Having been a blogger for close to ten years, I've heard many stories about sexual abuse and abuse of power. And, I've heard these stories from both legitimate sexual abuse victims and priests who have been falsely accused and exonerated.
The fact is, the Bishops made a policy that tells us what we already know. They really don't care whether an allegation is true or false, they are fundraisers and everything they do is focused on protecting the money. When Catholic were willing to take money and cover up their children's abuse for the sake of saving Father's reputation - and the faithful played along - it was focused on the keeping people in the pews giving them money.
Now that the pendulum has swung the other way, the Bishops created another policy, the "Dallas Charter", which again, has nothing to do with meritorious allegations, justice, truth or protecting children. It removes priests without affording them the opportunity to exonerate themselves. Even when the accuser is found to be lying, the priest is removed permanently because the Bishops are basically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually castrated... fundraisers. There are a couple of handfuls of exceptions to this of course -- and we have many Bishops who are sitting on the bench underneath the castrated fundraisers -- but the situation is what it is. Let us acknowledge it.
When somebody comes to you with allegations of sexual abuse or a priest comes to you with allegations he has been falsely accused and abused by the diocese, you respond by asking questions.
You ask what happened, when, where, what time. You ask if for details that you can corroborate - people who saw, heard, were around at the time.
Sometimes, they will tell you Father abused them on a trip to New York but it will turn out that Father did not go on the trip to New York, or Father wasn't even a priest in the parish at the time.
Other times, you find out the accuser has also accused their father, brother, cousin, uncle, grocery store clerk, mailman and John F. Kennedy and all of the details come together with the realization that the accuser is a mentally ill person, drug addict with a gripe against the Church who in desperate need of cash and attention.
Still, there are other times when the accuser doesnt' want to answer questions or even tell their story - they just say Father had sex with them and they demand you accept that statement and find the accused guilty.
I am in the habit of using the brain God gave me. I don't take anyone's statement on face value. I do the diligence. If people don't want me to do diligence, that is suspect to me. You know that routine? If you don't immediately condemn the accused without facts or a real victim, you are a pedophile protector or hurting the invisible victim or you are demonic.
If people start throwing around intellectual or spiritual malarkey accompanied by histrionics and emotional tantrums, instead of giving me the the facts and witnesses, that has the stink of a deceiver and manipulator.
When allegations about Fr. Euteneuer first began to surface, I proceeded with caution but my instincts were not good. Of course, there was never anything in Fr. Euteneuer's presentation to lead me to suspect he was anything but a deeply faithful and orthodox priest who understood and even used the gifts of his ordination to practice in the mystical world. But, all the experiences we had in the aftermath of his disappearance began to have a shocking context. Rational and faithful Catholics, people I respect, who had historically supported and admired Fr. Euteneuer, looked gaunt and scandalized.
When Fr. Euteneuer and his Bishop realized the charade that he was being persecuted for his orthodoxy was finally up and they put together a public statement admitting sexual abuse during the ritual of Exorcism, the despicable statement they called 'an apology' validated his spiritually manipulative nature.
Each case has to be discerned and played out. The accused has rights that we are handling with gross negligence.
Listen, people. This is getting beyond ridiculous.
It is at the point now where people are demanding when they produce a picture of Father on a bad hair day or with a tan - and circulate it through the internet -- it is evidence he is the son of beelzebub.
We have not served our priests well in this witch hunt atmosphere.
Stand up and fight.
Be a man.
Be a handmaiden of our Lord and His Church.
We don't have any facts about Fr. Corapi's accuser and her allegations. When and if we do, you'll need to have your brain handy and you'll need to check your emotions at the door of discernment.
The accused have to have a process. We have a duty to see that falsely accused are exonerated and returned to ministry. They are crying out for justice and our response has been abysmal.
We've got to pony up.
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.