Still protecting its own


Still protecting its own

May 15 at 7:29 PM

From the Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/still-protecting-its-own/2016/05/15/dca095ec-194f-11e6-aa55-670cabef46e0_story.html

Catholic outrage at Facebook posts against Catholics. Loses no sleep over priests raping little boys.

Catholic outrage at Facebook posts against Catholics. Loses no sleep over priests raping little boys.

“In 1995, two individuals alleged sexual abuse by Father Robert Hopkins in the 1970s.”

“In 1999, an individual alleged sexual abuse by Father Timothy Murphy in the late 1960s to early 1970s.”

“In 2002, an individual alleged sexual abuse in the mid-1970s by Dennis Pecore, who was then a religious brother.”

ON AND ON it goes. These accounts, and several dozen others like them, now appear on the website of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, which recently published a list — or rather, republished one from 2002 with 14 additional names — of clergy alleged to have abused children. Similar lists have been published by other dioceses, which in recent years have taken steps to atone for years of sweeping such cases under the rug by adopting more forthcoming policies and providing counseling to victims of abusive priests.

The church says the publication of these names will provide acknowledgment to victims that they are not alone. By seeing their abusers publicly identified and shamed, victims may be “empowered to find out that other people have alleged against the same person,” according to Sean Caine, spokesman for the archdiocese.

That’s a fair point but an inadequate one. For while the archdiocese is extending one sort of validation to victims, it’s simultaneously pressing to deny most of them another sort: the opportunity to seek redress in the courts.

For years, even as it acknowledged having systematically enabled and covered up the abuse of children by priests, the church has also fought aggressively to maintain tight deadlines that limit the time in which survivors may file lawsuits against abusers and superiors who looked the other way.

In Maryland, the church, fearing the financial fallout of such suits, has lobbied so effectively that bills to extend the deadline, known as the statute of limitations, have not even been accorded a vote in the legislature. The result for the great majority of victims is that by the time they speak up about the abuse they suffered — typically, many years after the fact, as the examples at the top of this editorial illustrate — they no longer have the option of filing a lawsuit, which now ends at age 25. Youthful victims of abuse, whether in schools, churches or teams, must be given more leeway to seek justice, including compensation for the harm they have suffered.

The church argues that abusers are ill-equipped to defend themselves when alleged victims level their accusations many years after the fact; it cites fading memories, unreliable witnesses and fragile evidence. Yet Maryland, like most states, has no such deadline limiting when abusers can be criminally prosecuted. Just as in criminal cases, civil juries are qualified to judge the strength of a victim’s allegations and a defendant’s response.

It’s possible that the stigma of abuse may start to fade as a result of the publicity to which clergy sex abuse has been exposed. If victims come forward more quickly, owing to the Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight” and intensified public discussion of abuse, that would be a good thing. In the meantime, justice for victims must include the option of litigation — even if that proves costly for the Catholic Church and other institutions.

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 May 16, 2016, in Archdiocese of Baltimore, Brother Dennis Pecore, Child Sex Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse, Father Robert Hopkins, Father Timothy Murphy, Priest Child Sex Abuse, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse, Spotlight Movie and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: