Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Covering up sex abuse

Perhaps it has come to your attention that Republican Senator Rick Santorum has blamed Massachusetts "liberalism" for the sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church because Boston was, as he claimed, "the epicenter". Of course he has been confronted about the fact that the abuse was widespread and was in no way limited to Boston. Rather than apologize for his bigoted slander of an entire city, Santorum defended his original assessment because that was all he knew at the time. Forget the issues of liberalism and conservatism. A true gentleman of any persuasion would apologize for having ignorantly engaged in slander.

Well, it certainly wasn't all in Boston. Here's an article about what happened in Toledo, Ohio - hardly a bastion of east coast liberalism. The article is from the New York Times and is entitled, "Paper: Police Helped Hide Abuse Claims". Here's how it gets started:

Police helped the Catholic Diocese of Toledo cover up sex abuse allegations for several decades, refusing to investigate or arrest priests suspected of molesting children, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The (Toledo) Blade, relying on interviews with former officers and a review of court and diocese records, found at least five instances since the 1950s of police covering up allegations of abuse.

Four former officers said Police Chief Anthony Bosch, a Catholic who headed the Toledo department from 1956 to 1970, established an unwritten rule that priests could not be arrested.

''You would have been fired,'' said Gene Fodor, who served on the force between 1960 and 1981.

In some cases that resulted in charges, authorities blocked the release of files to the public. In others, priests were transferred to different churches or sent away for treatment.

The Rev. Robert Lamantia, who oversaw the transfer of a priest who was suspected of abusing a boy, said church officials knew police would not investigate.

''It doesn't look good today, but it wasn't part of our policy that this was considered to be a crime against youth and it had to be handled by police,'' Lamantia said.

Police told the newspaper much has changed since the sexual abuse crisis began unfolding in 2002 and insisted that priests suspected of crimes no longer receive special favors.

The diocese refused to discuss its relationship with law enforcement in the past, saying to talk about it now would only hurt abuse victims.

You know, I can't believe the Church even tried to offer an excuse like that. It's clear they weren't the slightest bit concerned about the victims until the scandal was exposed. Of course, the role of the police is simply beyond outrageous.

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