Church whistleblower says she ‘didn’t do enough’


Church whistleblower says she ‘didn’t do enough’

By Amy Forliti of Associated Press

From the link: http://news.msn.com/us/church-whistleblower-says-she-didnt-do-enough

ST. PAUL, Minn. — After she made her First Communion as a little girl, Jennifer Haselberger was distraught to learn the Catholic church had no saint Jennifer, and she had no saint to call her own. So her mom opened up a book and pointed to Joan of Arc.

“There. That’s yours,” she said.

Years later, Haselberger is in a fight of her own after going public with claims that archdiocese leaders in St. Paul mishandled allegations of clergy sexual misconduct. Turns out, Haselberger may have borrowed a little bravery from the headstrong French heroine she has long admired.

Haselberger, a former canon lawyer for the archdiocese, took on leaders of the church she loves after she felt her warnings about troubled priests were being ignored, setting off a firestorm in the local church.

“If a child was hurt, Jenny would do everything within her power to stop that. The lengths that she went to were probably heroic,” said Anne Maloney, Haselberger’s former college adviser.

Haselberger resigned in April after she says Archbishop John Nienstedt and others did not respond appropriately when she found pornography, including images of possible child pornography, on computer disks that once belonged to a priest who was still in ministry. This came after she says church leaders ignored her repeated warnings dating back to 2008 about another priest who went on to molest two boys in his camper in 2010.

“I can never undo what happened to those boys, and that hangs incredibly heavy on me,” Haselberger told The Associated Press. “I didn’t do enough.”

Haselberger said she resigned because church leaders weren’t listening, and she went to authorities and to the media because they wouldn’t change. Since then, Nienstedt’s top deputy has stepped down, and the church set up an independent task force to review its policies. Police are also investigating.

“I came to the conclusion that I was going to do whatever it took, that this was not acceptable … and let the chips fall where they may,” she said.

Haselberger has gone to law enforcement about two priests, and she says she had brought concerns about others to church leaders. She declined to elaborate, but said she expects more details will emerge.

Jim Accurso, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, said he could not comment on Haselberger or her resignation because it is a personnel matter. Accurso has said the information portrayed in the media is incomplete because it has been presented without context.

Tom Doyle, founder of the Catholic Whistleblowers group, said it is still rare — and risky — for someone from within the church to come forward and challenge bishops, who he likened to absolute rulers.

“Everyone I know of who has been a whistleblower has sacrificed their career,” said Doyle.

Haselberger, a Minnesota Wild fan and equestrienne, grew up in a Polish-Catholic family with a great uncle and a great aunt who both went into religious life. While she never considered that herself, she calls the church her “home,” and still stands behind it and the many clergy she respects and considers heroes.

While an undergrad at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy. She also became a leader of a student group that opposed abortion and advocated for valuing human life, Maloney said.

“I never once saw Jenny back down from a conversation or dispute,” Maloney said. “She believed being anti-abortion was the best way to be a feminist.”

Inspired by a religious sister, she also began writing to a man on death row in Angola, La. She is against capital punishment and became his spiritual director. The man’s death sentence was vacated when Hurricane Katrina destroyed prison records, but she said the experience taught her about striking a balance between caring for offenders and protecting the innocent, something she says could also apply to accused clergy.

“I despise the acts that they committed, but I don’t hate them,” she said.

Haselberger earned her doctorate of philosophy at the University of London. While waiting to defend her thesis, she began taking classes at Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium, where she earned her licentiate in canon law and graduated with highest honors in 2004.

While living in a prestigious academic community in London, Haselberger organized a lecture about a woman who went to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which investigated atrocities committed during the apartheid era, to seek amnesty not for violence or any other crimes — but for her apathy in apartheid-controlled South Africa. Her example inspired Haselberger.

“That really resonated with me at the time … it’s such a phenomenal example of personal accountability,” Haselberger said.

When Haselberger began working for the archdiocese in 2008, Nienstedt called her “studious” and “thoughtful.”

That contrasts with statements made after her allegations. Archdiocese attorney Tom Wieser said in a recent court hearing that Haselberger was a “disgruntled former employee” who was unauthorized to investigate allegations of child pornography but did so anyway, something he called “unsophisticated and imprudent.” According to a court transcript, Wieser said Haselberger decided for herself that the images were illegal, and went to authorities, who found no evidence of child pornography. St. Paul Police have since reopened their investigation.

Now outside the chancery walls, Haselberger is a consultant, available to help victims of abuse, or others, navigate the ins and outs of canon law.

She knows she’ll likely never work for the church again, and her eyes get watery when she talks about how much she would have loved serving in the church of Pope Francis. But she said her only regret is not speaking out sooner.

“I certainly always attempted to make my points using facts and reason and to do so respectfully,” she said. “But I would hope that people would say that ‘She was incredibly passionate about this.’ Because I would be disappointed in myself if I wasn’t.”

 

About victimsofrapebythercc

The Catechism offers a clear moral teaching: "Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them." (no. 2356) Note that rape is "an intrinsically evil act," meaning that it is evil at its very root, nothing justifies it, and it is objectively a mortal sin. An evil act was done against me, a crime, by a priest at St Thomas More Parish in Durham, NH. An evil and a crime I will no longer keep silent about. Those who perpetrate crimes against children, especially those of the Roman Catholic Church, should all be punished for their crimes against children. Anything less would be criminal.

Posted on October 22, 2013, in Archbishop André Richard, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop Denis Hart, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop Ernest Léger, Archbishop Jerome Hanus, Archbishop Jerome Listecki, Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt, Archbishop John J. Myers, Archbishop John Nienstedt, Archbishop John Roach, Archbishop José Horacio Gomez, Archbishop Peter Gerety, Archbishop Peter Sartain, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, Archbishop Robert Carlson, Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop William Levada, Archdiocese of Boston, Archdiocese of Chicago, Archdiocese of Detroit, Archdiocese of Dublin, Archdiocese of Edinburg, Archdiocese of Grand Rapids, Archdiocese of Hartford, Archdiocese of Kalamazoo, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Archdiocese of Marquette, Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Archdiocese of Minnesota, Archdiocese of New York, Archdiocese of Newark, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Archdiocese of Pittsburgh, Archdiocese of Saginaw, Archdiocese of St Andrews, Archdiocese of St Louis, Archdiocese of St Paul, Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Association of Catholic Priests, Bill Donohue, Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua, Bishop David Zubik, Bishop Edward Cullen, Bishop Eugene Larocque, Bishop George H. Guilfoyle, Bishop John B McCormack, Bishop John Magee, Bishop John McCormack, Bishop Joseph Cistone, Bishop Joseph Devine, Bishop Joseph Imesch, Bishop Kenneth Povish, Bishop Laurence Glenn, Bishop Michael Bransfield, Bishop Michael Malone, Bishop Peter A Libasci, Bishop Peter Sartain, Bishop Raymond Lahey, Bishop Richard Malone, Bishop Richard Sklba, Bishop Robert Finn, Bishop Robert Rose, Bishop Seamus Hegarty, Bishop Thomas Curry, Bishop Thomas V. Daily, Bishop Timothy Dolan, Bishop Vincent Leonard, Bishop Wojciech Polak, Cardinal Adam Maida, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Cardinal Angelo Scola, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Cardinal Bernard Law, Cardinal Cushing, Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Dominik Duka, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Cardinal Franc Rodé, Cardinal Francis George, Cardinal George Pell, Cardinal Humberto Medeiros, Cardinal John Krol, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Cardinal Juan Cipriani, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Cardinal Levada, Cardinal Mahony, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Cardinal Patrick O'Malley, Cardinal Pell, Cardinal Peter Turkson, Cardinal Richard Cushing, Cardinal Rigali, Cardinal Roger M Mahony, Cardinal Roger Mahony, Cardinal Sean Brady, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Cardinal Thomas Winning, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, Cardinal William Levada, Catholic League, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Catholic Whistleblowers Network, Catholic Whistleblowers Organization, Child Sex Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse, Congregation for Bishops, Congregation for the Clergy, Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata, Dallas Charter, Diocese of Manchester, Good Shepherd Laundries, Jennifer Haselberger, Magdalene Laundries, Manchester Diocese, Manchester Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, Manchester NH Diocese, Opus Dei, Papal Nuncio, Pedophile, Pedophile Priests, Perverted Priests, Pope Benedict, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Pope John Paul II, Pope Paul VI, Priest Child Sex Abuse, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse, Roman Curia, St Thomas Moore Parish Durham NH, St Thomas More, St Thomas More Durham NH, St Thomas More Parish, Uncategorized, Vatican, William A Donohue and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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