Friday, November 2, 2012


SNAP fights for victims

To all those concerned about all our kids,

With yet another sexual misconduct charge levied against a local cleric, O’Dea High School Principal, we need to ask some serious questions of those who are ultimately responsible.
If only it were that simple!

It’s difficult to ask questions when the first lines of defense presented by the Catholic Archdiocese is to claim ignorance of the activity, claim the “victim” is mistaken, blame the “victim”, dodge and weave behind every legal machination richly paid attorneys’ can think of, discount the damage by the passage of time, attack those who stand up for the victims.

The latest news stories about O’Dea High School included all the above ingredients. 

If nothing else the church is predictable on how they wrap their arms around themselves.
They hope there are still enough people, press included, that will give them the benefit of the doubt, each and every time, in spite of the avalanche of historic evidence.
They continually seek the forgiveness they seem unable to offer their victims for exposing them.

1.     Why doesn’t the Bishop step forward and speak to these charges?
He’s the Shepherd of his flock and responsible for everything that happens to kids under his authority.

2.     Why does he have a “spokes-person?”
Is he so busy with other important functions? Functions so vital that he delegates dealing with child abuse to a paid shill who looks for cover, any cover.
The Bishop’s little man didn’t stand up for kids when he spun a tale to the press. He blamed the bankruptcy court, which is overseeing the Christian Brothers bankruptcy, due to excessive abuse settlements and charges, for forbidding the Bishop to do his job.

3.     Yes! It’s the courts fault that no parents, students, neighbors, faculty, clerics knew of the pending actions against the school principal.
If it’s the courts fault for putting kids at risk is the Holy Apostolic Catholic Church going to raise heaven and hell condemning the court for its tunnel vision and dedication to money above all other values?
Not on your life!

4.     Why does the church insist on “confidentiality agreements etc.” whenever they settle a case?
If there were an institution that should be transparent you’d think it would be them!
Nope! Those agreements keep parents in the dark to the lurking dangers their kids may face at their school, club and in the very church itself.  
At this moment such an agreement allows a priest to oversee a school after a “settled” case of sexual harassment brought to court by fellow clerics. What is the actual story? Who knows? It’s wrapped in a secret settlement agreement.
Would you want your kids to go to that school?

5.     Maybe a bigger question is, “Why are parents still putting their faith in an institution that has shown no faith in them?”
This latest case at O’Dea will not be the end of this ongoing series of revelations, as much as the Archdiocese hopes and “prays” everyone will just move on…

N.B. The following email from an associate who once worked for the Seattle Archdiocese touches on the anger out there.

"...        1) The O’Dea guy had previous charges against him yet the Christian Brothers made him principal  - with the approval of the Archbishop
2)      the other priest, you mention, had a history of accusations of child endangerment (at the LEAST) which the Chancery ignored.

These things make the hierarchy COMPLICIT. We should be calling for an indictment against the Archbishop.

I mean, cut to the chase. The Archbishop was in charge. Charges were made which were ignored. The clergymen were permitted to stay on the job. No laws would have been broken by the Chancery had the accused been IMMEDIATELY removed and put on leave until the issues were resolved. Instead they hid it and the accused were allowed to remain in place, thereby continuing to endanger children. The hierarchy was complicit and should be indicted! (Precedent has now been established!) ..."

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