Retired Chicago auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert was vicar for priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s until leaving that post in September, 1991 upon becoming a Bishop. The post of vicar for priests put him in charge of dealing with charges of sexual abuse by clergy. It was during Goedert’s tenure as vicar that two of the most notorious cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests in the Chicago Archdiocese came to light, that of Robert Mayer, who eventually served a three year sentence for fondling a teenage girl in a church rectory and of Vince McCaffrey, who is currently serving a 20 year sentence for child pornography. These were only the two most notable cases of such abuse that came to light during Goedert’s tenure.
That Mayer and McCaffrey wound up in jail had nothing to do with Goedert’s efforts; during Goedert’s entire tenure as vicar for priests, he never once called police when allegations of perversion by his priests arose. Not once…even though, as Goedert admitted, priests who were confronted with allegations “frequently, if not always, admitted to it.”
Goedert argues that he didn’t call police because, at the time of his service as vicar, clergy were not “mandated reporters,” specifically required to report cases of sexual abuse to the authorities, under Illinois law. Goedert expects us to believe that, while he was, as he puts it, “concerned for the children,” he did only what he was required by law to do to protect them. Oh, yeah, he was concerned with the children, but not to the point at which he would do anything more than the letter of the law required, especially when doing so might hurt the reputation of the Church…which, one suspects, is the heart of the matter, though Goedert would never admit that.
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