People who are abused don't forget about it, just as they don't forget if they were burned in a fire or were involved in a tragic car accident. They may not remember the events leading up to the trauma, or they may be foggy on some of the details - but they don't forget that it happened.
There is physical pain involved that makes it impossible to "forget".
I've repeatedly said this but I will say it again: Nobody is denying the existence of a culture that swept child abuse under the carpet and there were children abused who were force-fed a code of silence who were afraid to come forward. No words can do justice to pain and outrage caused by it.
But my God, people have gone mad. In every conceivable way. They're making a cottage industry out of what happened 40 years ago.
Last week, another one of our priests (Fr. Charles Murphy) was taken out of commission when somebody, through all the hoopla of the last ten years, suddenly remembered that they too forgot to remember -- they were groped. The accuser has been oh-so concerned about children for the last 40 years, you see, and now, he's finally very happy that children are safe.
At least I think that's the story. Archdiocesan spokesperson Kelly Lynch referred to the accuser as a minor child.
“The Archdiocese of Boston received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor,’’ said Kelly Lynch, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese. “Upon receiving the allegation, the archdiocese immediately notified civil authorities of the accusation. Further, the archdiocese initiated an investigation into this matter. As a result of the allegation made, Father Murphy has voluntarily agreed to refrain from publicI'm guessing it's like Forest Gump?
Boy, was Garabedian ever lucky Forest came along because the last client he tried to nail this priest with couldn't communicate the allegation credibly enough:
Presuming the attorneys, police, prosecutors had the werewithall to hand his client a pencil and a piece of paper or a laptop computer, one has to come to the conclusion the story just didn't gel. It took Garabedian another ten years to scrounge up Forest - but oh happy day, the children are now safe.Garabedian said the alleged abuse occurred from 1970-71, when Murphy was at St. Agatha Parish in Milton. The victim said he was fondled in the bathroom of the church rectory as well as at an amusement park and on a ski trip, Garabedian said.“My client feels as though children are now safer as a result of Father Murphy being removed from
ministry,’’ Garabedian said in a phone interview yesterday.Garabedian said he has been watching Murphy for the past five years, ever since another client brought similar allegations against him. Garabedian said he was not able to bring a formal case against Murphy because the victim, who was speech- and hearing-impaired, faced a significant communication barrier.
Laity is just watching it all happen. When they're done with Catholic priests, they'll come for lay ministers so good luck to everyone sitting silent and the Red Sox.
Here's what every priest is now faced with:
Forty years later, he's got to find witnesses who remember the day Forest went to the bathroom and every move he made on some amusement or ski trip.Garabedian said the alleged abuse occurred from 1970-71, when Murphy was at St. Agatha Parish in Milton. The victim said he was fondled in the bathroom of the church rectory as well as at an amusement park and on a ski trip, Garabedian said.“My client feels as though children are now safer as a result of Father Murphy being removed from
ministry,’’ Garabedian said in a phone interview yesterday.
Here in Boston, Barbara Thorpe and a group of wizards are sitting around the "pastoral center" at the edge of their seat just waiting for people who find their coffers empty to suddenly remember they were patted on on the fanny standing in line at the House of Mirrors by Father so and so.
Canonically, a priest is not supposed to be "removed" unless the allegation is "credible". Yet, all anyone has to do is say so and the priest is whooshed out with his vocation ruined in perpetuity. He isn't given ten cents to make a phone call to a lawyer, much less given any resources to defend himself or get even the bare bones minimum of due process.
After years of hoards of people examining records and exhausting the claim of every drunk, druggie and mentally imbalanced sociopath in town who came with a story in exchange for a fist full of cash , Thorpe and her crew found themselves tapping their pencils on their desks and playing tiddlywinks. But lo and behold, just as their name was about to be added to the short list of lay-offs as the cash is drying up in the diocese, the announcement came that the diocese has hired Plymouth County prosecutor Mark Dumbledore to create a list of "credibly accused".
Since the names of accused has already been publish numerous times in the public square, certain questions have been asked about what they could possibly be doing hiring a prosecutor and placing him inside of the Chancery. Come to find out, the Chancellor, Jim McDonough, Fr. J. Bryan Hehir, and the Vicar General of the diocese has decided to set up a kangaroo court for dead priests and announce the guilt of the dead priest after their trial takes place in the Chancery. Though the priest may have evidence to exonerate himself relative to being accused of riding in the Tea Cups 40 years ago and fondling a child and he'll not be there to furnish Dumbledore with that evidence, he will be convicted in these kangaroo proceedings and his reputation posthumous will be stamped pedophile.
Of course civil law prevents prosecutors from carrying out investigations and making announcements about guilt or innocence after the statue of limitations has run. Laws set limitations on prosecutors because there is no way the accused can round up people to remember he wasn't there on that trip to the potty forty years ago. Memories can't go back 40 years and remember seemingly uneventful details.
People who aren't priests could get a judge to stop a prosecutor from using his law license in the ways described above. Maybe even priests could get a judge to stop a prosecutor from using his license to practice law in the ways above. A dead priest can't though, can he. We'll be seeing in the American Bar Association will put the skids on it - so stay tuned.
Meanwhile, as some intellectually superior Person in the Flesh once said, priests would be wise to travel in pairs.
Imagine your employer hiring a prosecutor after you are dead to make an announcement in the public square that you were a pedophile?
Here's a story 2006 story on Fr. Murphy that ran in the National Catholic Register. Read it and weep. Get down on your knees tomorrow, the Catholic feast of Divine Mercy and beg for our priests and our world.
One more thing before I get off this soap box. A reader sent me this piece from Inside Catholic written by Marjorie Campbell entitled "Is it time to rethink Confession for Minors".
Is it me or did rationally thinking people become an endangered species just about the time the H1N1 hysteria started coming out of every piehole? Did I miss a Memo that hairbrained ideas are now contagious?
Maybe, just maybe, instead of thinking the priest was trying to give a boost to his libido, perhaps he was concerned she was being abused and was asking to make sure he didn't have a child abuse situation on his hands.
Must we give a podium to the hysterical? Don't we have enough on our plates with the secular press making every priest out to be a lurking pedophile and the Pope the pimp?
No. No, it is not time to think about abolishing the Sacrament of Penance for minor children. It's not time to hop on the bandwagon of interchanging the words Catholic priest and pedophile.
It's time to get off that bus.