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Daily Archives: 2012/05/21
♬ “Kíll the priest! ♬ Kíll the priest! ♬ Kíll the chí-ld ráp-ing priest!” ♬ (Meet the cheerleader) A HSH Special
♬ “Kill the priest! ♬ Kill the priest!” ♬ … That’s the raucus, thunderous chant that an accused priest entering his prison cell-block for the first time might hear. That was the foot-stomping, cage-rattling greeting which Father Gordon MacRae heard. He said that it continued on into the night, that it was maddening (here and about). I bet it was maddening, and also character building. Our Lord said something about being slandered in the beatitudes, and there is, by the way, beatitude in the beatitudes (here: Yikes!). I am reminded of Saint Bernadette. She was also mocked, even while many in her family were dying in their poverty:
Excuse my French! I’ll rarely tolerate bad language. Sometimes it’s necessary to prove a point. For instance, the present Rector of the Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes over in France (where I was a chaplain for two years) gathered the hundreds of workers of the shrines to tell them about Saint Bernadette, emphasizing her name around town back in the day. He related — fully five times during his speech — that she was called, as only the French can manage, La Petite Merdeuse (“The Little Shit”). She and her family lived in an abandoned jail cell whose only window opened on to a mountain of manure, which was also enclosed. It was dark and dank and stank to high heaven. They were “the shit family” and the little saint was called “The Little Shit” by everyone in town. That’s what she suffered. I don’t mind saying it. Her being mocked, as well as Father MacRae being mocked, will come up at the last judgment.
As HSH readers know, I’ve come to know Father MacRae. This new friendship has brought me into a whole new universe that I had little idea existed. The whole drama of our Lord’s life is being played out in priests like himself. Just like it was so very easy for cowards to mock Saint Bernadette, for she was such an easy target, being so poor and helpless, it is, in the same way, just so very easy for people to slander the likes of a Father Gordon J. MacRae, for he is such an easy target, not having, yet, a chance to truly defend himself. During his first trial, it seems his defense attorney was actually working for the prosecution. In all such mockery, both Saint Bernadette and Father MacRae developed a refined sense of terribly incisive irony, not of bitterness, but of holy mirth. Way cool, that!
In this post, I would like to draw your attention to one coward in particular, not because he’s so different from so many other cowards, but because this coward I’m going to speak about has a great deal of influence, both in the United States, in the Holy See, and now, indeed, around the world. Father MacRae is supposedly unknown to him, but it turns out that that doesn’t matter. He insists on the guilt of Father MacRae and of all other accused priests no matter what, regardless of the facts. Interested? Good!
So, let’s meet the cheerleader of the chant: ♬ “Kíll the priest! ♬ Kíll the priest! ♬ Kíll the chí-ld ráp-ing priest!” ♬ Meet Monsignor Stephen J. Rossetti, one time president and director of the Saint Luke Institute (shudder) and – how to say it? — a one time paper-giver at the 2012 Pontifical Gregorian University Abuse Symposium (in preparation for the preparation of guidelines of the Holy See on how to treat abuse cases right around the world, coming up in another year or two).
In this post, we’ll take a look at:
- An email exchange never before publicized in its fullness between Monsignor Rossetti and journalist Ryan MacDonald.
- Some passages from Monsignor Rossetti’s paper at the 2012 Abuse Symposium in Rome.
* * *
Here is the email exchange, in full, between Father Stephen J. Rossetti and Ryan MacDonald, not long after Father Rossetti resigned his position as President and Director of Saint Luke Institute and began teaching at the Catholic University of America. Previously, Father Gordon J. MacRae, the subject of this email exchange (About), had published just a few sentences of this exchange on this post on These Stone Walls. Both he and Ryan have just now given me permission to cite this exchange in full, using names, saying also that there was no stricture of Father Rossetti forbidding the use of his name. As a courtesy, I edited out the email addresses. Please excuse my occasional emphases and [comments].
RYAN MACDONALD TO FATHER ROSSETTI
May 13 (1 day ago) 
Dear Father Rossetti,
I have been searching for an e-mail address for you, and was recently fortunate to find one at the CUA website. I also was recently privileged to read your acceptance speech for the NFPC 2010 Touchstone Award. I printed a copy and mailed it to a priest in prison, Father Gordon MacRae, who happens to be the reason I wanted to get in touch with you. Father Gordon MacRae has been in prison in New Hampshire for the last 16 years. He is serving a sentence of 67 years after three times refusing a “plea deal” offer to serve only one to three years if he would admit guilt. I and others have conducted substantial research in the MacRae case and have come to the conclusion that he is in fact innocent of the claims that sent him to prison. I have written three essays on this matter. All three can be found at http://www.TheseStoneWalls.com under “Case History” [HERE] and “A Priest’s Story.” [HERE] I hope you will find time to read these.
What troubles me and others most about this case is one nagging factor: there is no one person who trampled upon this priest’s civil and canonical rights more than your successor at Saint Luke Institute, Father Edward Arsenault. A number of people have worked very hard to prevent the Vatican from unilaterally laicizing Father MacRae before new evidence can be presented in a court of law. At each step of the way, Father Arsenault has undermined and sabotaged this effort. It troubles us greatly that he is now in a position to trample upon the rights of priests on a wider scale. [If you haven't read about the conflict of interest of Father Arsenault -- which could involve hundreds of millions of dollars and untold numbers of innocent priests unjustly thrown out of priestly ministry, read it before continuing HERE.]
I know there is nothing you can do about this situation, but if there are others I should bring this to, please let me know.
Ryan Anthony MacDonald
FATHER ROSSETTI TO RYAN MACDONALD
On Fri, May 14, 2010 at 10:16 AM, Rossetti, Stephen J. wrote:
Dear Mr. MacDonald,
Thank you for your kind note. I am not personally familiar with Fr MacRae’s situation. [!] I just glanced at the Boston Globe article: here [And the Boston Globe, owned by The New York Times, is not at all prejudiced on the matter, and of course presents both sides, right?]
I understand he was accused of sexually abusing several boys. I presume since he is serving time in prison, that he was convicted in a court of law by a jury of his peers based on the evidence presented to them. [Good guess!] Although we all know that the legal system is far from perfect. However, if you have information that indicates that he was not given a fair trial, I would strongly urge you to present that information to the legal system in New Hampshire. [... and what about to the Church? What about to the attorney of Father MacRae? Note that there was no mention at all of Ryan's articles.]
I am not sure what the Diocese of Manchester had to do with the actual trial which convicted Fr MacRae. ["actual trial" -- so, this comment means nothing, skooting around all other issues of heavy Diocesan involvement. The diocese knew that there were severe failures in the judicial system, and also knew of his innocence. Really. Read about it in this important article published today, 21 May, 2012, by Ryan MacDonald, HERE.] Nevertheless, if you are unhappy with Fr Arsenault [condescending=angry language about "happiness". Blech!], then I encourage you to contact him directly. I know he would be happy [ ] to be in contact with you. I think that is better than speaking about him to others. [This isn't about gossip. This is about hard facts.] I have personally found him willing to listen. ["to listen", nice! See further below.] Here is his address: [***]@sli.org
I wish you well and send along prayers.
Msgr Steve Rossetti
RYAN MACDONALD TO FATHER ROSSETTI
From: Ryan MacDonald
Sent: Fri 5/14/2010 7:04 PM To: Rossetti, Stephen J. Subject: Re: 2010 Touchstone Award
Thank you for your kind and generous response, though it does not alleviate my concerns about Fr. Arsenault’s current position. To balance the Boston Globe’s take on this matter, I recommend that you also read a two part analysis by Dorothy Rabinowitz for The Wall St. Journal (“A Priest’s Story,” April 27/28, 2005, located at http://www.OpinionJournal.com [now a broken link], or www.TheseStoneWalls.com , and click on “A Priest’s Story.” [HERE]
In regard to the demeanor of the Diocese of Manchester at this man’s trial, I am aware that Diocesan officials, while knowing Fr. MacRae was mounting a defense, issued a press release before jury selection in his trial declaring that not only was he guilty, but that he also has victimized the Catholic Church. The Diocesan press release was cited by several jurors as instrumental in their decision despite the lack of any evidence in the case. [again: HERE. Could this be seen as aiding and abetting any possible criminal stacking of the jury by the Judge, whose reported miscarriages of justice in this trial seem to be without end? I don't know. It would be an interesting criminal investigation.]
I made a number of overtures to Fr. Arsenault, and to other officials of the Diocese of Manchester, but without response. [ surprise! ] I am aware that Fr. MacRae has presented certain questions to Fr. Arsenault between 2003 and the time Fr. Arsenault departed for his job at St. Luke’s. Fr. Arsenault has not responded to anything. [ surprise! ]
Thank you again for your reply.
Ryan A. MacDonald
FATHER ROSSETTI TO RYAN MACDONALD [COPY TO MSGR ED ARSENAULT]
———- Forwarded message ———- From: Rossetti, Stephen J. Date: Fri, May 14, 2010 at 10:04 PM Subject: RE: 2010 Touchstone Award To: Ryan MacDonald Cc: [Edward Arsenault]
Dear Mr MacDonald,
I spoke to Fr Arsenault and he is very willing to be in touch with you. Feel free to use his email address. As a good reporter, you know it is important to hear both sides before making judgments. [The problem is that when many overtures are made and there is no response, further inquiries can be seen as harassment by a court of law. Perhaps if Father Arsenault would like to respond to the inquires already made, it would be most appreciated. We want him to be happy, after all.]
I do not know Fr MacRae at all. [ ... but that sure isn't going to stop Father Rossetti from condemning Fr MacRae "at all"... ] I offer the following as someone who has personally worked with hundreds of priests who have been accused: false accusations are rare; they do happen and more so since all the publicity on this issue, nevertheless they remain rare and usually don’t hold together under closer examination. [So: rare, but those fall apart, with what hardly seems to be more than a theoretical possibility that there was ever a false accusation.] When there are several alleged victims, the chances of all of them being false, while possible, is even rarer. [So, basically, never.] What is challenging to Church officials and clinicians working with offenders, is the layers of denials and rationalizations, which the offenders often believe themselves and desperately try to convince others of. [Rationalizations would not be good; rationalizations combined with denials would not be good; but no rationalizations but rather flat denials are an entire different matter, as is Father Gordon's case. That is not even a possibility for Father Rossetti. That's very sad. And that has consequences. If someone is innocent and won't admit guilt (because they are innocent), it doesn't mean they are "desperate"... ] Often, they are successful with some. Priests offenders can be intelligent and particularly convincing and thus have fooled more than a few clinicians and bishops..hence many of the problems. So, caution is needed whenever working with these cases. [Caution. Great! But why not make room for a flat denial? Let it be known that false convictions can be 17% to 50%: See the documentation David F. Pierre, Jr., "Catholic Priests Falsely Accused. The Facts, The Fraud, The Stories. Also, did you notice how your good buddies in the Manchester diocese in some cases didn't even care to know of allegations to begin with, but just paid the settlement, sometimes in just a few days? Surely the priest is guilty according to you. I ask you: do you even know if there were allegations to begin with? No? Really? You're kidding, right? Are you purposely misrepresenting the situation? I mean, that's so unhelpful to a possible true victim who might commit suicide, but that's not known because no one cares among your friends in Manchester. ]
Nevertheless, I want to make it clear that I know nothing about Fr MacRae or his case [despite all the articles both you, Father Rossetti, and Ryan linked to above, nor after discussions with a key player in Father MacRae's case], nor is it any of my business. [Wow! What! A! Great. One. Time. Director. Of. Saint. Luke. Institute! Father Rossetti, tell us, how many people applied to be President/Director of Saint Luke Institute upon your departure? Was it really just a matter of passing the reigns to the Bishop MacCormack protégé and your good buddy Father Arsenault? I seem to recall that the very first two people in your acknowledgments for your book "The Joy of Priesthood" were (1) Bishop MacCormack and (2) Father Arsenault. Do you really mean to say that Father Arsenault's conflicts of interest are of no interest to you or anyone else? Do you really think that he is the best suited to be your successor? ] I leave it to the legal system to make judgments about guilt or innocence. [ Even if that legal system was legally inept? Really? Thanks for the interest in justice. That's what was said by all who looked upon Jesus, right? He was convicted by Pilot; therefore, He's guilty! Crucify Him! Crucify Him! And then, about Father MacRae: ♬ "Kíll the priest! ♬ Kíll the priest! ♬ Kíll the chí-ld ráp-ing priest!" ♬ ]
blessings and well wishes, Msgr. Steve Rossetti PhD DMin
* * *
Finally, we need to take a look at Father Rossetti’s paper he delivered to the Abuse Symposium over in Rome. The Holy See will be examining the papers of the February 2012 Pontifical Gregorian University Symposium on Sexual Abuse, along with all the policies of all the Episcopal Conferences world-wide. My understanding is that the Symposium, unbenounced to the organizers and participants, is to let any dissidents hang themselves with their own words. It can then be said that the Holy See listened to the all opinions of key players, and only then made it’s decision. So, don’t be scandalized. This is what was done with the Humanae vitae Commssion back in the day.
I fully realize that my comments will not be appreciated by many. So? I’m not in the habit of making dissidents feel nice. Wasn’t it Bishop Morlino who recently said that we don’t need wimpishness in the Church? We need those who will witness to the truth as an act of charity, however hard it is for those who are the target audience of this witness to receive it.
What I’m doing here is not wading into mere scholarly controversy, but rather looking to Christ Jesus and the morality and doctrine of the Church. The comments here need to be made for the sake of falsely accused priests and to stop a bullying culture in the American Church, a culture which ultimately encourages abuse to continue. We want abuse to stop, don’t we? I only pick out some bits from this paper which are more directly concerned with grouping all accused priests under the monolithic judgment of guilty, regardless of the facts. So:
* * *
Learning From Our Mistakes:
Responding Effectively to Child Sexual Abusers
by Rev. Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti PhD DMin
Responding effectively to allegations of child sexual abuse is complex and difficult. [O.K. Let’s get to work!]
There is a complicated web of competing demands- pastoral, legal, clinical, and public relations [Why should any of these be competing, unless there is injustice afoot?] which can confuse, confound and even paralyze. [Really? I’m not intimidated, nor will I be bullied into any of these things by psychological manipulation. So, let’s get to work!] It is publicly well known that, at times, in our responding, we have failed [I think he is obliged, in justice, to list the contents of “we” and “failed”, obliged perhaps both in canon and secular law. Perhaps he doesn’t include himself].
We have done so partly because we have not fully understood this crime and its pathology. [That is, perhaps, historically accurate, on the part of bishops and others. Not sure if he’s including himself yet.] Systemic features [psychological? societal? legal? ecclesiastical? what? It would be helpful to enumerate these. Does he include "treatment", like with the rape of priests at Saint Luke Institute with the penile plethysmograph?] likewise have impeded a rapid and open response. But there are clear signs of progress and hope. While these cases do not make the newspapers, in recent years many Church leaders have responded well. An increasing number of bishops from several countries have intervened decisively and effectively when allegations of child sexual abuse have surfaced. [What he means by this involves injustice to priests, as will be seen. I contend that injustice to anyone by way of policy is a sure sign that injustice will willingly be done to other (including youngsters in this case) for any self-serving reason whatsoever. Such infidelity is how the abuse crisis came about in the first place. Injustice is how it will continue. ]
At this moment, the Catholic Church stands at an important juncture. Catholic leaders on several continents have been going through the same decades-long, painful learning process. Does each country around the world have to go through this same agonizing process? The Church now knows the essential elements of an effective child-safe program.[Perhaps he’s speaking about the homosexualized VIRTUS program, whose team presented three papers at this Symposium, more than all other presenters, and the only presentations offered by those responsible for a child protection program. His words – “The Church now knows...” imply a blind, uncritical acceptance of the program he has in mind. That’s an opinion, not a statement of fact. For why I say that VIRTUS is homosexualized and a program from hell: HERE. Note that both Father Rossetti and Father Arsenault were key players in everything to do with VIRTUS. One might also note that Saint Luke Institute has long been criticized for its homosexualized program. ] We ought to implement them today, around the world, hence the importance of this symposium. [Now there is a chorus, including Father Arsenault and Bishop MacCormack: ♬ "Kíll the priest! ♬ Kíll the priest! ♬ Kíll the chí-ld ráp-ing priest!" ♬ -- even if there are those involved who quietly admit the innocence of the likes of Father Gordon MacRae. ]
If the Catholic Church were proactively to implement and strongly enforce such a worldwide child-safe program, it would become what it is called to be: an international leader in promoting the safety and welfare of children. [Oooo. A guilt trip for the Church should the Church not implement his program. The Church, in his opinion, has never been “an international leader in promoting the safety and welfare of children.” Perhaps he’s never read the Gospels. Perhaps he doesn’t mean to be blasphemous.]
An important part of this program must include swiftly and effectively dealing with those who abuse. [This is true!] I would like to outline six kinds of mistakes that Church leaders have sometimes made when working with priest-offenders. Then I will suggest some remedies which have been shown to be effective. [I hope these will be helpful. Let’s get to work!]
1. Not Listening to Victims: Being Manipulated by Offenders. [So, twofold...] As we have so eloquently heard in the first session, listening to victims must be our first priority. [But for him, as we’ll find out, this laudatory “first priority” cancels and even negates other priorities which shouldn’t have been considered to be inimical.] Because the accused offenders have sometimes been our own priests, the Bishops and their vicars naturally have focused their attention on those accused. [This “naturally” bit is a cynical attack on the very hierarchical constitution of the Church, wrongly claiming that it is because of that very structure instituted by Christ Jesus Himself that unjust preference will necessarily be given to clergy by their bishops and their vicars.] The Church’s organizational structure is skewed [perverted?] in this direction and thus our handling of allegations has likewise been skewed. As one American Bishop said, “Our mistake was that we forgot that the victims are part of our flock too.” [And that’s the fault of Christ’s way on establishing the Church? The American Bishop’s “mistake” seems to be grave sin, making that particular shepherd into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. But that doesn’t mean the Church and her Founder are evil. Really. And, oh, by the way, Father Rossetti, did you follow up on those links above? Did you notice how in the settlements of the all-priests-are-automatically-guilty frenze, that sometimes even the very allegations didn't make it to the table, so that no one even knew what an alledged victim was going through? You call that listening, do you? Those youngsters might have committed suicide, but it wouldn't matter, since what it is important is just getting the money out. Remember the links to the conflict of interest with your buddy, Father Arsenault?]
Unfortunately, when we focus on perpetrators and not on victims, there are devastating consequences. [But again, dealing with both in all justice does not mean injustice for the one or the other or both. Be just to everyone. Don't just stuff cash down the throats of accusers. They'll just vomit in face and then perhaps commit suicide. Right? ] Perpetrators almost universally minimize, rationalize, project blame and deny the truth about their crimes. [That may be true about perpetrators, but what about those who are innocent. What if they say that they have not perpetrated such crimes?] It is difficult for them to face the truth about their behavior; a behavior which Pope Benedict, on several occasions, has rightly called, “filth.” [Yep. I was there the first time the Holy Father said this, actually, just before his election, when he led the Via Crucis at the Colloseum. But this emoting of yours, Father Rossetti, won't cancel the injustice to priests that you so desperately promote. ]
First of all, they [actual perpetrators] often lie about their behavior when confronted. [I wouldn’t doubt that for a second.] In the past, Bishops or their vicars typically have called accused priests into their offices. The Bishop then asks the priest if the allegation is true. And, not uncommonly, the perpetrator will lie. Sadly, the Bishop is often taken in by the man’s deception. [This is the unfortunate fault of the individual bishop, not of the Church.] For those of you who have experienced confronting alcoholics or drug addicts, the patterns of denial by the perpetrators of child sexual abuse are similar, if not more intense. [In case you missed it, this is the rationalization to dispense with the rights of the priest who is accused, who is to be presumed innocent until he is proven guilty, both in secular and ecclesiastical law. This doesn’t mean that measures cannot be taken to control the situation. What it means – let me repeat it! – the priest is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. ]
There are false allegations to be sure. [But in practice, he will deny this.] It is critical that we do all that we can to restore a priest’s good name once it is determined that the allegations are false. [But for him, as we will see, this cannot possibly happen, ever, not even once.] But decades of experience tell us that the vast majority of allegations, over 95 percent, are founded. [This is contested down to the point of 70% and, in Los Angeles, down to as much as 50% being unfounded. Blanket settlements, sometimes with no process of investigation whatsoever, guaranteeing lack of justice, were and are commonplace. There may be hundreds of innocent priest’s throats that have been slit with the sword of mass media expediency and the lure of possibly saving money with litigated claims. But even if we take Father Rossetti's mere 5% of false allegations, does that meant that one in every twenty priests who is innocent is to have his throat slit, be thrown out of the priesthood, for the sake of saving a bit of money in litigation? ] There is little benefit [between 1.5 and 2.5 billion dollars in settlements so far...], and much to be lost, for a person to come forward and to allege that he or she was sexually molested by a priest. It takes courage to do so and a willingness to suffer blame and ridicule. [This is what? A lie? -- "little benefit" ?! Mark my words: This is, right here, right now, the manifestation of a coverup of severe wrongdoing: see The Judas Crisis post.]
There are many kinds of minimizing and rationalizing behaviors typically used by offenders. Psychologists call these defense mechanisms. Perpetrators try to convince Church leaders, and themselves, that this was a “one off” event; or that it only happened because he had “too much to drink” or that “it won’t happen again.” An offender might say that all this is past; he has gone to confession and it is over. Or, he will blame the victim, saying that the child was “coming on to him,” trying to seduce him. [All this would, of course, be evil in the extreme.]
These are attempts by the perpetrator at getting Church leaders to let it go and say that it is over….but it is not over. And if one victim surfaces, it is likely that there are more.i [His footnote “ i ” follows:] i In a 2011 unpublished study by Saint Luke Institute of 91 priests who have sexually molested minors, only 14% or 13 offenders reported having only one victim. 47% reported having five victims or more. The modal number of victims for this sample was four. [I’m sure that would be right.]
Most church leaders are not trained  to investigate and  respond to allegations of child sexual abuse. [(1) The are trained to call the police and see to it that the priest has a canon lawyer and civil attorney from the get go; (2) they are trained to take appropriate measures already available in canon law until professional investigations are complete] In the past they have tried to deal with these complex cases personally and “discreetly,” sometimes with poor results. [Sad that. Should could and should have done what I delineated in (1) and (2) immediately above.] The aid of experienced legal [Also for the priest, if that’s not what he meant. Such a statement is taken as legal counsel being needed for the diocese (with no consideration for the priest).] and clinical professionals is needed. [Wrong. Remember: we are not talking about admitted perpetrators at this point. In this paragraph we’re talking about a priest who’s just this second had an allegation made against him. He is not be put in a position of proving that he’s innocent by being sent off to Father Rossetti's "treatment" center, which has been all the fad, but, really, is arbitrary, as one cannot logically prove one is innocent outside of proving that there was no theoretical possibility for the alleged abuse to have occurred. Right?]
But even mental health professionals can be conned by the rationalizations and denials of perpetrators. [And there are some mental health professionals who don’t think that there’s much wrong with such behavior, right?] Many times bishops relied upon professionals who might have had good credentials in general, but knew little about working with the sexual abusers of children. [Good point.] This is why at the facility where I ministered and where we evaluated hundreds of offenders, we used teams of professionals each with many years of experience in the field. A perpetrator might be able to manipulate one person, but rarely an entire, experienced team. [I see. This is an advertisement for Saint Luke from the very beginning of 1993, when he started working there, until October 2009, when he went off to teach. There are horror stories in the early years of Saint Luke Institute routinely using the penile plethysmography (which cannot effectively be utilized without pornographic media. This is rape of one’s fellow priests, is it not? I mean, I don’t know the legal terminology for this, and maybe secular law would say that the priest-client was “consensual”. I think it’s rape, regardless of the priest-client’s guilt or innocence. If he’s innocent, it’s especially heinous, shockingly brutal. Zero conscience. Zilch. Monstrous. I think that any priest or bishop who had anything whatsoever to do with such things, even once, or who used the results in reviews of cases, even once, by way of policy, should be removed from ministry and "laicized" and excommunicated. Has it stopped? I would like to see the perpetrators publically confess their crimes. Then we might trust that it stopped. Ain't gonna believe it stopped till heads roll. ]
Listening to offenders and being taken in by their manipulations and rationalizations has caused some church leaders to err in their response. [But, wait for it...] When the Church listens first to victims, as Pope Benedict repeatedly has done, we learn the truth. [This is offensive. The Holy Father never said to ignore the rights of priests to defend themselves against false accusations. Respecting the rights of all never hurts anyone. That statement is a really a slap in the face of the Holy Father. Shame on you, Father Rossetti. ] From victims, we learn about the real pain caused. From them, we learn about the perpetrators’ seductions and manipulations. From victims, we learn that the events are far from over and that what is needed now is strong and decisive action. [If they are victims, and not frauds out for money. That’s the question, isn’t it? With no due process, a licence is given to all to kill priests and get paid for it. (And many priests are killed in prison: ♬ "Kíll the priest! ♬ Kíll the priest! ♬ Kíll the chí-ld ráp-ing priest!" ♬ ). To deny due process is to be complicit in the possible murder of possibly innocent priests. This is the Caiaphas principle: “Don’t you know that it is better for some innocent priests to die than to have our condescension challenged?” -- Stop raping these priests. Stop having them wrongly convicted. Stop putting them at risk of being murdered. This is no plea for mercy. This is a plea for justice.]
Recommendation 1a: A Victims First policy. Every investigation should begin with listening to the victim. The victim, not the perpetrator, ought to be the first focus of the Church’s attention. [Justice for both. That’s the only way. If you can be unjust to one, by policy, you will not be just to the other, ever. The quickest way to have abuse overlooked is to train bishops to be unjust to anyone. Really. That’s the way it works. That's how it started. That's how it continues.]
Recommendation 1b: Church leaders should not handle these cases by themselves. They ought to have a panel of child sexual abuse experts in criminal investigation, law enforcement, canon law and mental health to investigate and advise the Bishop. [Good, as long as forced psychosexual examinations of any kind are not part of this horror whereby the priest has to prove he is innocent. That’s impossible and that’s why such a policy is not found in any law system, secular or ecclesiastic.]
[Now, let’s skip ahead in the talk a few pages:]
The perpetrators of child sexual abuse have committed a heinous crime. However, the current trends toward ostracizing and demonizing perpetrators is not only unchristian, it actually increases their likelihood of re-offending. It might feel cathartic to focus the whole of one’s hatred and disgust toward the abusers of minors and to force them to live in perpetual shame and banishment. But this societal self-indulgence is likely to reinforce the underlying dynamics of shame and victimization which propels many abusers to abuse in the first place. This is one area where our Christian values can be of particular help in the current climate. We hate the sin, but we love the sinner. We despise what molesters have done, but we try to rehabilitate offenders, making them productive members of our society whenever possible. We dare to call them our brothers, sinners like ourselves. To do so is Christian. To do so is not only in their best interests, it is also in the best interests of our children. When perpetrators are assisted in living good lives, children are safer. [Good, but I just wouldn’t want this guy having anything to do with assisting anyone in living a good life. But hold that thought about demonization...]
[Now, let’s skip right to the end of the talk:]
It is time to proactively and aggressively root out this evil from our society. [Good! But let’s make sure not to demonize anyone, even guilty perpetrators, since exaggeration only brings more exaggeration, right? But, wait for it...] You and I must begin this task by exorcising it from our own midst. It has been with us for centuries and continues to this day. Child molesters must know that they have no safe sanctuary in our Church. [So, he’s demonized priests. Of course no one is to have free reign to abuse. But equating a sin with Satan is to condemn perpetrators to hell as being beyond the reach of God's mercy, for Satan cannot repent, can he? But even child molesters are to know that they are not beyond the reach of God’s mercy. We’re talking about eternity here. There is no sin which is more powerful than God’s mercy. Otherwise, one could be more powerful than God. Isn’t that what Satan thinks? ]
[Skipping a few paragraphs, we finally arrive at the concluding bits...]
Our calling is to become the voice of millions of abused children. [Don’t count on your doing that, Father Rossetti. There’s someone who has been included in your blanket rejecting of all accused priest, namely, Father Gordon MacRae. I think that he is being called to fulfill that vocation of being a hero for abused children, for he, being innocent, has suffered in solidarity with them. One day that will be recognized. He's had false allegatins brought against him by those who would captialize on the real sufferings of real victims. ] We must stand in the corner of those who are hurt and suffering. [Those who have truly been abused would not appreciate someone condescendingly being their voice. And what about that PPG also mentioned in the John Jay study many times. Do you think victims would appreciate that being done to falsely accused priests? ] One day victims of child sexual abuse will look upon us, not as their foe, but as their advocates and their friends. [I hope I’m disabusing you of your self-congratulatory delusions of grandeur with this post, Father Rossetti. Think of it as a courteous service of mine just for you. ] That day is not yet fully here [nor will it ever be for you if you continue in this fashion ] and so we are not yet fully the Church we are called to be. [Let me give you a hint, Father Rossetti, the Church, the Immaculate Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, doesn’t need your machinations to rejoice in the goodness and kindness of Jesus. Really. Not. -- Just. Wow.]
[For the entire paper (*pdf) on the USCCB website: here.]
♬ “Kíll the priest! ♬ Kíll the priest!
♬ Kíll the chí-ld ráp-ing priest!” ♬
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on lawsuits filed today against the Obama administration. At issue is the constitutionality of the Health and Human Services edict seeking to force Catholic non-profits to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptive services and sterilization in their insurance plans:
This is a great day for those who believe in religious liberty. Suing the Obama administration for seeking to trash the First Amendment rights of Catholics are 43 Catholic dioceses and institutions from all over the nation.
Among those filing suit are: the Archdiocese of New York; the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.; the Archdiocese of St. Louis; the Diocese of Rockville Centre; the Diocese of Dallas; the Diocese of Fort Worth; the Diocese of Pittsburgh; the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend; the Michigan Catholic Conference (which represents all seven dioceses in the state); Catholic University of America; Franciscan University of Steubenville; and the University of Notre Dame. Entities ranging from retirement homes to publishing houses joined the lawsuits.
There will be more. And depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules next month on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, this may just be the beginning.
Catholics are sending an unmistakable sign to President Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, et al. that we will not be obedient. We will not do as we are told. Instead, we will do what is just. The Catholic rebellion has begun.