Last month, Hawaii officials made their state safer for children by enacting a law that will help expose dangerous child predators. The measure creates a two-year civil window for victims of child sexual abuse and opens the courthouse doors to dozens of victims who, until now, were denied justice. It also means that at least some child molesters - and any colleagues or supervisors who helped them hide their crimes - may be publicly exposed as the wrongdoers they are.
We are shocked that fourteen months after a grand jury raised concerns over 37 accused priests only 8 of these cases are resolved.
First, let’s remember the grand jury cited concerns about 37 active priests last year, not 27. Philly archdiocesan officials quickly split hairs and distanced themselves from ten of the accused, saying they belong to religious orders or were incardinated elsewhere.
Shame on Cardinal Brady. Catholic bishops are monarchs with tremendous power. But when child sex abuse and cover up cases come to light, they pretend to be powerless.
Soon Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput will disclose the status of perhaps dozens of accused child molesting clerics. No matter what he specifically announces, we remain highly skeptical of church abuse processes.
It is disconcerting that, in the case of Rev. Mendicoa, the Archdiocese of Boston has made nothing public except that the claim was “unsubstantiated." How was this determination made? Who were the witnesses? What criteria were used? Because it provides no answers to these questions, the Archdiocese’s statement really means nothing. A statement this cryptic and a process this mysterious neither exonerates the priest nor reassures the public.
We're grateful that a St. Louis County judge is letting Darrell & Rhonda Pitts' case against Rev. Billy Lee Little and the Christ Memorial Baptist Church move ahead. (Judge Steven Goldman issued his ruling this morning.) We're always glad when victims are given their day in court, and not left helpless because of archaic or arbitrary legal technicalities.
On Monday, here at the St. Louis County courthouse, arguments in a previously-undisclosed sexual exploitation lawsuit will be heard. The case is against a minister, ex- psychologist, ex-St. Louis Cardinals’ consultant and ex-KMOX radio talk show host, Rev. William L. Little.
It is one thing to punish a priest for his crimes and misdeeds he committed while wearing the collar. It is quite another to wash your hands of him, knowing full well what he has done and will likely continue to do, and consider the matter resolved. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia acted irresponsibly with their handling of Fr. David Sicoli in the past. They are acting negligently with regard to Sicoli now.
It’s both dangerous and outrageous any time alleged spiritual figures insist that their followers agree to keep potential crimes secret. The notion that "that all disputes be settled within the confines of the church" is a pedophile’s dream and recipe for disaster.