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.”
Backpedaling. Backsliding. Moving in the wrong direction. Whatever you call it, bishops all across the US are quietly doing this with clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
Twice recently, sports enthusiasts have publicly made a bizarre claim - that those of us who talk about known or suspected sex crimes are really trying to influence football games.
"Once the sale is made, shut up.” That's a fundamental rule of sales that is taught to virtually every aspiring sales person.
Ten years ago tomorrow, Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as head of the Boston Archdiocese after mountains of evidence proved that he repeatedly protected predators, deceived parishes and endangered kids.
Ten years ago, a Boston Globe series put the Catholic abuse and cover up crisis on the front pages of newspapers across the globe.
Watch closely the language that Catholic officials use when they try to distance themselves from accused clerics.
Bishops recruit, educate, train, ordain, hire, supervise, and often transfer and protect predator priests. But once allegations surface, top church staff often pretend they’ve never even met the accused. In many church notices, he was “Fr. Smith” on Tuesday, but suddenly, on Wednesday, became “Smith” or “Mr. Smith” the minute child sex abuse allegations arose.
Could there be a more shrewd way for child molesting clerics to avoid getting caught than this: legally changing their names?
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.