Shame on West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield. In a blatant rebuke to a judge and prosecutors, Bransfield is refusing to send one of his top aides to a criminal child sex abuse and cover up trial in Philadelphia. (Reportedly, Bransfield claims the trial appears to be evolving into a circus.)
The official is Fr. Kevin Quirk, who supposedly was involved in child sex allegations against a Philly priest.
Quirk’s been asked to testify in the high profile case involving Msgr. William Lynn, whose unprecedented trial is happening now. (Lynn’s accused of endangering kids by ignoring and concealing known and suspected clergy child sex crimes. It’s the first time in the US that a high-ranking member of the Catholic hierarchy has faced such charges and could wind up in prison)
So remember this situation when you next hear bishops, in child sex cases, pledging that they’ve “learned” and are “reforming.” A sitting US bishop is arrogantly rebuffing efforts by a judge and prosecutors to resolve a pending criminal trial.
In addition, according to CBS news in Philly, “another witness is expected to testify Wednesday that Bransfield also brought boys to an infamous farm where (a Philly priest) allegedly raped multiple boys. And the prosecutor says they have been notified of another incident of fondling by Bransfield.”
(Note – This intransigence by the Catholic hierarchy is no anomaly. Right now, three catholic officials – a proven predator priest, the bishop’s former second-in-command and Cardinal Roger Mahony – are refusing to show up for an on-going civil child sex abuse and cover up trial in Stockton California.)
Annette Nestler-SNAP Southern New Jersey
By Mike Ference
Itâs time that Pennsylvania residents demand more protection of their children. The story thatâs coming out of the Philadelphia Archdiocese should be the straw that broke the proverbial camelâs back. Sadly, itâs just one more example of how children in Pennsylvania cry for help but are never heard. Did authorities know? How could they not? I say itâs time to act fast and with a proven strategy and system that Pennsylvania law makers, judges and cops already understand and is already in place.
I suggest we make cash payoffs to politicians, judges and cops to guarantee the protection and safety of our children much like the cash payoffs that have been made for decades to protect illegal gambling operations, prostitution, loan sharking and other criminal enterprises that have flourished in Pennsylvania while so many of our children suffered in silence.
After all, Pennsylvania has garnered an international reputation for being less than vigilante when it comes to protecting Godâs most precious commodity â His children â while political corruption flourishes and is in the media 24/7.
A quick review of the grand jury investigation into the archdiocese of Philadelphia illustrates my first point. Grown men allowed to exploit young and vulnerable children for their own sexual satisfaction while church hierarchy covered up and allowed the crimes to continue for years and in the end, nothing is done.
The number of scoundrels from the ranks of Pennsylvaniaâs legislature and law enforcement, who are either in jail or soon to be, validates my second point.
If criminal enterprises can thrive by passing an envelope stuffed with cash to an all too willing politician, judge or cop, maybe we can use the same incentive to protect our children. Sadly, it may be our only choice.