Horowitz Law (law firm blog)
January 30, 2020
A fascinating story has just come out showing how deceitful and self-serving Catholic bishops are when it comes to their lists of ‘credibly accused’ child molesting clerics. In short, it shows that most bishops provide inadequate and inaccurate information about these predator priests.
Why? Well, Mary Gautier, a Catholic researcher at a Catholic school, wants us to believe that one reason is that “smaller dioceses with limited budgets” supposedly “lacking the money or staff to dig through their archives.”
That’s bunk. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Any bishop who wants to compile a thorough list of predator priests, their work assignments and their whereabouts has or can get the resources to do that.
Consider this analogous situation: One Michigan official must wade through 1.5 million paper documents and 3.5 million electronic documents about abuse. That official recruited and trained 32 volunteers who put in over 1,400 hours at night and on weekends to help.
Which Michigan bishop showed such dedication to protect kids and expose wrongdoers? None of them. The official with this impressive dedication is Attorney General Dana Nessell.
So let’s be real. There are lots of reasons bishops still refuse to ‘come clean’ about brothers, nuns, seminarians and priests who sexually violate kids. But “limited budgets or staff” isn’t one of them.
Gautier also makes another claim, one that’s somewhat more credible: “The church is very good at is recordkeeping but it’s very, very time consuming and labor intensive to really go through years and years and years of personnel records. . .”
OK, maybe she’s right. It takes hard work to comb through these documents.
But we’re talking about preventing boys and girls from being raped. We’re talking about possibly helping police and prosecutors lock up dangerous predators. We’re talking about a scandal-ridden institution helping to rebuild trust.
If all that’s not reason enough to put forth a sincere and serious effort to create and reveal complete and helpful lists of child molesting clerics, we can’t imagine what would be.
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