Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Cover-ups and Corruption

From First Things:
Will battles erupt within the Catholic hierarchy following allegations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò that Pope Francis has long been aware of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's sexual misconduct? The prospect of open warfare among the bishops is of course enticing to the growing pack of reporters covering the story. Perhaps more surprisingly, it is also welcome to the many faithful Catholics who, exhausted and enraged by the serial revelations of cover-ups and corruption that they have endured for years, want the full truth now, whatever the cost. The impatient demands for a full account of the abuse scandals have now been linked to questions about Francis's leadership. Elected with a clear mandate for reform, especially on the sex-abuse question, the pontiff has failed to match strong statements with effective actions. Now Archbishop Viganò's testimony casts into doubt the pope’s professed commitment to rid the Church of predatory clerics. (Read more.)
A victim speaks. From Church Militant:
 I knew I had to speak out and decided to tell another priest who I knew to be Fr. Martin's good friend from the seminary, Fr. Bill Cramer. I was teaching Confraternity of Christian Doctrine at his parish at that time and asked if we could talk one day. When I told him what Fr. Martin had done to me years earlier, Fr. Bill turned white as a ghost and never spoke to me again. He avoided me at every turn. I later learned he himself had admitted to abusing two young brothers, had plead guilty and the Paterson diocese said he voluntarily took a leave from ministry but Bp. Frank Rodimer of Paterson allowed him to return to ministry as a hospital chaplain after he was "cleared" by a therapist.

My dad had been suffering from cancer. Fr. Martin was still close to my family at this time and spent many hours with my mom and dad as he was undergoing treatment for his cancer. When my dad passed away, it was my dad's request that Fr. Martin be the main celebrant at his funeral. It was during my father's funeral mass that he decided to openly chastise me (calling me out by name) during the homily for not "loving" enough while dad was alive. I knew what that was about, just taking another jab at me for avoiding his presence.

In early 1983, after finishing my second year in the seminary (to which I never returned), I got up the nerve to tell the auxiliary bishop, Jerome Pechillo of Newark, about my past abuse and hoped he would get help for Fr. Martin so he couldn't harm other children. He did not treat me kindly. The bishop chastised me for referring to him as "Father" instead of "His Excellency," reminding me he was a bishop.

He then said I was speaking out because I read an account in the local newspaper about another priest accused of abusing young boys from St Aloysius's parish, his residence. Years later, I learned that was Fr. Carmine Sita who, after pleading guilty to child abuse, changed his name to Fr. Gerald Howard and was returned to ministry where he went right back to abusing young boys in another state. I knew nothing of what he was talking about at that time. He then said I was angry because my dad had recently died. (Read more.)

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