What do you say now?
John A. Quayle
blueoval at SGI.NET
Wed May 22 06:14:03 MDT 2002
At 06:33 AM 5/22/2002, Rob Loach wrote:
>You wrote --
>> >If I were upset instead that 4 - 6% of school teachers were sexually
>> >assaulting students and the school board wouldn't deal with it or 4 -
>> 6% of doctors were raping patients and the AMA was trying to cover it
>> up, would outrage at that also be "blowing it out of proportion"?!
>> Well, we don't know if these things are already happening, for
>>certain, do we?
>John, you still didn't answer my question - if we *did* know that it were
>happening, would our outrage at teachers or doctors doing such things
>*with impunity* be blowing things out of proportion?
Depends, really, on whether our own kids were directly at
risk/involved, or not. Don't get me wrong - I'm NOT endorsing this sort of
behavior, NOR am I trying to sugarcoat the issue. I just think that it's
not as serious a problem as the media feeding frenzy would have me believe,
otherwise. And BTW, there've been at least TWO priests (that I'm aware of)
who were guilty of molesting kids - altar boys, mainly. One has already
gone to his Maker for ultimate judgement.
>>Secondly, having the AMA cover it up isn't comparable,
>>since the Catholic Church's hierarchy in Rome apparently knew nothing
>>about these individual acts.
>But the issue now is that the Roman Catholic church's hierarchy in Rome
>**does** know about it **now**, and their response is anywhere from weak
I'm perfectly willing to take a "wait & see" approach. Whereas,
some of the others on this list are not. To each, his/her own, I guess.
>Do you remember the reports people posted to the list? Here they are
>again for your consideration:
>"A report says the Roman Catholic Church has changed its legal strategy.
>Instead of quietly settling sex-abuse cases, the church is hiring
>high-powered law firms and private detectives to examine the personal
>lives of the church's accusers. The Washington Post says the Roman
>Catholic Church has responded to its rampant sex abuse scandal "with a
>muscular display of legal power." Church lawyers in Illinois recently
>grilled a victim about the details of his alleged abuse by a priest and
>asked whether he enjoyed it. The Post says church officials are continuing
>their fight to keep incriminatory documents secret -- often quoting canon
>law to justify purging archives relating to criminal behavior. In
>addition, the newspaper says church attorneys are arguing that
>investigating those who allege sexual abuse is simply good, routine
>lawyering. Recently in Boston, archdiocese lawyers countered-sued a
>six-year-old boy and his parents, accusing them of negligence for trusting
>the priest who repeatedly molested him."
Two things: the counter-suit is wholly ridiculous. Secondly, the
"muscular display of legal-power" is fathomable, since ANYONE can make an
accusation. It's something else, again, to provide proof in a court of law.
>New York Times
>May 18, 2002
>"An influential canon lawyer at the Vatican has written an article to be
>published today in a Vatican-approved Jesuit journal saying that bishops
>should not turn over allegations or records of sexual abuse by priests to
>"The article in the magazine La Civilta Cattolica by the Rev. Gianfranco
>Ghirlanda, dean of the canon law faculty at Gregorian University in Rome,
>indicates that influential Vatican officials may disapprove of the response
>of U.S. bishops to the recent scandal. Under pressure from prosecutors and
>victims' advocates, dozens of bishops have recently turned over reports of
>accusations and records to civil authorities.
>"Bishops have also been sued in for failing to remove abusive priests. But
>Ghirlanda wrote, according to a translation by the Catholic News Service,
>"From a canonical point of view, the bishop or religious superior is
>neither morally nor legally responsible for a criminal act committed by
>one of his clerics."
I cannot agree with this assessment. While I can understand the
difficulty in FORCING adherence to dogma/doctrine/rules-regulations,
nonetheless, I find it reprehensible to take the hands-off position.
>"Roman Catholic sources in the United States say that the comments by
>Ghirlanda and other Vatican officials may serve as a warning to U.S.
>bishops, who are to meet in Dallas next month, not to propose anything too
>far-reaching if they try to formulate a binding national policy on sexual
>abuse. Any policy the U.S. bishops produce is subject to approval by the
>Those reports are about what the Vatican is currently doing to respond to
>this - more cover up and outright attacks on the accusers. Would you be
>outraged if that were a school board's or the AMA's means of dealing with
>aberrants **after** they knew what was going on?
>That is why some of us are currently outraged. If 1 out of 20 teachers or
>doctors were preying sexually on people who trust them and were being
>allowed to continue to do so by those who have in their power to remove
>them from those positions of trust, would/should our outrage be any less
>than our outrage at 1 out of 20 priests doing the same and being allowed to
>remain in the priesthood?
Of course not!
>We're not talking here about NFL players or plumbers. We're talking about
>people who are in positions of trust and of personal influence. That's why
>from my perspective, you are minimizing the seriousness. So I guess from
>that position, any outrage would be "disportionate."
All I can offer you is that there is obviously a power struggle
happening within the confines of the Church body, itself. This, of course,
was predicted in books like "Thunder Of Justice" by Ted & Maureen Flynn and
several by the late Fr. Malachi Martin. BTW, if you really wanna get your
hackles up, read Fr. Martin's "Windswept House", which Vatican hierarchy
insisted be marketed as a "novel". Fr. Martin spent quite a few years among
the "inner circle" of the Vatican and wrote the book based on what he
observed. It's enough to scare the daylights out of the heartiest of
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