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Catholic bishop is convicted in USA of failing to report child abuse.

(24 Posts)
Greatnan Sun 09-Sep-12 06:55:27

His sentence? Two years' probation - suspended. That'll teach him!
(Reported in today's Catholic Herald).

Bags Sun 09-Sep-12 07:49:52

Appalling. His diocese should be heavily fined, at least. "The Church" will change nothing of their outrageous behaviour and self-protecting rules until it costs them money.

vampirequeen Sun 09-Sep-12 08:05:00

Typical. In Ireland the police were complicite in help the Church to hide what was happening. The US prosecute but what was the point?

NfkDumpling Sun 09-Sep-12 08:18:03

Oh, but he's a priest so he must be a nice person who does everything for the best possible reasons - plus he has God on his side so it wouldn't do to upset him too much.

Lilygran Sun 09-Sep-12 08:23:25

You can blame the bishop for not reporting it but you cannot blame him for the sentence he received.

Bags Sun 09-Sep-12 09:02:23

I don't think anyone has blamed the priest for the sentence, but the sentence is unjust to the victim(s) of the crime. That's an issue for the legislature, obviously. Doesn't make the crime any better that the sentence is lenient.

Lilygran Sun 09-Sep-12 09:30:56

I thought there was a certain confusion of blame there. I don't know what the sentence is normally in whatever state of the Union for not reporting a crime or whether the bishop got an unusually lenient sentence.

Bags Sun 09-Sep-12 09:54:50

Here is the Catholic Herald article about the case. The article mentions a maximum sentence of a fine and a year's imprisonment. Why don't the courts apply the maximum sentences? I'm asking because I don't know but also because I'm wondering if it might not discourage further offences. I don't think the fine sounds like enough for not reporting damage to a child in your diocese by one of your priests.

Lilygran Sun 09-Sep-12 10:04:48

It sounds as though it was just a standard sentence for failing to report (and for a first offence, maybe). As a UK national not much I can do about but it sounds as though the US campaigners have cause for action.

absentgrana Sun 09-Sep-12 11:12:08

"He was sorry for the hurt the events have caused" – not, please note, for his own wrongdoing and law breaking or for the harm done to the children, some of whom might not have been harmed if he had acted sooner. A politician's apology if ever there was one.

Grannybug Sun 09-Sep-12 11:42:12

How do people priests included live with themselves knowing they have fialedcto protect children from long-lasting and serious harm? We see it in all sections of society where the whistleblowers get punished in a variety off ways for taking stand and reporting wrongdoing. In my uncomplicated thought process knowing that abuse is happening and not taking action makes you as guilty as the perpetrator but the courts don't see it that way obviously. Such a lenient sentence must be incomprehensible to the victims as their sentence will never end.
What a sad world it seems to be at times.

Nonu Sun 09-Sep-12 11:48:37

It is isn"t it ? Grannybug sad

soop Sun 09-Sep-12 14:40:12

absent What he should have said is ...'I'm sorry to have been found out...' at least that would have been an honest response. Loathsome creature! angry

vampirequeen Sun 09-Sep-12 17:37:57

Not only did he fail to protect the children but he covered up for and therefore protected the perpertrator.

soop Sun 09-Sep-12 17:55:09

And he calls himself...a man of God!

Bags Sun 09-Sep-12 18:58:08

Well, by all acounts in the Old Testament, Jehovah is not a very nice god. Set a bad example really.

Bags Sun 09-Sep-12 18:59:06

I don't really mean 'all'. Figure of speech. Substitute 'plenty' if you prefer.

soop Mon 10-Sep-12 13:30:49

Bags smile

vampirequeen Mon 10-Sep-12 13:36:10

I think the OT was more accurate about the nature of God.

Greatnan Mon 10-Sep-12 18:42:50

Sometimes I feel sorry for catholics. It must be hard to try to defend the totally indefensible - not just the sexual abuse but the continuing cover up and the failure to make proper reparations.

vampirequeen Mon 10-Sep-12 21:54:45

I still class myself has RC but the Church has lost it's way. The institution has become more important than the message. The new liturgy has made it less accessible with it's return to a more Latin based text. The hardliners are making it clear that the doubters are not welcome. A priest told me he'd rather have a handful of Catholics who believed totally and followed the Church without question than a church full of Catholics who asked questions. He said there was no room for questions in the laity...they should simply be obedient as the clergy and the Pope had the understanding to make the decisions.

I know another priest who deliberately called his cat Mohammed as an insult to the Prophet and the religion.

MiceElf Mon 10-Sep-12 22:37:49

Great Nan, I don't think many lay Catholics would defend the indefensible. All abuse, all cover ups are deeply and profoundly wicked. It would appear that the situation in Ireland is much worse than in many other countries but that is a consequence of the disordered relationship between the church and the state after centuries of English oppression. In England there are now powerful Child Protection measures in place in every parish and although it is impossible to totally safeguard every child everywhere the structures are now in place to make children as safe as possible.

I'm afraid that not only in the church but in many other powerful organisations cover ups happen. I'm thinking of the case of the baseball coach in America and there are many others.

Abuse is always wrong no matter who the perpetrator is. And so are cover ups.

MiceElf Mon 10-Sep-12 22:39:14

VQ I think you need to find another parish ASAP!

vampirequeen Tue 11-Sep-12 10:17:06

These priests were not only in two different parishes but two different cities. It seems to be diocese policy.