Op-Ed Columnist – An Archbishop Burns While Rome Fiddles

June 7, 2011 Comments Off on Op-Ed Columnist – An Archbishop Burns While Rome Fiddles

Op-Ed Columnist An Archbishop Burns While Rome Fiddles By MAUREEN DOWD  June 4, 2011

THE archbishop of Dublin was beginning to sniffle.

He could not get through a story about “a really nasty man” — an Irish priest who sexually abused, physically tortured and emotionally threatened vulnerable boys — without pulling out his handkerchief and wiping his nose.

“He built a swimming pool in his own garden, to which only boys of a certain age, of a certain appearance were allowed into it,” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told me recently. “There were eight other priests in that parish, and not one of them seemed to think there was something strange about it.”

Two years after learning the extent of the depraved and Dickensian treatment of children in the care of the Irish Catholic Church 
— a fifth circle of hell hidden for decades by church and police officials — the Irish are still angry and appalled.

The only church leader who escapes their disgust is the no-nonsense, multilingual Martin. He was sent home to Dublin in 2003 after 27 years in the Vatican bureaucracy and diplomatic corps and found the Irish church in crisis, reeling from a cover-up that spanned the tenures of four past Dublin archbishops….

The frustrated Martin has criticized the Vatican’s glacial pace on reform and chided the church: “Denial will not generate confidence.”

He has mourned the lack of faith among young people in Ireland, where fewer than one in five Catholics go to Mass in Dublin on Sunday. (A victims’ support group is called One in Four, asserting that’s how many Irish have been affected by the sexual abuse scandal.)

In return for doing the right thing, he has been ostracized by fellow bishops in Ireland and snubbed by the Holy See.

Showing again that it prefers denial to remorse, the Vatican undermined Martin’s call for accountability. In 2009, after the Irish government’s 700-page Murphy report on sexual abuse came out, Pope Benedict XVI refused to accept the resignations of two Irish bishops who presided over dioceses where abuse cases were mishandled.

The following year, when Martin expected to be named cardinal, the pope passed him over.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/opinion/05dowd.html

The Unspoken Crime (incest), Should the Pope face charges

September 14, 2010 Comments Off on The Unspoken Crime (incest), Should the Pope face charges

The Unspoken Crime By Cara Tabachnick September 13th, 2010
The U.S. justice system is failing victims of incest, a Crime Report investigation shows…. It is hard to find a more serious crime than the rape of a child; yet when a family member is the perpetrator, justice is sometimes hard to achieve.  Child welfare advocates say that the safeguards in place to protect the child usually fail. Research suggests they are right….

according to a 1990 study by University of South Florida criminologist Lorie Fridell, prosecutors tend to defer or divert complex incest cases to child protective services who can provide for an alternative, non-court resolution, such as therapy or community service, in an effort to keep the family together.
Other research has drawn a similar conclusion.  A 1993 report of the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, found that more than 90 percent of all child abuse cases do not go forward to prosecution. Moreover, the study showed many suspects are released without further intervention by law enforcement or the justice system….

“If a kid is raped by a neighbor, people call police, but if the same person rapes their own child they call social services. What kind of justice is that?” said Grier Weeks, Executive Director of the National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT), a national organization based in Tennessee that works on lobbying for child abuse legislation

If a child accuses a caretaker of abuse, CPS has to be involved, but law enforcement does not. So, if a child is raped by his or her parent and goes to the police, CPS has to be notified in all states.  But if CPS is notified, they are not required to tell law enforcement. And herein lies one of the largest conundrums of bringing these cases to justice: too often, experts say, social workers don’t have the training to investigate a sexual abuse allegation. http://thecrimereport.org/2010/09/13/the-unspoken-crime/

Should the Pope face charges? A renowned lawyer makes the case that the Pope should have his day in court for harbouring pedophiles by Brian Bethune September 11, 2010
British lawyer Geoffrey Robertson concedes in The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse, a book set to appear just one week before Benedict XVI makes the first-ever papal state visit to Britain. But, Robertson argues, the once unthinkable idea that Benedict or a successor could be charged with obstructing justice or for “harbouring pedophile priests” is now very thinkable, and—given evolving trends in international human rights law—may soon be practical….

So many cases emerged that the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference commissioned an expert study, which concluded in 2004 that, since 1950, 10,667 individuals had made plausible allegations against 4,392 priests, 4.3 per cent of the entire body of clergy in that period. The total bill in settlements with victims is spiralling toward $2 billion and won’t stop, Forbes predicts, this side of $5 billion. Depressingly similar stories from other First World countries, including Canada, soon emerged; the situation in Latin America and Africa, where no investigations have ever been made, can only be imagined….in 1952 Gerald Fitzgerald, the American founder of the Paraclete order, which treats erring priests of all sorts, brought a specific warning to Rome. “Leaving pedophile priests on duty or wandering from diocese to diocese,” he said, was a moral evil and a scandal waiting to break. http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/09/11/should-the-pope-face-charges/

Rome waited to ban pedophile priest

April 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Rome waited to ban pedophile priest April 3, 2010 The future Pope Benedict XVI took over the abuse case of an Arizona priest, then let it languish at the Vatican for years despite repeated pleas from the bishop for the man to be removed from the priesthood, according to church correspondence. Documents reviewed by The Associated Press show that in 1990, members of a church tribunal found that the Reverend Michael Teta in Arizona had molested children as far back as the late 1970s. The panel deemed his behaviour – including allegations he abused two boys in a confessional – almost “satanic”. The tribunal referred his case to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would become pope in 2005. But it took 12 years from the time Ratzinger assumed control of the case in a signed letter until Teta was formally removed from ministry, a step only the Vatican can take. As abuse cases with the pontiff’s fingerprints mushroom, Teta’s case and that of another Arizona priest cast further doubt on the church’s insistence that the future pope played no role in shielding pedophiles. Teta was accused of engaging in abuse not long after his arrival at the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona, in 1978. Among the allegations that would later be part of settlements: He molested two boys, ages 7 and 9,  Bishop Manuel Moreno eventually was made aware of the allegations and held a church tribunal for Teta, which determined “there is almost a satanic quality in his mode of acting toward young men and boys”. Teta was removed from ministry by the bishop, but because the church’s most severe punishment – laicisation – can only be handed down from Rome, he remained on the church payroll and was working with young people outside the church. http://www.smh.com.au/world/rome-waited-to-ban-pedophile-priest-20100403-rkb7.html

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