Shame on Portland Archbishop John Vlazny for his extraordinarily deceitful and hurtful remarks today about a pedophile priest and his victim.
A parent whose child has died is “in tragic circumstances.” A woman who lost a pregnancy is “in tragic circumstances.” A spouse whose partner has committed suicide is “in tragic circumstances.”A breadwinner who has lost his or her job is “in tragic circumstances.”
But a sexually troubled priest who claims to be holy, promised to be celibate and chooses to assault a youngster – instead of going to his bishop and seeking professional help – is not “in tragic circumstances.”
It’s also hurtful and gratuitous for Vlazny to mention that Fr. Perez is supposedly “respected and well-liked.” That’s just rubbing even more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of child sex abuse victims – to have a powerful figure publicly praise an arrested, imprisoned and credibly accused child molester. And it’s hurtful and deceptive for Vlazny to call this boy 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.
Shame on Archbishop Vlazny.