We are troubled by the promotion of Bishop Seitz from Dallas to El Paso. Seitz comes from a diocese (Dallas) with a disturbing record on children’s safety and from a school (St. John’s University) with an even more disturbing record on children’s safety.
-See BishopAccountability.org and http://www.behindthepinecurtain.com/wordpress/welcome
We hope that Pope Francis will appoint church officials who aren’t so closely tied with institutions that have dismal track records on children’s safety.
We hope Bishop Seitz’ first act in El Paso will be to alert parishioners and the public about former Cathedral High School principal Stephen Furches, who is accused of sexually assaulted an El Paso child in the late 1980s. The lawsuit against Furches has received little public attention. We suspect there are others who were assaulted by Furches who are still suffering in shame, silence and self-blame. Bishop Seitz should aggressively seek them out. He should also emphatically urge anyone who may have knowledge or suspicions about Furches’ crimes to contact law enforcement.
Whenever a Catholic official is promoted, it’s tempting to be hopeful. When it comes to clergy sex crimes and cover ups, often Catholics assume that the new guy will be better than the old guy. But that’s a reckless assumption. Complacency protects no one. Only vigilance protects kids.
So we urge El Paso Catholics to be skeptical about Seitz. We urge them to judge him by his deeds, not his words, and by his performance, not his promises.
And we hope that every single person who witnessed, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in El Paso will find the courage and strength to step forward, call police, protect kids, expose corruption and start healing. And we hope they’ll contact secular authorities, not church officials.
To read more: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/08/16/49365.htm