We’re sad that, once again, the Pope has promoted a bishop who has dealt poorly with pedophile priests and their wounded victims. During his tenure in Marquette, Bishop Sample has done nothing to distinguish himself from the overwhelming majority of Catholic officials who continue to minimize and hide clergy sex crimes.
At least eight Marquette priests have been credibly accused of sexually assaulting kids. We see no evidence that Sample took any real steps to warn families about them or aggressively seek out others who they may have hurt. In each case, as best we can tell, Sample did the absolute bare minimum.
Vlazny, however, has a terrible record in abuse cases.
Just last year, he made extraordinarily deceitful and hurtful remarks about a pedophile priest Fr. Angel Armando Perez and his victim.
He also called the predator “respected and well-liked,” A gratuitous remark that rubs even more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of child sex abuse victims. It hurts when a powerful figure publicly praises an arrested, imprisoned and credibly accused child molester. And it’s hurtful and deceptive for Vlazny to call this boy who was assaulted a “young man.” Such deceit is just one of the many ways Catholic officials callously try to minimize the severity of their clerics’ crimes – by misstating the age of their victims.
Just two years ago, Vlazny retaliated against the Oregonian’s coverage of the church’s on-going crisis by urging his staff to cancel their subscriptions (a particularly mean-spirited and short-sighted attack strategy many bishops have used for decades).