MN- St. Paul Catholic officials still quietly moving predators
For immediate release: Friday, September 26, 2014
St. Paul Catholic officials are keeping predator priests on the job using the same discredited excuses the church hierarchy has trotted out for decades.
Many bishops ask “Where can I put my predator priests?” The rest of us ask “Why give any job to a proven predator?”
Many bishops think “one strike” means “we'll move a predator priest if we have to.” The rest of us think “one strike” means a predator priest is fired and we're dismayed to find out, time and time again, that they are not.
Many bishops, when a predator priest is caught, apparently think “when forced, we'll move this predator, like I have always done, and pretend that a job in a hospital, college, cemetery, chaplaincy, or our headquarters will magically 'cure' him.”
The rest of us think “If a priest has violated the law, broken his vows, deceived his flock and hurt others, why is he entitled to have a job at all?”
A St. Paul archdiocesan staffer, Fr. Timothy Cloutier, claims a spot on a marriage tribunal has “little interaction” with parishioners.
That's laughable. History, psychology and common sense show that predators use any title, position or information they may be given to find, befriend and ultimately exploit people who are struggling with personal issues like divorce.
The Star Tribune notes that being on the marriage tribunal gives predators “access to sensitive information on everything from couples’ therapy reports to their sex lives.”
It's also a position of power, since tribunal staff help decide whether annulments are granted and whether divorced Catholics can remarry.
Fr. Cloutier's claim is identical to the one bishops made for decades when they secretly moved child molesting clerics from Catholic schools to Catholic universities or smaller parishes or retreat centers.
No rational person believes that moving bank robbers to homes farther away from banks improves public safety. Likewise, no rational person should believe that moving a predator priest from a parish to the church headquarters improves public safety.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)