Thursday, February 7, 2013

Catholic Church in LA riddled with serial rapists and cover ups

What difference these guys and Iran's Mullahs?
by Richard Mellor

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles released 12,000 pages of personnel files last Thursday that shed light on this institution’s response to charges of child sexual abuse and what amounts to serial rape.  The documents have been released only after years of what the media refers to as “legal wrangling” as lawyers for the Catholic Church tried to prevent their release or have the names of senior church officials removed before the public, or lawyers for rape victims have a chance to view them.

After a week during which lawyers for the victims have had a chance to view the documents, the findings are staggering.  The documents reveal how the now retired Cardinal Roger Mahoney who was in charge of the diocese from 1985 to 2011 used his office to cover up the sexual abuse and actually protect the perpetrators from prosecution.

The Archbishop who has replaced Mahoney, Jose Gomez,  claims that, “Nothing in my own background or education equipped me to deal with this grave problem”.  I would have to ask where he was all these years as the problem is widespread. The esteemed Cardinal Mahoney has been removed from administrative duties but still gets to practice mass and remains a “priest in good standing”.  And they discredit Unions.  If you fail to pay your membership dues for a period you can lose “member in good standing” status but cover up serial rapists in the Catholic Church and keep it.  KQED news tonight reveals that there has been a response to Archbishop Gomez’ claims by Mahoney on his blog.  He reminds Gomez that he never complained about practices in the diocese during this entire period.

In one case, that of a priest named Wempe, the victims that they know of were 13 young boys.  Fortunately for Wempe, the statute of limitations ran out by the time they found out about his rapes and charges were dismissed.  Once the church found out about him they sent him to some retreat to get cured.  When his stay there ended, the director wrote that Wempe needed “to be in a situation which will allow him to avoid all contact with minors.”. So much for that, he was sent to work as a chaplain in the Cedars Sinai Medical Center where he would have access to both adults and the little ones. Mahoney was warned about this guy going over the top and “getting in trouble again” and did nothing about it according to the Wall StreetJournal. Wempe was found guilty in 2006 of raping a boy again while working at the hospital.

The rottenness and corruption in this institution has become common knowledge but it still surprises one when it is actually brought to light. These documents reveal that even high ranking church officials who were in charge of investigating the abuses were also accused of molesting or raping children.  It’s almost like concentration camp material this.  Monsignor Richard Loomis who oversaw the investigations, presumably on behalf of children, young Catholics, was accused of fondling a boy and of encouraging children to drink alcohol.  He was put on a leave of absence by no other than Cardinal Mahoney.

Loomis wants to get back in to the business and was not available for comment to the media but apparently through an internal process called a “canonical trial” he was found to be suspect. Internal trials, the only religion with its own state, immunity from the law, diplomatic representatives in national legislatures; this organization has its fingers in many pies.  Confronted with this activity the Vatican is washing its hands of the matter making it clear that the LA archbishop whomever it is “has jurisdiction over the public duties of clerics who serve in the area” according to the Wall Street Journal. The handling of former Archbishop Mahoney is “a matter that regards the archdiocese”, says a Vatican spokesperson.

On KQED Newshour tonight, Ray Boucher, a lawyer for the victims and their families admitted that the documents show that the abuse or cover up is linked to the highest levels of the Catholic Church. The documents go back 50 years and all levels are involved in the abuse or the covering up of abuse. Boucher said that the documents show that the Catholic hierarchy moved the rapists to different states and sometimes different countries to protect them from prosecution and that in his mind he has no doubt that there are still priests serving who are abusers and that one serial rapist abused a “whole family of young men” and this was, “Done with the knowledge of the cardinal himself.”
“There are other priests out there,” said Boucher, adding that there's “No question that there are thousands that have suffered in silence.”.

This institution is rotten to the core.  It is hard to imagine another group of people being treated with such kid gloves.  They betrayed the trust of people who believed they were the representatives of god on earth.  I cannot see the Catholic Church not going through some sort of major split at some point in the not so distant future.  Yet its representatives still get up and preach about morality and the sanctity of the little ones as the Bishop of Dublin did while I was there recently. Some neck on these characters. This organization whose highest officials have participated in or covered up crimes of rape and molestation of young children never ceases to amaze.  The Vatican claimed recently that abortion and gay marriage was threatening world peace, some nerve.

This is not an attack on all Catholics although I cannot understand why anyone would remain in such an organization.  A friend once told me that her church was progressive and that it allowed gays and lesbians and such.  She didn’t agree with a lot of the teachings she told me.  Then why be in it? If you are going to remain surely you have to be actively and openly campaigning to change it.  Finding a comfortable little niche in ones own church while remaining silent on the larger goings on is like being in the KKK and saying “My local branch is OK, lets blacks and Jews in.  It’s the head office”.

 It’s avoiding responsibility.

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