Victims Praise Colorado Springs Woman & Blast Catholic Bishop
By David Clohessy
June 1, 2012
First, we donít know Lisa Poulos but we applaud her for her courage and wisdom. According to a newly-released arrest affidavit, she told police her suspicions about Fr. Charles Robert Manning, who faces criminal charges for alleged child sex abuse.
If more adults who saw or suspected child sex crimes were brave and compassionate enough to call law enforcement, far more children would be spared devastating harm. We applaud Ms. Poulos and hope she receives nothing but praise for her responsible, caring action.
Second, if Manning gave the boy ďclassesĒ in his church office, gave him marijuana and liquor several times, took partially-clad photos of him, posted those photos on Facebook, and was so aggressive and brazen , over three months, that the boy felt compelled to move out of state to avoid Manning, itís hard to believe that every single Catholic church employee and member near Manning didnít see some serious warning signs.
Third, why arenít Colorado Springs Catholic officials Ė from lower levels to the very top Ė doing everything possible to help law enforcement with this case?
Bishop Sheridan and his staff have a simple choice. They can sit back and do little or nothing, like Catholic officials have done for decades. Or they can show real courage and compassion, by doing everything possible to help find other victims, witnesses or whistleblowers. So far, as best we can tell, cowardice has prevailed over courage. We hope that changes. We long to see detailed announcements in every parish bulletin and on every parish website in the diocese, reminding church members of their civic and moral duty to help protect children from predators. We long to see Bishop Sheridan visit every church where Fr. Manning spent time, beating the bushes for others who may be trapped in shame, silence and self-blame, and prodding them to call police.
Finally, itís just heart-breaking to learn that a boy who was reportedly interested in becoming a Catholic would be repeatedly violated in this horrific way. We are grateful heís cooperating with police and wish he and his family well during the long, tough recovery process ahead.