Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal--Part B


The Catholic Church is not commonly thought of as a country or more accurately, a nation, but it is. In the too-balanced essay by Adam Liptak in the NYT for which I provided a link in Part 1, Liptak makes this point. But there is no better source to see so for yourself than the Holy See website:http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm. Some great reading, here--try the Canon Law: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_INDEX.HTM --amazing stuff. But let me digress.
The pic is from Bishop A. James "Bagman" Quinn's retirement mass. As I said this is one of the real Bad Lawyers. More than a mouthpiece--this is the guy who told a group of canon and civil lawyers how to destroy evidence of sex crimes by priests by shipping troubling information off to the Vatican ambassador. Great stuff. A disciplinary complaint filed by outraged Catholic lawyers present at the confab was dismissed without comment. I had the pleasure of deposing Bishop Quinn, and I asked him about the speech which prior to the deposition had only been "reported." Quinn did his best Bill-Clinton-kind-of-denyial--until I pulled out a tape recording of his actual remarks. A priceless moment!http://www.snapnetwork.org/news/vatican/Trail_leadsto_rome.htm
In this Midwest Canon Law Society speech, Quinn reassures the Catholic lawyers, on the eve of the scandal--don't worry, he told them, we've survived scandals in the past, then Quinn went on to relate a humorous anecdote about the Buffalo priest who murdered his housekeeper and dropped her body parts into Niagra Falls. What a joker!
You see, the Church gamed the system. It gamed the courts, it gamed the Judges, it gamed the cops. The Church baptised, educated, married, and buried so many of the persons and family members of the persons occupying positons of authority over you. While the Church paid a price for the sex crimes--it was scattershot, you see Quinn was right; they survived it. In many jurisdictions, like here in Your Home Town and in Your Home State--the Church paid next to nothing because the Church lobbies (there are great pics from some of these events circa, the sex abuse scandals of the 1990s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Mass), the judges, the lawyers, and the legislature to maintain strict adherence to unbelievably rigid statutes of limitations. The children of the parochial schools, now Irishname and Italianname Judges, held the line against rational exceptions to these time limits refusing in some cases to apply laws on the books that reasonably excused delays for mental and emotional disabilities caused by the sexually abusing priests.
Let's all go read the Canon Law, there will be no quiz. More to come.

1 comment:

  1. http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/78431087.html

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