Church Must Accept It Has Some Blood on Its Hands

By Claude McIntosh
Standard-Freeholder [Canada]
August 30, 2003

Local News - The record shows that defrocked Boston priest John H. Geoghan was murdered last weekend by a fellow prisoner who harboured hatred against child molesters.

Geoghan certainly fit the child molester mould.

He was an unrepentant child abuser.

But while Joseph L. Druce, a self-confessed neo-Nazi, has been charged with strangling Geoghan, the Roman Catholic Church has some of the blood on its hands.

For years the pedophile priest was allowed to get his kicks out of abusing young parishioners.

When his cover was blown, church leaders simply moved him to another parish.

That was the church's modus operandi when it came to abusive priests.

Sound familiar?

We in the Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese experienced it, too.

Several years ago, after a city priest was convicted of sexual assault, he was quietly moved to an Ottawa-area parish.

And when the diocese trumpeted "tough" new guidelines, which included suspending any priest charged with sexual assault, the bishop of the day promptly changed the rules when a priest was charged.

True, the priest was later acquitted, but the guidelines had been bent because the bishop felt the priest shouldn't have been charged.

In the Geoghan case, church leaders had a chance to nip his access to young children in the bud.

Unfortunately, they treated Geoghan's abuse as a sin, not a crime.

Too many Geoghans have been allowed to wear collars.

In turn, they tarnish the image of the vast majority of priests who are honourable people carrying out God's work.

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