Sunday, December 1, 2002

My Toledo-area contact sends along this overview of the Situation there.

Apologists (for what? I don't know. I can't figure it out..but there's always someone out there who wants to defend the indefensible) like to point out that most of the abuse cases coming to light in the present actually occurred in the past, sometimes far into the past. Granted, although we all know that it usually takes abuse victims years - decades - to come forward, but be aware that there are cases of recent abuse coming to light, and even if the actual abuse happened, say - 10 years ago - the protection of the abuser by the hierarchy has continued, through policy after policy, right up to Dallas. Obviously - that's why there was the rash of priest-dismissals and disappearances over the summer. Because they'd been protected up to that point. This article makes clear, though, that attitudes hostile to victims are not in the past:

When SNAP founder Barbara Blaine, a Toledo native and abuse victim, was to appear Sept. 5 at the University of Toledo law school, the Rev. Thomas Quinn, diocesan communications director, told a Blade reporter: "Where do we place the bombs? And you can quote me on that."

Smooth, padre. Real smooth.

Many points in this article also bely the argument that bishops were acting on the best advice available. At least in the cases cited in this article, church authorities were warned by psychologists that these men posed a danger. They ignored them.

1986, a sex-disorder clinic director wrote a chilling note about Father James Rapp: Don’t leave this priest alone with children.For years, the 46-year-old priest of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales said he tried to stop molesting teenage boys, and for years, he couldn’t help himself, court records show.After he was caught abusing two boys in Jackson, Mich. - 75 miles north of Toledo - he was sent to a Maryland clinic in 1986.But the diagnosis of ephebophilia, a sexual attraction to adolescent boys, soon would be forgotten. And in early 1991, the priest’s Toledo superiors sent him to a remote parish in Oklahoma.In the following years, the cleric went on a sexual rampage, raping and molesting at least three more boys in a case that led to a lawsuit - and a settlement of $5 million, the second-largest ever paid to a victim of a priest.Lawyers for the victims laid much of the blame on his Toledo superiors for failing to follow the advice of the doctor they hired a decade earlier. The ex-priest, now 61, was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 1999.





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