By David Clohessy
Hundreds and hundreds of abuse survivors have talked with me over the past quarter century about their tough, tough struggles with addictions. So I took no pleasure when I read that the former second-highest ranking Vatican official was arrested in Hawaii on drunk driving charges.
But news reports identify Cardinal William Levada (an LA native who headed dioceses in Portland Oregon and San Francisco) as “the highest ranking American in the Vatican” at one point.
That’s true of course. But he was also head of the CDF, the church bureaucracy that enforces doctrine.
And before he was promoted to this post, he pulled perhaps the most hypocritical legal maneuver I’ve ever seen (and that’s saying a lot).
Here’s ex-LA Times journalist Bill Lobdell’s report:
By David Clohessy
In a lot of ways, the new Fr. Manuel Gallo Espinoza case is much like the Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul case. But it’s worse.
Fr. Jeyapaul generated international headlines when he was pled guilty this summer – after a long, hard extradition process - to sexually assaulting a Minnesota girl in the Crookston diocese. (Thanks to the courage of another victim, Megan Peterson.)
Two remarks by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki show just how deceptive and callous he is.
First, he said “Nothing can be enough to restore, basically, what was lost to the victims."
Lost? We didn’t “lose” our childhoods and faith and trust and joy. They were stolen from us by clerics who committed and concealed heinous crimes.
Second, he pledged to “take a look at” removing the bas-relief in the cathedral showing disgraced and resigned Archbishop Rembert Weakland alongside children.
Take a look at? Listecki claims he wants healing. Then why delay removing cathedral showing disgraced Archbishop Rembert Weakland alongside children? We'll never know how many kids were hurt on Weakland's watch because he shrewdly and consistently hid predator priests and his own expensive, hurtful sexual misdeeds.
by David Clohessy
Bankruptcy “is the best way to fairly and equitably compensate victims. . .ensuring that all are treated equitably.”
Milwaukee Catholic Archbishop Jerome Listecki, June 2011
“575 individuals came forward. 240 of them will get nothing. And 92 others will get about $2,000 each.”
National Catholic Reporter, August 2015
Who would have thought that the highest ranking politician in the UK, the third highest ranking politician in the US and “America’s dad” would all be accused of sexual violence?
I’m referring of course to ex-Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Bill Cosby.
It’s possible that at some point in your life, someone you know will be accused of raping an adult or abusing a child. It’s likely that every bone in your body will cry out “No! He could NEVER do such a thing.”
Then pause before you utter that thought, and ponder the millions who have been shocked over – and wrong about – allegations of sexual crimes against the popular and powerful.
The other day, President Obama said he couldn’t revoke Bill Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Honor. But I’d humbly like to tell the president: “You ain’t powerless.”
Have bishops “narrowed” their “privacy zones?”
Reuters reports “Bill Cosby's forthright views on black parenting came back to haunt him this week when a U.S. judge called the comedian a ‘public moralist’ who had lost the right of personal privacy in a 2005 civil sexual assault case.”
by David Clohessy
Two notorious serial predator priests have been back in the news recently. Both assaulted dozens of kids. Both were shielded, for decades, by complicit colleagues and supervisors. Their horrific crimes, though they took place years ago, should not go unnoticed.
1.One of Iowa’s most notorious child molesting clerics, Fr. James M. Janssen, has passed away. He reportedly abusing many boys, often along with other pedophile priests Fr. Francis Bass, Fr. Theodore Anthony Geerts, and Fr. James W. Murphy, and of pimping his victims to Bass, Murphy and Fr. William Wiebler.
Justice comes rarely for victims of childhood sexual assault. When it does, it’s only after a painful legal process. This week in Charleston, an appeals court could make that already difficult process even harder for West Virginia victims who use civil courts to warn the public about predators.
Our group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has monitored cases involving child molesters in many denominations for more than 25 years. We’ve never seen one quite like this one from Martinsburg. - See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150421/GZ04/150429951#sthash.zSvZB6Ou.dpuf
Last month, a Penn State official pledged that "Penn State will honor not only Joe Paterno's legacy but the Paterno family's legacy."
Wow! I kinda thought universities were about promoting open minds?
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.