Maybe my witness of my love for Christ, so deep that I choose pleasing Him above all things, makes them feel safe.
Whatever the reason, I have been privy to their experiences at the hands of the diocesan kangaroo process.
What Fr. Corapi describes is right on the money.
The accuser does not have to meet any litmus test for 'credibility' of the accusation. In fact, their story can be impossible to have taken place, the priest can have witnesses and facts that vindicate him and they are still out of their ministries for over ten years.
During that time, the allegations are withheld from them and their attorneys. They are forbidden from defending themselves.
Their money is cut off so that hiring an attorney relies on getting somebody to do it pro bono.
What do you think the chances are of that?
They bankrupt you financially, morally and spiritually.
There are no rules of civil procedure. In fact, the accused does not have to testify under pains and penalties of perjury while the priests are forced to sign away their right to civilly recover damages for libel, slander and defamation of character. You cannot cross examine.
The diocese, at least here in Boston, provides the accuser with a coach.
You read that right. The archdiocese helps to coach the accuser.
I am not able to disclose at this point in time what I know about their kangaroo process but some day we're going to blow it out of the water.
You think you're disgusted with them now, just wait until you hear what they have been doing to innocent priests.
I've often said to them that we should put together a book of ten or twelve of their stories. Let it rip.
The overwhelming majority of them go through a period where they want to leave the priesthood. In fact, every one of them I know has gone through this period. Most of them will thankfully celebrate Mass privately every day as they are allowed to do and somehow hold on.
The rage and depression they experience is very, very intense.
Bishop Gracida captures the essence of my thoughts on Fr. Corapi's announcement.
Like Bishop Gracida, I understand Fr. Corapi's rage. I can't make a judgment about the merits of case but as he is professing his innocence, I understand his unwillingness to let the accuser and her enablers at the local Chancery rob him of serving Christ.
I am thrilled that the matter sounds like it is headed to civil court where evidence needs to be presented and examined, witnesses can be called and the accused has access to his civil and constitutional rights.
My colleagues at Boston Catholic Insider highlighted a story of one of the Boston priests abused by false accusers and Chancery enablers, Fr. Murphy, RIP.
The first time the Rev. Charles Murphy was cleared of accusations that he improperly touched a minor, a girl 25 years earlier, everyone who ever met him said they had never doubted his innocence.
It was 2006 and priests were all over the news for every awful reason, most of them deservedly so. But Father Murphy swore his innocence, the archdiocese ruled the allegations lacked substance, and the woman dropped her suit on the eve of trial.
When Murphy triumphantly returned to the pulpit of his sun-splashed church in South Weymouth, the applause could be heard across the South Shore. Father Charlie, as he was known, was back — back cracking cornball jokes from the altar, back as a fanatical hockey fan, back as the mad plow driver clearing the parking lot at the hint of snow. He was also back ministering in prisons and helping the deaf, a man of the cloth to his core.
“He was just the same guy as before the accusation, a bubbly guy, fun, a little bit of a jokester, but a diligent priest,’’ said Joe Corcoran, the developer who befriended Murphy decades earlier at St. Agatha in Milton.
Amid so much joy, it would have been impossible to imagine the turn that Murphy’s life would eventually take.
That turn came in April 2010, when lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who had lodged the first unfounded complaint, brought another. This one involved a man, not a woman. It went back 40 years rather than 25. It centered on accusations of fondling at the old Paragon Park in Hull and on a ski trip up north.
When the charges hit, Murphy canceled a long-planned party celebrating his 50th anniversary as a priest. He cleaned out his room in the church rectory and went to live with his brother. Two accusations in four years, he knew, did not look good.
But it didn’t matter to the prominent friends and everyday parishioners who refused to give up their faith. They hired a lawyer, who in turn brought in a private investigator, who discovered that the alleged victim was mired in financial problems, had a long list of liens placed against him, and faced massive credibility issues even within his own family.
It took nearly six months — about five months longer than it should have — before an archdiocesan review board cleared Murphy of the allegations in September and Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley restored him as a senior priest. But this time, there was no triumphant return to the pulpit. In fact, when Murphy reappeared at St. Francis Xavier in South Weymouth to say Mass, he couldn’t summon the strength to deliver a sermon.
“He would say to me, ‘I just can’t preach. I just don’t have it in me,’ ’’ said Jack Pender, his longtime confidant. “It was so frustrating for him.’’
His spirit was evaporating. His antidepression medicine kept him up at night. He moved to Regina Cleri, a North End residence for retired priests, where he continued his tortured descent.
Garabedian is a talented lawyer who has done vital work on behalf of hundreds of victims of abusive priests, but in terms of Murphy, what he did is a disgrace. Garabedian told me this week his Milton client was “credible.’’ He wasn’t. He lashed out at what he described as a “kangaroo court,’’ the respected, independent archdiocesan panel that cleared Murphy. He didn’t utter the only words worth hearing: I made a mistake.
They brought Murphy to a hospice in Haverhill a couple of weeks ago after doctors determined there was nothing left to be done. There was no cancer, no apparent physical disease, just a broken 77-year-old heart that refused to mend.
And that’s where he died Saturday evening, a wisp of the man he once was. Garabedian lost his compass on this case, and thousands of people all over Massachusetts lost a truly wonderful priest.
We are letting this happen to our priests.
Shame on us.