Boston Bloggers are in the middle of sorting out more tips on what transpired under Bp. Kicanas but have responded substantively HERE.
There is a timeline and some pretty compelling "rebuttals" to Bp. Kicanas' 'response'.
As is often the case with things we start to peel back the layers, I am getting the feeling that the election of Bp. Kicanas means something bigger than the USCCB electing a Bishop who sees ordaining a drunkard with three documented allegations of sexual abuse in his seminary file, including one minor, as fair play.
If you go over and read the thread in Commonweal, it's pretty scary actually. It really drove home to me that the Catholics who sell sexual liberation theology are dangerous. They're dangerous in the pews, in our parishes and all the way up to the USCCB. The liberation theologists supported Paul Shanley et al and while I have been skeptical their disputations about sexual abuse of minors was more about an agenda to strike at the Body of Christ, this incident really confirmed it for me.
The Commonweal crowd is deleting factual information posted in their comments section, and worst of all now saying that the abuse of older 'minors' is some kind of excusable offense to protect Kicanas and the USCCB from being held accountable -- it is painful. I've clipped their most disturbing twists of factual information below.
Here we have a Bishop who had a conversation with a seminarian after a complaint came in about his drunken night in a barroom groping a minor in the pants. He reveals to the Bishop that he was an alcoholic and the drink causes him to lose control sexually. He admits, directly to the Bishop, that the problem has led to numerous sexual encounters. The vice rector of the seminary testifies that seminarian's file contains a Memo describing three instances of abuse, including one instance with a minor. Kicanas, who was the rector of the seminary concludes that it would be grossly unfair not to ordain him and he clears the seminarian for ordination. Says he thought the "activity" was something the seminarian would eventually work out of his immature sexual system. The Memo describing the abuse disappears from the file. After 23 more victims, he says there was nothing he would have done differently. This week, he issues a statement full of holes.
This is the most egregious thing I have ever read from a Bishop.
SNAP spent the day today protesting and asking the Bishops not to vote for Kicanas.
SNAP member and supporters distributed leaflets outside Holy Name Cathedral and urged church leaders to vote against Bishop Gerald Kicanas, a former Chicago priest who is now a Bishop in Tucson.
According to SNAP, Kicanas was the rector of Mundelein Seminary where convicted pedophile priest Daniel McCormack studied. The group says Kicanas knew of McCormack's sexual abuse and did nothing about it.
"We question why they would want to pick someone who has a history of covering up for a child molester and someone who failed to warn parents about his problems," said SNAP's Barbara Blaine
I'm standing by waiting for Grant Gallicho to write about the SNAP folk being ignorant people who aren't in control of the facts or abusing a 16 year old is different than abusing a 10 year old and wouldn't be a red flag McCormack was a pedophile.
This story about Mundelin and this story about a seminarian victimized at Mundelin (though not during Kicanas' tenure) has made me realize that I've really been underestimating our little problem.
Here in Boston, we'll often get information from priests who are afraid of what they call the 'lavender mafia'. The interesting thing is, it seems to me to be worse under Cardinal O'Malley's regime but maybe I am just hearing it over the last seven or so years. In any event,
This story for me is something I have prayerfully thought about over the last few days. I don't think I ever really understood what they meant by it.
The story is a hard one because the priest who abused the power of his position actually was very remorseful and had been living a celibate life. I suspect he was abused himself. I hope and pray he made it through the gauntlet. Read:
The alleged affair began in 1990 during the student's freshman year. At that time, the former seminarian said, Yakaitis served as his spiritual director, counselor and academic professor. In a letter released Monday, the former seminarian said he understood his communication with Yakaitis as his spiritual director to be confidential.
"In the course of my spiritual direction with Father Yakaitis, I divulged my confusion about my sexuality, my dawning realization that I am gay, and my struggle to learn how to integrate my sexual identity with my desire to be a priest," he wrote. "Father Yakaitis presented himself as a mentor and a friend, leading me to trust and confide in him."
But, the former seminarian said, late in the fall of his freshman year, Yakaitis abused his role and began using alcohol, coercion and blackmail to initiate a series of sexual encounters. Every time the student tried to end the relationship, he said, Yakaitis threatened to terminate his seminary career.
In November 1991, the seminarian confronted Yakaitis when another student confided that he, too, had sexual encounters with the priest, the former seminarian said. During that confrontation, the student said Yakaitis told him that he would inform his family and the archdiocese of the student's homosexual behavior and expel him from the seminary.
Frightened by that prospect, the student withdrew from the seminary and continued his studies at Loyola University, he said.
In summer 1993, the student sought admission to St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein to "conquer my pain by facing the abuse and reclaiming my desire to be a priest," he said.
During a series of meetings, he said he notified a number of administrators within the archdiocese about Yakaitis' behavior, including Rev. Gerald Kicanas, now bishop of Tucson, Ariz., and Rev. John Canary, then vicar for priests, now rector of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary.
In a memo, Kicanas, then rector of the Mundelein seminary, recommended that the victim take two years off "to explore these issues in therapy to resolve the justified anger that resulted from this significant breach of trust."
Kicanas did not return calls for comment Tuesday.
The use of the Sacrament of Confession to exploit this man's weaknesses is incredulous. I also could not help but wonder about the oddly placed refence to the Sacrament of Confession in his explanation of what he meant by the word "activity".
This is unadulterated evil and I am really beginning to wonder if Bp Kicanas is a poster boy for the cult.
Incidently, while Kicanas didnt return phone calls to journalists covering the sexcapades, call this a hunch, but me thinks Kicanas was very proactive about making a phone call to Fr. Owen at the National Catholic Register to get a wordsmythed booty-protecting FAQ into the Register.
I can’t quite grasp what you see as a problem. Kicanas appears to me to have addressed all of the concerns about his handling of McCormack, except perhaps for a 2nd or 3rd hand account of 3 “incidents” while M was at Mundelein. These incidents may have been the 3 allegations about a single incident in Mexico, or that incident plus two ‘experiments’ before Mundelein. K explicitly states “to our knowledge he never had any sexual activity with anyone during his four years at Mundelein”, which directly contradicts what has been represented as Cardinal George’s testimony....K considered these peer relations, and I am not sure there was a reason to question that.
When McCormack was an undergraduate (i.e. not under Kicanis’ supervision), he seemed to have had some boozy, consensual sex on a couple of occasions, as is wont to occur among college undergraduates,at least when I was in college. Presumably, both McCormack and his partner(s) were not minors...
That’s what I have to keep reminding myself — that there is more to their ministry than keeping perverts from children,...