Category Archives: Berlin Daily Sun
A long time ago, I used to believe in a God and a Jesus Christ. I thought they were kind of cool really. Then came that night, about 34 years ago now, that all of this changed. That was the night that Fr Leon Gaulin, priest at St Thomas More parish in Durham New Hampshire decided he was going to show me the True God and Jesus Christ.
See I also grew up believing that God and Jesus loved us children. I remember anyone saying that if you harmed a hair on our heads, well it would be better if you tied a huge rock around your neck and throw yourself into the deepest of lakes than to harm a single hair on our heads. Gee what kind of hellish punishment awaits someone whom would harm a child? I came to find out. NONE!!!
ZIP, ZILCH, NADA, ZERO, NONE. NOPE NOT GONNA HAPPEN, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE ONE OF GODS OR JESUS CHRISTS PRIESTS AND THEY ARE RAPING YOU, OR THE LEADERS OF THEIR CHURCH WHOM AIDED IN OUR RAPES BY THEIR MOVING THESE PEDOPHILE PERVERTS AROUND.
I admit, I tried, oh how I tried, to believe in them again. I remember going to St Mary’s Episcopal…..nope no God there, nor Jesus Christ….just a bunch of two faced hypocrites…trying to one-upmanship each other. I tried with the Baptists too. Hell I even went to Bangor Theological Seminary to study the Word of God and become a preacher. But nope….nothing there either…..seems every place I went to look for this God and this Jesus….they were not there…just a reasonable facsimile dressed up in religious robes spewing bullshit. About how God loves us all. About how Jesus loves us all. About how God will NEVER give you more than you can handle and bear and if he does…well then come to me all you whom are heavy laden with burdens, lay them at my feet and I shall take care of them….yeah right….just like a lawyer whom was supposed to take care of my case against the rapist did eh?
Then I learn that God and Jesus Christ has been just as much a hypocrite as their followers are…well most of those whom claim they follow……see apparently God and Jesus says they abhor evil. They hate evil, especially evil done to children…again and again…they state this in their supposed Word of God book called the Bible. Yet each and every day…thousands upon thousands of children are tortured, raped, beaten, murdered, go to bed starving, are sold into sex slavery for perverts. Or they are raped and abused big time by those whom proclaim that they are the moral leaders of the churches of this religion. Thousands upon thousands of those, whom dare call themselves priests, ministers, pastors, rabbis, etc…you know those holy people labels….have raped and destroyed children’s and teens lives.
Don’t believe me? Go to this link and check the cases….thousands upon thousands upon thousands of those whom proclaim to be God’s and Jesus Christs moral leaders and teachers raping and abusing children…and of course….God and Jesus…whom are supposed to love, defend and protect the children…turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to it all.
So how can I explain my reasoning for what I am about to do in a way that people can really understand?
I could go the blunt way…I HAVE FUCKING HAD IT…I AM DONE BEGGING FOR A GOD AND A JESUS CHRIST TO HELP ME…THEN TURN AROUND AND SEE THEM NOT. I AM SICK AND TIRED OF GOD AND JESUS CHRIST AND MOST OF THEIR FOLLOWERS BEING DEAD ASSED HYPOCRITES. GOD AND JESUS ARE SUPPOSED TO ABHOR EVIL, PUNISH THE WICKED AND BLESS THE GOOD…BUT INSTEAD THEY DO THE EXACT FUCKING OPPOSITE. THEY ARE HYPOCRITES AND THEN FOR BEING HYPOCRITES…I AM SUPPOSED TO BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP THEM, THANK THEM FOR BEING RAPED, ETC…AND LOVE THEM FOR IT….BUT THEN TURN AROUND AND HOPE AND PRAY THEY WILL GIVE ME A BREAK? FUCK THAT.
I could go this way….a way to truly explain it.
I met this man named Louis Romano. Seemed like a good guy standing up for priest abuse victims. Came out with a book called Intercession. Now Louis was a big cheering fan of mine, especially with my standing up to that disgusting, degenerate defender of Pedophile Pimps and Pedophile Priests, Bill Pig Face Donohue, President of the Catholic League for the Defense and Protection of the Pedophile Pimps and Priests of the Unholy Roman Catholic Church. He would tell me when I would get beaten up pretty bad…don’t stop…I support you…if you ever need anything get a hold of me.
Now it was nice that when I did get arrested for the Donohue crap he contributed some to the bail money…$50.00. So there I was…being used like a punching dummy. losing everything because of the other Roman Catholic piggies attacking me and destroying my life…and I went to him for help and his most infamous words….I will never forget. This is what he offered for help.
“Well at least you can check into a mental hospital, at least you will have a roof over your head. But hey…I know it is hard, but don’t stop fighting Donohue, I am behind you every step of the way.”
Yuppers….just like God and Jesus Christ…..they are supposedly behind me in fighting this evil, they supposedly abhor anyone whom harms even a single hair on the head of a child, they supposedly cannot stand even the sight of evil, and roundly condemn hypocrites and the Pharisee and Sadducee. So you fight this evil and what does God and Jesus Christ do when you beg them for help?
They fucking tell you to go check into a mental hospital.
Nope in my opinion, from this long fucking life of pain, suffering, poverty, injustice, and pure, unadulterated evil? God and Jesus are either not there…they are fake, or they are there and they just do not give a shit…or this God and Jesus are actually the Satan and Evil Ones and prove it by turning their backs on the children….while defending those pedophile pimps and priests whom did this evil to us.
So again…I am supposed to get down on my knees and thank this God and this Jesus Christ, for my rapes, for my abuses, for my losses, for my injustices, for my poverty, for my fucked up life….and I am not supposed to get mad…because hey…God and Jesus works in mysterious ways and always have a plan laid out for you….so if your a child let me clue you in on something.
If someone mentions God or Jesus Christ to you, especially a priest, a minister, a preacher, a rabbi or others?
RUN KID….IT IS A TRAP….THESE PERVERTS ARE ONLY TRYING TO PROGRAM YOU…SO THAT WHEN THEY RAPE YOU….THEIR GOD AND JESUS CHRIST CAN SIT THERE UP IN HEAVEN FILMING IT SO THEY CAN SHOW IT AT THE NEXT PORNO PARTY…BECAUSE NOTHING GETS A GOD AND A JESUS MORE FUCKING HARD THAN THE SCREAMS OF CHILDREN BEING RAPED, BEING BEATEN, BEING TORTURED, CRYING OUT FOR THEIR HELP…BUT TURNING THEIR FUCKING BACKS ON THEIR CRIES…AND PROTECTING THE FUCKING EVIL SCUM WHOM ARE DOING THIS.
SO FUCK IT…GOD AND JESUS…..YOU CAN GO FUCK YOURSELVES…I AM OUTTA HERE…I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE, COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY REJECT….YOUR LIFE YOU HAVE SUPPOSEDLY GIVEN TO ME. YOU CAN NOW TAKE THIS AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR PEDOPHILE, CHILD ABUSING LOVING FUCKING ASSES.
YOU DO NOT WANT TO HELP ME? FINE. FUCK YOU…GO HELP THE RAPISTS OF CHILDREN BECAUSE THAT IS ALL YOU ARE FUCKING GOOD FOR AND YOU HAVE PROVEN IT TIME, AND TIME, AND TIME, AND TIME, AND TIME AND TIME AND TIME AND TIME AND TIME AGAIN.
YOU WANT ME TO LOVE AND WORSHIP YOU FOR THIS? FUCK YOU.
SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS…BUT FIRST REMOVE THE FUCKING PRIESTS DICK FROM YOUR ASS.
I have also learned you never stand up to God, Jesus Christ or their Pedophile Pimps and Priests or any of their religious holy people whom rape children or assault children, or beat children, or torture children…because as it also says in the bible
‘SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN THAT THEY MAY COME UNTO ME.”
Fuck you God…Jesus…we have suffered enough and we certainly are not coming unto you…because you have proven to us again and again and again, you would rather defend, bless and protect the scumbag Pedophile Pimps and Priests than you would those whom they raped and destroyed.
And you say your the lovers, defenders and protectors of children?
Yeah fucking right and I got a bridge to sell ya.
But hey…that is ok….you have shown me this again and again and again…and now….you can fucking shove it up your fucking pedophile loving ass…because I REFUSE to live under this tyranny of your shit any longer. Go make one of those fat fucking Cardinals like Timothy Dolan starve for a while…he looks like a fucking piggy.
Published Date Thursday, April 24,2014
From the Link: http://www.berlindailysun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49465:frank-laferriere-support-the-victims-not-the-victimizers&catid=73:letter&Itemid=428
To the editor:
If you were to find out that the leadership of a group or organization you belonged to had appeared before commissions and grand juries and openly admitted to covering up the abuses of children, from rape to severe beatings, to even the death of a child, and that this involved tens of thousands of members own children, and that the cover ups are wide spread throughout the organization or group, you would think that the membership of the group would rise up in arms and make sure that the leadership is arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows. That they would stand up and defend and protect their children over the leadership of their group or organization. Yet there is one such organization…though there are others….that its leadership is totally immune from liability for crimes such as these by it’s membership. This organization is known as the Roman Catholic Church.
While they have come far with this problem of child abuse, the Vatican announced that for 2011-2012 almost 400 priests had to be let go because of credible accusations of child abuse, including rape, there is still much to be done. While it is commendable that they caught and fired these priests, what about those whom participated in the cover ups of these crimes? Why are they not called to account for their crimes of the members own children? Why are the leadership of the church put above the law and those whom they have harmed? Why are they defended and even praised or made a saint?
There have been at least a half a dozen commission reports, like the Ryan Report, that detail the systematic sexual, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse of children and teens, children of the Roman Catholic Church; and the cover ups of these abuses by the leaders and even their highest leaders, ones whom are supposed to be the Vicars of Jesus while on this earth and in their position. Yet even to this day, not one credibly accused leader has ever been arrested or prosecuted for their crimes save one, Bishop Robert Finn and that case is being retried. Matter of fact, one of these, John Paul II was given sainthood. There is overwhelming evidence he participated in the cover up of and through acts of omission, turned a blind eye to, the pederast Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ. Yet he is given sainthood? This is an insult to all those whom are survivors of these evil crimes against us.
There are some incredible priests and leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. I have met some of them. From Fr Tom Doyle, ret., whom has fought tirelessly for the victims of priest abuse, at the cost of his being a priest, to even our own local priest Fr Kyle Stanton whom has helped me immensely, to groups like Catholic Whistleblowers, and others, they have sort of restored my faith that this problem of priests and nuns abusing children and teens will stop. Yet to truly set things right the following must be done.
1. All credibly accused leaders, from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, to Cardinals like Timothy Dolan, Donald Wuerl, Roger Mahony, Bernard Law, George Pell, and many others, against whom there is overwhelming evidence, through commission reports, grand jury testimonies and the churches own documents, must be fired. They must be arrested and prosecuted. We do this to other criminals, we demand this of any rapist or those whom cover up the rapes and abuses of children. They may be leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, but these men are criminals and deserve to be arrested and prosecuted and the victims deserve their day in court and justice for the crimes committed against them because of these leaders actions.
2. Abide by the Pledge to Protect, Promise to Heal charter all of the diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States signed. All attacks against the victims must stop. We are not responsible for our rapes, we did not enjoy being raped. We are not homosexuals because we were raped by a male priest. We are not liars, gold diggers who are out looking for a payday from the Roman Catholic Church.
We are your sons, we are your daughters, who want justice, whom want those who perpetrated these crimes against us punished, whom went through one of the most horrifying and terrifying experiences a human being can go through. We trusted these priests and nuns and they destroyed that trust with their evil crimes against us. We were raped, we were beaten, we had our souls, our hearts stolen from us, we had our bodies destroyed and abused. We did not deserve this, we were not willing participants and we refuse to remain silent while those whom are responsible for these crimes against us go free while we still remain trapped inside the prisons they created for us.
3. No matter what….put your children before your leaders. Protect and stand up and defend your children….not the leaders whom committed these evils against us. Your children should come first. Stand up for the victims of these crimes, whom are your own children. You may know one. Again, we are your sons, your daughters, your nieces and nephews, your God children, whom you vowed and promised to protect and defend.
I started going back to church. I even started photographing St Annes, an incredibly beautiful place of worship. I had no choice though, I had to stop because I felt like such a hypocrite. Far too many of us whom were victims still see those responsible for these evils against us in their positions as if nothing in the world is wrong. We victims are still being attacked, by people like Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League. We are still being attacked by parishioners whom have called me a liar to my face and how dare I spread lies and rumors and false accusations and gossip against the leaders. Well, sadly, I am not spreading lies, rumors and false accusations, these statements I have made can all be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law if it were allowed.
Yet while these leaders whom perpetrated these crimes against us are still in power, I cannot in good conscious go into the church. I cannot be part of a church where the leadership covered up the crimes of child abuse, child rape and put the church before the children and are still in power, for that makes me a hypocrite in my eyes.
I would love to go on a regular basis to St Anne, to be among the other worshipers, some of whom I made acquaintance and even friends with, especially Fr Kyle, but I cannot, for while the wolves are still in control….someone must stand outside the door for the defense and protection of the children and the victims.
Sin is one thing…sin can be forgiven when there is true repentance from the sin. There has been no true repentance among the leadership whom covered up these crimes. There have been staged acts of contrition, but no true repentance. For if they are to truly repent they must also submit to prosecution for the crimes they committed. They must not hide behind their robes of religion. If they seek to make laws for man like they do, they also must submit to the laws of man and be arrested and prosecuted for their crimes. No one, not even religious leaders, should be allowed to get away with crimes against children. They should not be above the law!
When it comes time to the crimes of the rapes and abuses of children and teens and the cover up of these crimes by the leadership…only justice in a court of law, where the victims may have their day in court to see those responsible for the crimes against them be tried and if found guilty sentenced to prison…that is true justice. The Roman Catholic Church promised this to victims and to prosecuting attorneys…but have failed to deliver on this promise. Instead they still fight the victims and hide behind the statue of limitations to deny justice to the victims. Ask yourself is this true justice? If you were raped would you say this is true justice?
In closing whom do you think Jesus Christ will stand up for in the end?
Those whom perpetrated these crimes against children and teens…or the children and teen victims?
Here is a clue: “For it would be better for you to tie a huge boulder around your neck and throw yourself into the deepest of lakes than to harm a single hair on the head of a child.”
Well the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church did a lot more than harm a hair on the head of a child. Whom are you going to stand besides? The ones Jesus Christ would stand up for? Or the ones He would toss into the pit of hell for their evils against children?
Frank LaFerriere, Berlin
Published Date Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
PLEASE READ FRANK LAFERRIERE’S COMMENT AT END OF POSTING.
By Debra Thornblad
A hearing on charges that a Berlin resident made harassing phone calls to the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights took the better part of the day in Lancaster District Court Tuesday.
The hearing was continued while Lancaster District Court Judge Paul Desjardins considers a motion to dismiss filed by the defendant, Frank LaFerriere, 53, of Berlin.
LaFerriere is charged with three counts of harassment against William Donohue, who heads the non-profit Catholic advocacy organization based in New York City. LaFerriere has a pending lawsuit against the Catholic Church for sexual assaults that he says happened when he was 14 and 15.
The three harassment complaints allege LaFerriere called Donohue’s cell phone in January and February of this year, leaving what Donohue described as “abusive, annoying and threatening” messages.
LaFerriere was arrested on one count of harassment on February 22 and two other counts were added on June 28.
Donohue was the first witness on the stand. He described himself as a writer and publisher of a blog and several books and said he has also appeared on several television and radio programs. He agreed under cross examination that he had taken some positions on issues involving the Catholic Church for which he had been criticized and that he was a public person who had put himself and his views “out there.”
Donohue estimated that from December 2011 to early this year he had received about 150 calls from LaFerriere, who identified himself in some of the calls. Donohue started taping the calls in March 2012 and also contacted New York City police, who thought it might be a hate crime and recommended a bodyguard. New York police opened an investigation and contacted Berlin police, who filed the complaints.
Donohue was asked if he had ever responded in any way to LaFrenierre and he said he hadn’t. He eventually taped 50 calls and submitted the 28 most serious to police.
The three calls on which the complaints are based, made on January 12, 26 and February 16 of this year, were played in the courtroom. The calls were full of obscenities, foul and coarse language, and were critical and condemning of pedophile priests and those who protect and support them. The caller said he would continue to speak about what had happened to him and make sure the priests involved were put in prison where they belonged. He also stated it was sure they would go to hell, where he hoped they would be raped by demons as he had been by the priest that assaulted him. There were no physical threats, however, and LaFerriere was not charged with criminal threatening.
Donohue confirmed in court that he has made statements saying he believes a teenage boy 15 to 17 years old has the ability to fend off sexual attacks by a priest and if he didn’t it was because it was a consensual homosexual act.
LaFerriere’s attorney Jay Duguay focused his cross- examination of Donohue on public statements he has made and how those comments might affect the state of mind of a victim like LaFerriere. Duguay said Donohue has called alleged victims “liars, dropouts, thieves and gold diggers looking for a pay day.”
Donohue argued that many of his criticisms referred to dishonest organizations that portrayed themselves as helping victims of priest abuse. He claimed he had never criticized the victims themselves.
“I will never defend the indefensible,” a quote he said he made in a 2002 New York Times article. “There are some bad priests,” he said, adding that there are also some victims who have lied about being abused by priests.
Considerable time was spent during the examination and cross-examination of Donohue on past reports and court cases and what Donohue was referring to when he made some of his most controversial statements.
Following Donohue, Berlin Police Prosecutor Daniel Buteau called Berlin Detective Wade Goulet to the stand and asked him what role he played in the investigation.
Goulet said he had written the supporting affidavit to apply for a search warrant for LaFarriere’s phone records.
Buteau tried to enter the call logs as an exhibit, but Duguay objected, saying they were hearsay. He said in order to enter them the state would either have to have the “keeper of the records,” the phone company, present to swear to their authenticity, or an affidavit from the keeper of the records. Duguay said Goulet could not certify they’re accurate.
After some back and forth on the issue, the judge asked to see both in his chambers. He then ruled the call logs were inadmissible.
Berlin Police Detective Luc Poulin testified when he heard the taped calls he recognized the voice as that of Frank LaFerriere.
Lt. Detective Richard Plourde, the lead detective on the case, said an officer on the New York City Hate Crimes Task Force first contacted him about the case. He was told a resident in New York City was receiving harassing and disturbing phone messages. Plourde said he spoke to Donohue and the New York police emailed him 28 phone messages, which he downloaded onto a CD.
On Feb. 21, he went to LaFerriere’s residence and asked him to come to the police station where he was interviewed by Plourde and Anderson Smart, a detective with the New York City police department.
Despite an objection from Duguay, Buteau was allowed to play some of the interview tape. On the tape, LaFerriere admitted he had made the calls. When asked why, he said it was because of the nasty, perverted things Donohue had said about victims of priest abuse, calling them liars, gold diggers and that they should just shut their mouths and go away.
“As someone who has gone through what I have, I should never have to hear these things,” he told the two officers.
LaFerriere said he had hid what had happened to him for 36 years and had tried to kill himself many times.
“I wanted him to know the pain I’ve gone through,” he said.
On the tape, LaFerriere was asked what stopped him from going to New York.
“I don’t want to get in trouble. I don’t know if I could control myself if I saw him,” he said.
LaFerriere was asked in the interview if he wanted Donohue dead.
“No, because that will stop his suffering,” he said. In one of his messages, LaFerriere said he hoped Donohue would get some horrible disease and suffer.
In the interview, LaFerriere said when he stated in one of the phone messages, “I’m coming for you, and all your pedophile priests,” he meant he was going to expose them all for what they had done.
When asked if he should have made those calls, he said, “maybe not, but I didn’t know any other way to react to him.”
Following the tape and later, in a motion to dismiss, Duguay argued that Donohue’s statements about victims were inflammatory and hurtful to people like LaFerriere.
He said the crux of the case is whether or not the calls and things said in the calls were constitutionally protected free speech. He said that hinged on whether or not the calls served a legitimate communicative purpose. Duguay said while LaFerriere’s language was offensive, it didn’t matter if it served that purpose.
To prove his point, Duguay dissected each of the three phone messages in the harassment charges against LaFerriere. Excluding the obscene and foul language, he argued that there was a message in each that LaFerriere was trying to get across.
In the first message, Duguay said LaFerriere accused Donohue of picking on gays and suggested he deal with the problem in the church. Duguay said LaFerriere was trying to point out the hypocrisy of Donohue’s position and suggesting he clean his own house first.
In the second message, LaFerriere accused Donohue of defending a cardinal for covering up in an abuse case involving priests. LaFerriere said Donohue thought all the victims were a bunch of liars and gold diggers. Duguay argued LaFerriere was trying to point out the affect Donohue’s statements had on him and others.
In the third message, LaFerriere told Donohue he was not afraid of him and would continue to speak up until they were all in prison.
Dugay said these all three messages had a legitimate communicative purpose.
He said the U.S. Supreme Court laid out what was meant by protected speech in the Westboro Baptist Church case, the church best known for picketing military funerals. The court had ruled that the issues on their posters were “speech on matters of public concern.” He said the issues around abuse by priests are likewise matters of public concern.
Duguay argued by making his statements, Donohue “opens himself up to reactions on issues of public concern. He puts himself in a position where he’s intentionally controversial, puts himself out there, puts his phone number out there. I don’t know if there’s anything more offensive than that, telling a 15-year old that he’s partly to blame for what happened to him and that he’s thus homosexual,” Duguay said.
Buteau said he didn’t think the Westboro case was relevant as it involved church members picketing, not making personal phone calls. He argued that LaFerriere’s purpose was solely to alarm.
Duguay countered that LaFerriere that he has the right to alarm if it’s for a legitimate purpose.
“He doesn’t have an unlimited right to alarm,” Buteau responded.
If Desjardins denies the motion to dismiss, the case will continue on Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. LaFerriere is expected to testify if that happens.
NOTE COMMENTS BY FRANK LAFERRIERE, PUBLISHER OF RAPE VICTIMS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:
One thing not included fully in this story is Donohue’s comment about how the Roman Catholic Church does not have a pedophile problem but a homosexuality problem. Mr Donohue states that if 81% of the victims are male and 100% of the victimizers are male, and if 78% of the victims are post-pubescent, the word in the English language is not pedophilia, it’s called homosexuality.”
I take offense at Mr Donohue stating this as he in a way is right, the RCC does not have a pedophile problem, but a child abuse, child rape, child torture problem. Seeing Mr Donohue enjoys semantics though, if the judge does not dismiss the charges, then I will educate not only Mr Donohue but others, through my testimony, exactly the problem with the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophile Pimps is.
Editorial: Asking abused priests a life-changing question
By Jul. 19, 2013|
In 2010, Fr. James Connell, then vice chancellor of the Milwaukee archdiocese, was publicly accused of complicity in protecting abusive priests. Connell was deeply stung by the accusation, which he denies. But rather than lash out at his accuser, abuse victim Peter Isely, he asked himself a question: “What if I had been a victim of sexual abuse by a priest?”
That question led him to a meeting and ultimately a friendship with Isely, as well as to an increasing activism on behalf of clergy abuse victims and in pursuit of the truth about the scandal.
Connell’s response is especially significant in light of the recent release of some 6,000 pages of documents relating to clerical sex abuse in the Milwaukee archdiocese and church officials’ response.
The documents disclose a distressingly familiar pattern: The archdiocese shuffled offending priests from parish to parish; increasing numbers of youngsters were abused; little was done to stem the abuse until it reached scandalous proportions and was made public; the Vatican was appallingly slow in acting on the charges when bishops finally were pushed to deal seriously with the problem. And at every point in the crisis, the hierarchy’s primary concern was protection of the clergy culture.
Each time there is another disclosure of documents — correspondence, transcripts of depositions, diocesan memos — the reality of an insular, secretive, Renaissance court culture aggressively protective of its clerical status and privilege becomes more apparent.
There are no ideological or national boundaries or characteristics that otherwise explain what is going on. From such darlings of the left as Archbishop Rembert Weakland and Cardinal Roger Mahony to stalwarts of the right such as Cardinal Bernard Law and the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, and across cultures, the unifying factor is the same. One wishes someone would find the appropriate wall in the Vatican on which to affix the sign: It’s the culture, stupid!
Connell’s question emerges from a familiar biblical imperative. Doing unto others what we would have them do unto us requires both knowing ourselves well enough to really want to know what the other thinks and feels. “What if I had been a victim of sexual abuse by a priest?” is a question that requires stepping outside of one’s experience, outside of the comforts and privileges of the culture, and risking understanding the devastating effects of being abused.
Asking that question changed Connell’s life.
The palace no longer can contain the secrets, and it seems that so much is tumbling out these days that the apparatus for denying the scandals can no longer keep up. The document release in Milwaukee and the arrest of a monsignor charged with trying to illegally bring into Italy 20 million euros on a private jet are but the latest evidence that the worst of clerical culture is flying apart.
Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki warned the faithful to “prepare to be shocked” at the content of the documents, that their very faith might be shaken. He pleaded that people understand the “evolution of thinking” on sexual abuse of children since the 1970s. “Church leaders and other professionals tried their best to deal with the issue given the knowledge available at the time,” he said.
Sadly, the only thing shocking at this point for anyone who’s been paying attention is that it has taken this long for the church in Milwaukee to release the truth of the matter and that the truth still remains hidden in so many other dioceses.
As for the frayed excuse that there was an evolution in thinking about sex abuse, please spare us. Of course there’s been development in understanding the deep disturbances that cause adults to sexually abuse children.
However, when prelates went to their lawyers before they went to the victims, when they agreed to pay millions for victim silence, when they lied by omission repeatedly in transferring priests without telling unaware pastors, congregations or even other bishops of the deep problems of the priests involved, one can only conclude that the bishops were engaged in a devolution of their understanding of the Gospel.
As Connell says, “When I was in high school [in the 1950s], we learned about statutory rape. We knew that for an adult to have sexual activities with a minor was against the law, and that didn’t change over time.”
It is time that more priests and bishops begin asking the questions that point beyond their own narrow interests and the culture they seek to protect. They should engage the victims who were abused and the community that has been repeatedly betrayed.
Shame on you for cheering the Pope
My letter to the Editor that appeared in the Berlin Daily Sun on Friday March 1, 2013