Stories like these are indicative of the dangers that come when sex abusers have their crimes covered up. Joseph Piña was known to have abused kids in the 1970’s. He himself admitted this abuse. And yet because his crimes – grossly mischaracterized by Piña as “a relationship” – weren’t reported to police, Piña wasn’t made to register as a sex offender.
LA’s Cardinal Mahony & Archbishop Gomez’ private chat (about two weeks ago)
Mahony: I know this is your archdiocese now, Jose. But I've been plotting and scheming much longer than you and covering up more cases than any of our colleagues. So forgive me for taking the initiative here and suggesting our plan.
Gomez: I'm always glad to hear your thoughts Roger.
Mahony: These files are pretty bad. They'll re-ignite widespread outrage. So you'll need to do something beyond the usual “My heart aches for the victims” and “We didn't understand, but we've learned and are reforming' schtick. My PR pals at Sitrick Public Relations agree that you'll really need to distance yourself from all of this and from me too.
G: Makes sense. How should that happen?
Call me a hopeless optimist, but I think the developments in LA put more pressure on the Vatican to take action against Bishop Finn in Kansas City.
Don't misunderstand me: Mahony's so-called 'restrictions' and Curry's so-called 'resignation' are ineffectual symbolism and hollow gestures. Both retain their titles (Cardinal and Bishop, respectively). Both have ever-so-slightly lighter workloads. Both keep their salaries, health insurance, dental coverage, car allowances, and all the rest.
Both will be a little bit less visible. (That, however, may be advantageous for them, given how horrifically they've treated hundreds of victims and hundreds of thousands of Catholics.)
Still, something has been done in LA. In contrast, nothing has been done in KC.
One can argue "Mahony and Curry have been deceptive for much longer than Finn." True, but Finn's deception – in the Fr. Shawn Ratigan case and others - is far more recent.
Mahony and Curry claim "years ago, we didn't understand, but now we've learned." That’s a pretty weak excuse to begin with, but since Finn’s deception occurred long after the clergy sex abuse crisis exploded, there’s no way he could use a similar excuse.
Mahony and Curry have huge staffs, but Finn's diocese and staff are much smaller. It's harder for him to pretend "my underlings didn't tell me" or "my staff misinformed me."
The tiny consequences against Mahony and Curry have come far too late and are far too weak. But they are something. They’re better than nothing.
Bishop Finn, however, has felt no repercussions from his church colleagues or superiors (even though he has been slightly punished by the secular authorities).
In the past year, more punishments (small though they may be) have been doled out to church officials than ever before. From Msgr. William Lynn in Philadelphia to Cardinal Roger Mahony in Los Angeles, the Vatican must take notice. Perhaps, they’ll even do the right thing and take action in Kansas City.
The SNAP leaders attending the 2013 SNAP Leaders' Conference took time to bring attention to a predator minister who once worked at the Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. An anonymous woman said her family endured "indescribable" hurt after learning her son was molested for months by John Langworthy, a staff member at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas from 1984 until 1989. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the video!
A great advocate and friend, Maureen Martinez from Justice4PAKids, sent us this information today on important legislation that is coming up in Pennsylvania. We hope that you find this information helpful!
Yet another sad story involving the abuse of children in the Los Angeles unified school system. In the past year, we’ve heard several horrific stories about depraved abuse going on for years in this school system, and today we hear about at least twenty more kids who had their innocence shattered. Let’s go back and edit that first line;“sad” is not strong enough.
I feel sorry for priests who resign or take a leave for health or personal reasons. Most of them, I’m sure, are honest when they say and do this. But many of them, I’m also sure, do so under a huge cloud of suspicion. The blame for that falls squarely on the shoulders of their deceptive bishops.
For the first time in history, a US Catholic diocese is headed by a convicted criminal. So what’s next for Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn?
Florida’s most notorious predator priest, Fr. Neil Doherty, pled no contest on January 14 to molesting kids. Police and prosecutors built a strong case against him, in part, because of evidence unearthed in more than 20 civil lawsuits against Doherty over the years.
Here’s a novel (and spurious) reason why clergy sex crimes and cover-ups should allegedly remain covered up: because shining a light on them might “fan the flames” of public outrage which might “potentially result in violence against the accused.”
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.