear is the silence … were are the laymen who work in the church and their voices? NO, the system – all the church – is rotten to the core and the pope is beyond evil.
not defrocking priests so they can die in the comfort of their feelings of sancity, (defucking priests would be more like), defending their thin black line against everything, thinking of PR rather any actual people involved. . . who’d a thunk they’d actually start making that idiot Dan Brown appear to be writing fact?
Responding to comments from DBrown, geg6, renato:
I didn’t say most of the things you claim I did, but thanks for listening. My point was that egregiously hyperbolic discourse (“the Catholic Church is an institution devoted to fucking young boys”) doesn’t really advance any useful discussion. At least I’m not into it.
Re my ignorance, I have a PhD in Religious Studies from Harvard and lived in Boston during the dreadful years of the pedophile scandal there. Beyond awful. What happened is not a matter of slander, but of unbelievably hideous fact. But it still is just not the case that “child rape and enabling is the rule.”
Personally, I’m not interested in having any useful discussions about an organization that, in a just world, would be currently under a RICO indictment and defending itself from charges in the Hague.
And I really don’t give a damn about your religious studies degree. I grew up in that cult. I know all I need to know about.
And the same goes to you. You wanna to go ahead and defend a criminal conspiracy perpetrated by the entire hierarchy, you go right ahead. FYI, but the scandals we are learning about now are just more in a long line of similar scandals going back centuries. You want to pin it all on the Polish wonder and his Nazi henchman, fine. But you don’t know anything about the Church if you think it stops with them.
And, idiot, I specifically excused the laity in my indictment of these criminals. I don’t expect them to police the infallibles. The hierarchy, from pastor to pope, however, are criminals.
Actually, it’s the institution that’s the problem. The institution was what moved Murphy from one position where he worked with children to another without warning anyone at the new parish that he was a child molester. The institution was what blocked any investigation by police. The institution — directly from the Vatican — was what prevented the diocese from tossing Murphy out of the church.
It was and is very clearly an institutional problem, not a religious problem.
Huh. Funnily enough, there’s a practicing Catholic who knows quite a bit about the Church and its theology who agrees with my take on this. Of course, he’s a married gay man, so I’m gonna guess all the Catholic apologists won’t accept his view any more than they do mine:
Those are abused pretty easily, too. Half of my practice nowadays revolves around getting people off the hook when DCF goes apeshit and substantiates them unjustly (costing them their jobs, in some cases).
I had a guy who spent over half a year and an ungodly amount of money getting his name taken off there. The only thing he’d ever done wrong was date a girl whose jealous ex-boyfriend made up crap about him and said that he’d molested the ex’s daughter with the girl. They substantiated that even though we won the restraining order hearing AND the State decided not to prosecute. Several months later, the Attorney General dismissed it without a murmur of apology.
I’d still say the Catholic Church of today is infinitely better than its medieval predecessor. The medieval Church would’ve found that the children practiced witchcraft and had them burned at the stake. The medieval Popes didn’t cover up pedophilia because they were too busy preaching genocide and arranging to have their political enemies assassinated.
The modern Church is downright saintly in comparison to the Church of yore.
@Mnemosyne: I completely agree with you that this is an institutional problem, and one that just keeps getting worse (or revealed to be worse) over time. My only point is that the entire institution isn’t corrupt; the entire institution isn’t “devoted to…….”
I do sometimes wonder if it isn’t also a theological problem as well. Somehow forgiveness (for abusing priests) seems to take precedence over care/protection/love (of children). I don’t follow that at all.
Right. I recognize that. I addressed it earlier today. I know the process can be abused.
Look at the facts here, though. They didn’t just have calls from people reporting suspicions.
They had people handing out fliers.
In your experience, especially considering your contact with sometimes over-zealous children’s services agencies, can you explain how this was not investigated?
Were the kids interviewed? Why not?
Exactly. Pedophiles try to get into positions of trust and authority over children because that gives them the best access to potential victims.
You also have the problem of people being told they can “pray away the gay” (or pedophilia). If you have these uncomfortable feelings that you can’t deny and the Church tells you that all you have to do is pray really hard and Jesus will take them away, you’re going to have a lot of people who end up in the priesthood because those will be extra superpowered prayers that are totally going to work, right? Right?
Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you. One of the reasons I left the Church is that they have become an institution that’s devoted to complaining about abortion and covering for pedophiles. You may have individuals within the Church who do other things, but the actual hierarchy is devoted to those two things above all.
The final break for me was when Cardinal Law was brought to Rome and promoted because he covered up for pedophiles. That was what told me that the entire institution is corrupt despite the good work that some individuals do in the name of the institution.
And, considering your (bad) experiences with jump-to-conclusions children’s protection services, remember that these kids were deaf.
They weren’t just kids, with the whole host of assumptions about an inability to protect themselves, they were handicapped kids, with a handicap that can include an inability to communicate.
I would think, based on my experience, that would trigger an investigation based on one sketchy report. They’re the definition of vulnerable. The assumption would be “better safe than sorry”.
I am doing my best to control my temper, I really am, but it’s this sort of lazy rationalization that has allowed the men who run this corrupt child-raping organization to get away with this shit from the moment the first altar boy entered a sacristy.
As pointed out above it is the institution, it’s not an anomaly, a few bad apples to be culled and all will be well. And it’s not just children who have been the victims, it’s teens and young women, acolytes and laypersons who turned to these fucking monsters for help, for comfort and who were used and abused in the most base manner. This is an organization that at its very heart is evil, exploitative and dictatorial and no hand-wringing reasonableness is going to change that no matter how many goddamned phds you earn. There is nothing reasonable in what these men have wrought. Look at it this way, if you think the news from the West is horrible, wait until the stories from Africa and the Sub-continent start to come to light.
No good man or woman who values their honor, their morality or their humanity can claim allegiance to this evil, evil cabal.
Fuck the Catholic church, fuck them the way they fucked children. My only regret is that I will not be able to personally revenge those who have been its victims.
Yes, Sully is great on this – although I really do laugh at the thought that anybody in the Church would listen to him. It’s genuinely funny to think of what they must think – “who TF is this weird gay guy doing with his weird little campaign against us?”
And – he’s a great example of how evil persists in the Church. The Church really does preach obedience and self-discipline (no, not the whips, just the idea that you have to listen and accept the ideas of your betters). So despite the fact that his church is pulling every trick in the book to delegitimate and demonize “his kind,” he’s still a practicing Catholic, something that I cannot bring myself to be.
And most people accept that discipline in good faith, and bitch about it with all their Catholic friends. And the leadership mostly acts in good faith – until one of the priests is threatened – and then they think their good faith duty shifts to protecting the Holy Mother Church. And all the humans be damned.
I didn’t see that Sully had written a manifesto calling for the Pope’s resignation. I’m sure that will be the banner headline in every paper tomorrow in Rome. Not.
The one amazing thing about Sullivan is how you he just puts his contradictions and confusion right there for everyone to see. It’s really quite amazing.
It’s the only thing I like about him. I love how he careens wildly between two poles.
Honestly. I think it’s great.
I agree. It’s brave in a sort of insane way.
Congrats to you! Looks like student loan reform is going through. I know you were pulling for that.
The down side is you learned the whole byzantine system, and now it might be one lender.
I wasn’t talking about the Catholic Church. I was talking more about my opinion of abuse substantiation registries in general. I think DCF substantiates anything that moves, regardless of the actual merits of the case. I think the registries are onerous, oppressive, and a violation of due process. I think they’re a great way to erode the rights of any American who’s even the slightest bit rude to a DCF caseworker who interviews them, after which that person can either shell out insane legal fees to go through the multi-tiered appeals process, or accept that they’ll never be able to adopt, volunteer in their kids’ field trips, or work in a business that has children anywhere near it again.
I don’t like priests who rape little boys, either. But that doesn’t mean I support due process violations.
Works either way.