28 February, 2012

Sometimes people can speak the truth even when they don't realize it! Here's great example.

Here is a comment offered today from a regular on 'Sylvia's Site' in response to her publication of a victim's impact statement registered as part of a civil action taken against a Diocese based upon an allegation made after the clerics death. He notes in the middle of the document a point in which I doubt he understands just how right he is. First, here's the comment:

"It is mind boggling!…it goes on and on and on… Every time I think we all have a part of us that is secretly wishing for the abuse to stop or to finally discover this is all in the past…wishing, hoping, praying!…whatever maintains our sanity in the face of this Evil!…
Sadly upon reading this legal document, I am left wondering how many copies could be made with just a few changes to the names…for all the victims of this clergy abuse, this institutional sacrilege…
Conservatively?…disturbingly ….a wild guess….100,000…300,000…750,000…copies!
…worldwide, over 50-100-200 years…longer!…
It just makes me feel very numb, dizzy…
The church is morally bankrupt to continue with the present approach! This is one that time will not heal…with history! You don’t come out at 60,70,80 years old to make this stuff up…Sadly, it is real and here!…and we have to deal with it with or without the “churches” cooperation. This is now very obvious!
Victims need to continue coming forward in order to get out of this “snake and ladder” game the church is playing.Curling-up in a corner, forgetting, shutting-up…is not an option. I agree Mike Mc,… HOW MANY?"
jg..  (bold emphasis added)

JG is perhaps unaware just how accurately he is portraying the Church's dilemma with his reference that this statement could be copied many times over in describing the events and impact of being a childhood victim of a sexual assault. Indeed there is a great pool of such public documents available should anyone decide to seek financial gain by commencing such a legal action against a deceased cleric - who clearly could not mount any sort of a defense. By simply changing some names and a few details, a person can weave together a convincing fabrication designed to reap an ill gotten gain. And there is almost no one who could prove that they are lying unless they slip up in their story, thus requiring the Church to use legal counsel and adversarial tactics to protect its resources.

JG says that no one would bring such an allegation into the public square decades after the fact. Yet is such an assumption valid? I think not. I would ask him (if Sylvia permitted me to post on her site - something she denies people who do not support her agenda) if he believed that people commit fraud for financial gain - especially if they see the deck stacked in their favor? Why would a such a presumption of culpability and an inability to mount a defense not be abused by such criminals for financial profit? 

Unfortunately there are 100's of thousands who have been convicted of just such fraudulent acts world wide, and over the past century or so. (These are the parameters of the pool set for counting criminal clerics... It's only fair to use the same size net for lay criminals as well.) It is absolutely evident that there are many who would take advantage of this situation.

So, JG, since you are free to post comments here, what do you say? What sustains your assumption of innocence and right intent for people who make allegations against dead clerics other than a prejudiced bias against the Church that blinds you from seeing the truth of your words? Jesus said it best when he cautioned us to 'remove the plank from our own eye before trying to take the splinter out of your neighbors'. Sites like Sylvia's are virtual lumber yards of hypocrisy these days!

36 comments:

  1. Perhaps there is another reason people come forward years later after the priest is dead. When my parents complained to Bishop Brendan O'Brien about the priest who had molested my brother during the 1960s and 1970s nothing was done about it. The Bishop, who promised to get back to my parents, never did. So, perhaps, other victims were treated the same way and then, years later, after much therapy, were ready to come forward on their own as adults. In some cases the priest was dead. The priest in the Pembroke diocese who molested my brother is now dead too. But someone knew, someone who kept it quiet, someone who swept it under the rug and hoped that the complaint would 'go away' because of misguided loyalty to the greater good of the Roman Catholic Church. Someone who wanted to rise up to a higher position of power in the church. Someone who is just as guilty as the priest who molested the child! Remember when the Blessed Virgin appeared to the children? One of the things she said was that the devil would infiltrate the Church at it's highest levels. Many of us believe this is happening now. Why else would these predator priests be protected by the Church? What other reason? I know it hits the Church hard when it looks like they could lose MONEY because that is what has become more important to the Church than our children...MONEY. How sad is that? To this lifetime cradle Catholic, this doesn't sound like the same religion that Jesus Christ himself started when he was on Earth.
    I've even read on this blog where a priest has posted that a Catholic School trustee 'married outside the church'. In the view of the Catholic Church, is this a greater sin than an adult priest sexually exploiting a child? How screwed up do you have to be to think that someone marrying outside the church hurts the church more than the multitude of priests who have molested children?

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    1. Great post, anonymous ! You speak truth the people in power do not want to hear.
      It is obvious the Diocese of Pembroke knew about Fr. Miller for at least 10 years, but did not go to the police about it. Now it will hurt them where they feel it- in the purse !
      Someone has started a campaign called My 2-cents Worth- giving JUST 2 cents each Sunday in an envelope, marked My 2 cents worth. It is gathering steam, and when enough do that, the Bishops will get the message we will not tolerate the cover-ups.

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    2. Lynne: You are making an assumption that may or may not be accurate. Fr. Miller has been living at Lourdes and functioning as Chaplain for the Grey Sisters since he left Petawawa 10+ years ago. At that time, it was said that this was occurring because he had suffered a severe burn-out/breakdown after function as pastor in three of the most demanding parishes in the Diocese for over 20 years. There is nothing that says that the Diocese possessed any information that should have been reported to the Police! Given that the Diocese forwarded information regarding Borne and Prince to the Police that led to their convictions by the Bishops of the time (Smith & Mulhall), why would they have failed to forward this information along at the same time?

      As a priest of the Diocese, I can tell you that the news came as a major shock to me. It's easy to see that it was just as shocking for the Diocese.

      There is no evidence or proof of any sort of cover-up unless you want to conclude that every time a priest is removed from parish ministry for whatever the stated reason is in fact a deliberate lie meant to deceive. I don't believe that to be true. Time will tell which of us is correct!

      Fr. Tim

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    3. Whatever one might think about those in authority, even taking the $ amount as an example, does one really think that all after that has gone down involving millions and millions of dollars being given in settlements, do you think any bishop in his right mind would sit on any such case and cover it up?

      One can be very certain, with good reason, that if any priest 'passes gas' crossways, they would be immediately removed from their parish and reported to the authorities. That is the new climate we live in, and rightly so!

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    4. With respect to the 'two cents' campaign, people are free to do as they see fit. Some practical realities: only 10% of Sunday, Christmas and Easter collections are sent to the Chancery to assist in the costs of governing the diocese. The two cents campaign actually hurts the parish. When money gets lower, which I doubt will happen, the pastor starts to cut. No choice. AA, NA who use our premises and who need heat and light are shown the door; other charitable projects are scrapped and the buildings get let go and in disrepair. If that's what you want, fine. Each priest and staff member is paid first. Taken to its extreme, which I don't believe will ever happen, parishes that are not supported will be closed. We probably have too many anyway. Priests will be moved to other places. So what really gets accomplished here? I understand the frustration but there are other more effective strategies.

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    5. Fr. Tim
      It is interesting you mention only 2 of the 4 Bishops who held office during Fr. Miller's time in the Diocese. The efforts to diminish time periods is also interesting.
      If you include the time of the first Bishop Smith, then Bishop Windle, you have the time frames of Bourne and Prince as well. Then a pattern appears.
      When the next Priest of the Diocese is exposed, will there be a different Bishop involved? I am told the same Bishop will be still there

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    6. Lynne: You don't make a great deal of sense! First, I mentioned the last two Bishops because it was under their leadership that things began to be brought to the Police - at least in the cases I referenced. I never met +Smith the 1st and +Windle was only a puppet to Msgr. Barry & Borne who actually ran the Diocese.

      What pattern emerges is the narrative that I have been offering here (and formerly on Sylvia's Site) that it was +Smith2 and +Mulhall who took steps to bring these allegations to the Police! These investigations have not dropped out the sky! They have been ongoing for years before charges were laid as a result of their bringing the police into the picture long ago. The Diocese has cooperated completely and fully with the authorities.

      I also ask you to read the actual news release from +Mulhall regarding the Miller case. It starts with an expression of support for the victims, pledges to continue to work with the civil authorities so that they might find the justice that has been denied them in the past, and then concludes by asking all Catholics in the Diocese to support and pray for these victims. That's it. No statement of support of Fr. Miller but a simple statement of support for his alleged victims.

      Pray tell: What more would you expect the Bishop to do? 1) Priest is removed from public ministry. 2) Police were brought in to investigate. 3) Once they determined that there were grounds for charges, the matter was made known to the public with a complete focus upon the needs of any victims.

      Believe me... it sucks to be a priest of the Diocese these days when the malfeasance and crimes of priests are being revealed. The only thing that gives us reason to hold our head up in the midst of these revelations has been the manner in which recent Bishops have acted.

      Fr. Tim

      (BTW: I don't reference +O'Brien in these remarks as I don't know if he was made aware of any of these allegations. MJ Barry & R. Borne were in charge for his entire reign here and I doubt that they would have made known any thing that they had previously tried to bury! But all of my dealings with him would lead me to believe that he would have acted in the same proper manner as his successors have done.)

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    7. Fr. Moyle: You mention that Bishop Windle was only a puppet for Msgrs Barry and Bourne ? How could this be true . They were not the Bishop, Raymond Joseph Windle was. The other two were long-suspected gays hiding out in the Priesthood. How could they possibly control the Bishop?
      This really puzzles me, and I am sure, othere.

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    8. Lynne: If you knew the personalities involved, you would not be puzzled. +Windle was the single holiest and gentle man I've ever known. He was incredibly soft spoken and generous in his assumptions as to everyone's good intentions.

      MJB was one of the most dominant and controlling people I've ever met. With RB as his assistant, they completely ran and dominated the Bishop by controlling who he saw (all appointments for priests and laity to see the Bishop went through them) what he said, (MJB wrote correspondences etc. on his behalf which he then signed) and what he knew (all mail etc. went through the MJB/RB filter). I lived at the Cathedral for 3 years. Believe me, I watched an incredibly efficient effort a la that British comedy, 'Yes, Minister'. The bureaucracy (all two of them) ran the man!!

      Fr. Tim

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    9. Father Moyle: If the above is true, then it is knowledge that should be given to the Police. Instead of innocent people being suspected, let the truth be known. For God's sake, get this to the police.You say you have gone to them before- go again!

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    10. Lynne: You are having trouble seeing what I am saying. Let me put it this way: the Diocese has already released the information dealing with living priests to the Police already. What +Smith found, he sent to the Police. I was the one who represented the Bishop at that meeting. What +Mulhall has found, he sent to the Police. The information aided in the Borne investigation and since I take the Bishop at his word, the same is most likely true vis a vis Miller's investigation.

      For God's sake... they went to the Police. Do you think these Police investigations just dropped whole cloth from the sky? That after decades of not one single case in the Diocese, suddenly three appeared popped into existence? What more do you want? Sackcloth and ashes?

      Fr. Tim

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    11. Father, I thought it was such that victims made the complaints against Prince, then Borne , and now Miller. No where does it say either by the Bishop or the Police that the information first came from the Bishop. It could be I have missed something- but----
      You and I both know that Fr. Miller was not pulled out of Petawawa because of ill health. That was more than 10 years ago. What other Priest of the Diocese was on a paid holiday for almost 12 years ? That is enough from me- I am sick of the whole lot.

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    12. Lynne: Off the top of my head I can think of at least five priests who were put on to 'paid holiday' since I've been ordained: Stan Flynn, Norbert Cybulski, Richard Bertrand, Len Sammon and Dan Miller.

      You and I KNOW nothing about why Fr. Miller left Petawawa. We might think we know something from the various rumors, gossip and innuendo that masquerades as knowledge but the fact is that we do not know what transpired.

      The very fact that you neglected these other priests who were/are on disability pensions is proof positive that you do not know what you think you know. The fact that in the absence of knowledge you are willing to believe the worst gossip and interpretation about Fr. Miller speaks volumes about you but says nothing at all factual about him.

      Fr. Tim

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    13. Father, were any of the 5 aged 55 at the time, and did their sick-leave last 12 years? What age was Fr. Flynn at the time?

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    14. The manner in which an executive chooses to run his/her administration is not something illegal. Many corporations have executives (particularly those who are nearing retirement) who have surrogates who complete the normal day to day affairs of the office. It is the responsibility of the executive to set the parameters of this governance in clear and direct terms.

      That being said, when we enter into particularly sensitive, serious and criminal matters, the obligation for all is the same: action must be taken and authorities must be called in. Sadly, the old guard, across many fronts (schools, Boys Scouts etc), did not handle things like that. We are paying the price for that now. Very sad.

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    15. Lynne: Fr. Cybulski was in his mid 50's. He's been off for over 15 years now and counting. Fr. Flynn was in his 40's and stayed out of parish ministry until his death in his 70's. Fr. Sammon was in his 60's (he was involved in a car accident in which a child was killed - he never recovered and spent the rest of his years on disability, Fr. Bertrand is the same age as me so he started his disability when he was 47 yrs old and is currently 53 years of age. I have no idea if or when he will be back to work. In all likelihood, he will remain on disability until he turns 65 and draws his pension.

      While it is true that there is a shortage of priests, it is also true that there have been a number of priests who collapsed under the weight and stress of the ministry. The Diocese is responsible for the welfare of these men even though they are not working. Like all of us, they paid the premiums on their insurance plans so they are entitled to the benefits.

      If they are found to have committed crimes, they lose their pension benefits and these days (at least in our Diocese) they are expelled from the priesthood.

      Fr. Tim

      P.S. Let me add as well regarding who went to the Police first: it depended upon the case! In two cases that Smith was made aware of after MJB retired, he sent the information to the Police. In Miller's case, I don't doubt that the initiative may have come from victims. Again remember, neither O'Brien, Smith2 or Mulhall were here when these events are alleged to have occurred. Unless they had the gift of clairvoyance, there is no way that they would know about cases that predated their term as any information was well buried by MJB. It has taken some effort (and lots of money) to bring in experts who went through our records to locate the documentation and bring information to the surface. The same had to happen to give us a handle on the financial records which were all sorted according to MJB's filing system. (IOW, what pile of papers in either MJB's three offices and his apartment contained the information? He had an identic memory and he knew were everything could be found. But after he died, it has taken forensic accountants more than five years to finally sort through everything and produce an index of documents and a complete financial statement.

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    16. Lynne, there have been a few priests who, because of necessity, had to leave parish ministry. Naturally, I will not comment on the names of the priests mentioned above, since they have a right to privacy. What are examples of reasons why a priest may not continue in a parish? They are numerous: physical maladies - difficulty with vocal chords and speech, high blood pressure, heart disease, crohns disease, challenges of anxietydepression, depression, addiction, disillusionment (particularly for some of the older men following Vatican II and all the changes accompanying it.

      As is the case in many vocations, one should not jump to the criminal dimension, when one may no longer be serving. Since ordained priests are incardinated into the diocese by virtue of ordination, there is a reciprocal relationship of service and care. The priest is a priest of a certain diocese and serves the local church under the authority of the diocesan bishop. The bishop has the responsibility to care for the priests as a father or brother would do, especially in cases where one may face medical, emotional, or psychological maladies, not of one's own choosing.

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    17. Just a note of clarity Fr. Tim. Every bishop (and superiors of religious communities) MUST refer these cases to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by virtue of norms established by Pope John Paul II. Pope Benedict XVI has revised these norms to include the possession and distribution of child pornography etc. No bishop has any latitude or 'wiggle-room' in this matter. It is the CDF who will determine the ecclesiastical penalty for each case, not excluding, of course, reduction to the lay state.

      As in understand the present circumstances, the CDF has a considerable number of files for review. It would seem that the decision of the CDF would come in the area of about 6 months, but that may be a changing reality depending on workload etc.

      And so the matter of a priest being 'reduced to the lay state' is a matter determined by the CDF and is not a diocese by diocese decision. Given the serious nature of the crimes involved, these penalties are most appropriate.

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    18. Father Tim Moyle: Thanks for all you time and effort in your responses. Just one thing further and I will let the matter rest.
      One of the men my husband works with said that Fr. Miller and Fr.Costello took turns saying Mass in bristol in 2009, 2010, and 2011. This certainly differs from what the official word was.
      Anyway, Thanks for the information

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    19. Dear Lynne:

      Fr. Miller, although he did not live in Quyon or Bristol, came on week-ends and helped Fr. Costello with the week-end Masses. He lived in Pembroke. He did this in 2000 and stopped doing it in 2001. The three parishes, at the time, were in Bristol, Bryson and Quyon.

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    20. Anonymous: I defy you to provide any quote, comment, or article from this blog where any priest equates being married outside the Church with the molestation of a child. You either have a major problem with comprehending what you read or you are making a defamatory statement.

      IF you had even the slightest understanding of Church teaching, you would know that a mortal sin (whether or not it is judged as a criminal act by the State) is a grave matter. Someone married outside of the Church is in a grave a condition before God. You may not agree with that, but even if you don't, you should at least be able to understand that priests believe that there are only two legitimate courts of judgment - the civil courts of a legitimate State, and the court of final judgment before God. We are concerned about how our parishioners stand in both venues, but our principle concern is their ultimate fate before God. To express concern about someone who purports to represents the Church is not saying that they are the same as molesters. Your inference that it does says far more about your perverse world view than it does about any priest who posts here.

      Fr. Tim

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    21. FRS" STEVE AND TIM: Are you playing a tag-team game with people who post here?
      I sent in my first email ever, meant for Fr. Moyle, and Fr. Ballard answers it.
      Now I see some lady posted one for Fr. Ballard, and Fr. Motle kind of answers it?
      What gives?

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    22. That's an interesting question, if not unusual. To refresh your recollection, the blog is Fr. Tim's. We are brother priests of the same diocese. That we might seem to be supportive of each other as priests, is a good, not a bad. I do have the right to post here do I not? It is alright with the blog moderator, Father Moyle.

      Or is it in a climate of slaughter for all things priestly, our support for each other does help your intended goal?

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    23. Steve: You can also add that we attended the same seminary, at the same time, took the same classes, listened to the same homilies and participated in the same eucharists, all while living on the same floor!

      It isn't that difficult to answer each others questions.

      Tim

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    24. You will also note Declan, that in other threads we may not always agree!

      As we have both mentioned to others you should be pleased that two priests are open to dialogue. Another interesting site blocked the two of us. So much for open sharing and freedom of speech!

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  2. Anonymous, I was not suggesting that there was a moral equivalency in the immoral actions of a teacher or trustee and the sexual abuse of anyone. The point I was making is that anyone who bears the name 'Roman Catholic' must ensure that what they call themselves matches their lifestyle. If you are a Roman Catholic, you are to live one's life in accordance with the teachings of the church. That's all.

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    1. With all due respect, anyone, Catholic or not, getting married in a church other than a Catholic Church, is never 'immoral.' It may go against the teaching or rules of the Catholic Church, but even by the greatest stretch of the imagination it is not immoral...even for teachers and trustees. However, molesting a child is always immoral and criminal. Huge difference!

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    2. Anonymous, as I indicated previously there is no moral equivalency between the two. Anyone with an ounce of sense would never and can never compare the two on the same scale.

      HOWEVER, if you claim to be a Catholic, and most love that title when they get their cheque, you are called to live AS a Roman Catholic. Can't have it both ways. Many like the buffet, but the rubber must hit the road at some point.

      I see today that a 'Catholic' teacher was fired in the states as a result of his gay marriage. He is free to live his life in any many he wishes. He may not do so under the banner of being a Catholic teacher in a Catholic school.

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    3. Declan Morgan04 March, 2012

      If what Fr. Moyle has said about the mess Msgr. Barry left the Diocese in reflectson the competence of Bishops to do their job, what a sad state it reveals!
      Malfeasance of such magnitude constitutes a crime of cover-up, and it by itself should cause an investigation, both by the Church and civil authorities.
      It seems both O'Brien and Smith were just passing through the Diocese on the way to bigger things. How sick is that! Now Smith is head oc the CCCB ! Wow- it worked !
      We have our own bunch of untouchables within the Church, operating with the funds ordinary people donate so that the work of spreading the Gospel may be continued, and this is how they spend it.
      There needs to be a genuine uprising by Catholics everywhere to put and end to these evil practices, punish the big spenders- the Bishops!
      Maybe it is time the Tax-exempt status of the Church needs to be reviewed. Too much money is being funnelled into criminal cover-ups.
      EVERY CATHOLIC SHOULD STOP GIVING MONEY FOR ONE YEAR- UNTIL THIS IS RECTIFIED !!!

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    4. Dear Declan, it is not for me to speak for Father Moyle, however a few thoughts.

      The diocese has not been left in any mess. We have a diocese of faithful laity, wonderful deacons, a great bishop and a great number of faithful priests who quietly serve Christ the Lord most admirably. That is all good. I understand and have felt your anger.

      It is obvious that we live in an era of purification and a great call to holiness. You may be surprised to know that money and collections are not the first matter on priests minds. If we need to say mass in a tent, with integrity, that's ok.

      Christ the Lord is the One we serve and it is His voice we must listen to and follow. As you know, there have been choices and decisions made that were not holy and in keeping with the teachings of Christ the Lord. That is very sad.

      The Lord will heal those who have been violated. May all of us in His service never let any of this happen again. I am hopeful and more than confident that this purification will take place to its conclusion.

      That you may be disillusioned or angry with the church saddens me. I have been there myself.

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  3. Steve: I fear that anonymous and others think that the RC Church is the wealthy caricature that is portrayed by lawyers. They see the grandeur of the Vatican and think that all the Church needs to do is sell off a few of its treasures to cover our expenses. Little do they know that EVEN IF the Church was financed as they believe, the United Nations prohibits the Vatican from selling any of its artwork because they've been declared part of humanities cultural heritage.

    Still, why let the facts get in the way of a good rant, eh? That would ruin all their fun!

    Tim

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  4. Sadly, as you know well, the coverups and moving around of predators, brings into question the actions of all bishops and priests, even to this day. Trust has been broken and has been the case in many professions and clubs (boy scouts).

    As I mentioned previously, if folks think the church is only about money, why would any bishop anywhere dare risk a diocese's resources and the threat of lawsuits? Sadly, in some circles, the issue of lawsuits has been the catalyst for change. Fortunately, in most cases bishops have demonstrated a caring presence to victims and their families irrespective of the financial cost.

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  5. Putting it succinctly, a Jewish woman, who loves pork, outfitted with a burka is the perfect candidate for a teaching job in a Jewish Elementary School?

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  6. Anonymous: I will not post your comment. I implore you... Go to the Police. It's the only way to ensure the safety of children.

    Fr. Tim

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    1. Too late Father Tim; He is retired now and it was 40 years ago. It cost me my trust in the Catholic Church and almost cost me my life but more importantly my faith. I am a grandmother now and have found a deep and personal relationship with the Lord and going to the police would only reopen old wounds. He doesnt have the access to children that he used to have as an active priest. I am moving back to the area shortly after 30 years living away and selfishly I want to go back for the good memories of my youth not the ugly ones. He will one day be judged by the only one who can truly judge him and the Lord I serve will find him wanting and his deeds on earth will be revealed.

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    2. Anonymous: Thank you for not giving up on God despite his sinful representatives. You have been both cursed and blessed in this life and you have chosen to follow the path that leads you to peace. I respect your decision. The only question I put before you is: Are you certain no children are at risk today? If you are not, I still encourage you to take all necessary steps to ensure that the authorities are informed.

      Thank you very much for the comments. You will always be welcome here.

      Fr. Tim

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