Joliet Catholic church officials claim they’ve “lost” possible evidence of child porn by a priest. And they refused to give police records about that priest’s formal “evaluation.” Shame on them.
They didn’t “miss” warning signs. They deliberately ignored warning signs. Bishops are so desperate to get and keep young seminarians and priests that they willfully turn a blind eye to suspicions and reports of sexual misdeeds and crimes. Why? Because they know that they won’t face any consequences if they do exactly what Sartain did – put a dangerous man around kids and get caught doing so.
That’s hard for many, especially Catholics to believe. But it’s what we continue to see in case after case in city after city – bishops being more careful, not about ordaining troubled men, but about limiting what they know so that later on, when scandal erupts, they can say “Gee, I just didn’t really know or understand.” It’s a tragically irresponsible and callous approach.
For decades, the church hierarchy has moved (and still moves) predator priests to escape detection and scrutiny. They do the same with corrupt bishops. That’s why former Joliet Bishop Peter Sartain is now conveniently in Seattle.
Still, we suspect many Joliet diocesan employees – who are still around – have crucial information that could help expose Fr. Flores’ crimes and Bishop Sartain’s cover up. Those staffers should face tough questions – by journalists, Catholics and others in law enforcement – about what they know and suspect. That’s the only way more clergy child sex crimes and cover ups will be revealed and deterred.
Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-priest-warning-signs-20111120,0,1018873,full.story