Victory for Suit Against Pedophile Priests

Attorney Can Publish Records of Certain Predator Franciscans

By Nick Welsh

April 10, 2009 / The Santa Barbara Independent

Tim Hale, the attorney representing 25 victims of child abuse at the hands of Franciscan friars, won a key procedural victory last week that mandated the release of confidential files of five past and present priests acknowledged to be pedophiles. Although the release of these documents was part of the $28 million settlement agreement reached between Hale and the Franciscans in 2006, the order and the pedophile priests have since appealed. Hale fully expects the recent ruling to be appealed as well. If it stands, it will allow him — as agent of the plaintiffs — to publish the psychiatric files, employment records, and expulsion records of the priests accused of molestation. Hale argued that releasing this information will help the public to protect itself. Attorneys for the Franciscans, however, noted that the most recent case of alleged abuse took place 17 years ago and no new ones have come to light. In addition, they argued that if confidential records between priests and their therapists are made public, fewer problem priests will seek the treatment they need.


priests abusing children

one wonders if catholic church hierarchy is really concerned about well being of children or just making a quick fix the lesat expensive way possible-- no matter the almighty creator is the one they will have to anwer to mmk

Speaking of 'quick fixes'....

The more I read about the abuses endured by children in orphanages/children's homes (run by The Church), the more I think the clergy has used all sorts of stories to create all sorts of "quick fixes" within their parish-communities.  For instance, just as priests once told unwed mothers they were (morally) unfit to parent, how many "bad behaviors" in children have been blamed on the first-parents, (as opposed to the offending clergy/charity workers within their religious affiliated institutions)?  How many priests/clergy have taken it upon themselves to punish others because of placed blame, shame and guilt and how many times have people been shunned because of the things priests and other so-called pious people have said about those not present to defend their own deeds and actions?  I shudder to think just how many priests and highly respected members of the church have forsaken the needs of vulnerable children simply because certain names and reputations (in high-places) had to be respected and protected. 

After reading the Magdalene Laundries, (and seeing the movie, The Magdalene Sisters, and linking it all to my own personal story), I am very glad I left the Catholic Church many years ago.  After all, in my mind, there are some sexual acts, lies and sins that cannot be forgotten or forgiven, not matter how close to God I may or may not be.  

Abuse of power

The Church, as in the Roman Catholic Church, although having registered many charitable organizations, has of course always been a political apparatus of some establishment. After all the Roman Catholic Church is the continuation of the Roman Empire and as a result always has had more to do with earthly power than the well-being of its believers.

Not only the Church as a whole, but also its representatives have for years had a position of power in their communities. Priests were considered educated people, which not so long ago was relatively rare. Yet the education of priests has very little to do with knowledge. Afterall, much of their education is focused upon learning a canonical belief system, which in my eyes has more to do with indoctrination than with education. Yet despite having effectively learned a lot about nothing, priests and other members of the clergy, used their learnedness as an instrument of power.

We all know that power corrupts. It can be seen in politics, business as well as in religion and especially in relgious affairs the effect is very direct. Politicians and business people may pay for sexual favours. They may even pay money to use and abuse children, but its the clergy that always has had direct access to children, especially vulnerable children. So it's no wonder abuse by the clergy has become so wide spread.

As much as I blame the church for the abuse of children and the cover-up attempts made, I also blame the various governments for allowing The Church to manifest itself as a charitable organization and for licensing them for doing social work. If adults want to go to a building every week to listen to a man behind a table, that's their freedom of religion, but condoning such organizations to actively participate in social work is an open invitation to use and abuse the power of religion over a vulnerable group in society.

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