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Via Media


A missing piece

posted by awelborn

Portland Bishop Malone has threatened a sexual-abuse activist with the interdict:

The leader of Maine’s Roman Catholics has taken the unusual step of threatening to punish an outspoken advocate for people who were sexually abused by priests, possibly by denying him communion.
Paul Kendrick of Freeport has been banned from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, and warned in a letter that if he tries again to contact Portland Bishop Richard Malone he risks losing any right “to participate fully in the sacramental life of the church.”
Kendrick, a co-founder of the Maine chapter of the lay reform group Voice of the Faithful, has been a vocal critic of how church leaders have responded to abuse claims and treated victims.
“It’s a not-so-subtle attempt to silence me,” Kendrick said Monday. “My response is that it’s not about me. It’s about protecting children today and helping and supporting those who were abused. He will not silence me from speaking out on those issues.”
Sue Bernard, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Portland, said the bishop doesn’t object to criticism but that Kendrick’s actions have gone far beyond that.
Kendrick has protested outside churches, inundated the diocese with mail and e-mail, participated in a public confrontation with Malone and even showed up at an out-of-state meeting the bishop attended, Bernard said. She called it a campaign of harassment that ultimately could undermine Malone’s ministry.
“For five years, we’ve really looked the other way. The bishop let him have free rein basically but we want him to know that from this point on, he must stop,” she said.

Okay, here’s the missing piece: What is that Kendrick is asking for? What in the diocdesan response (which is nothing) is leaving him dissatisfied? What is he protesting?
The article makes no attempt to address that question. Typical AP. For an answer, you must go to the local press (naturally – and why it’s important for these local papers to live).

Rather, he said, he simply wants Malone to sit down and talk with a woman from Boothbay Harbor named Marie Tupper.
Three years ago, Tupper settled a lawsuit against the diocese. In it, she claimed that when her son was a young child, back in the early 1980s, he was molested by the Rev. Thomas Lee at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Boothbay Harbor.
Lee resigned his priesthood in 2004 after Bishop Joseph Gerry, Malone’s predecessor, announced that complaints of sexual abuse by the priest had been deemed sufficiently credible to forward the case to the Vatican in Rome.
The diocese has never said how many complaints it had against Lee. Tupper said this week that she’s spoken with nine other victims in Boothbay Harbor, where Lee served as pastor from 1971-85, and three at St. Philip Parish in Lyman, which he led from 1985-2004.
After Gerry forwarded Lee’s file to Rome with the request that it be tried by a church court, the Vatican appointed a three-member tribunal of priests with expertise in canon law to examine the case. Earlier this year, the tribunal found that although Lee’s actions were “imprudent,” the allegations that he had sexually abused minors were not proved.
HAS NOT MET WOMAN
In a Dec. 19 statement that was released just before 5 p.m. on a Friday, Malone announced that he would appeal the tribunal’s finding to the Vatican.
“I am stunned and disappointed at the outcome of this case and frustrated that the process has taken so long,” Malone said in a press release. “It has undoubtedly been difficult for the families involved.”
What Malone did not say in the release was that he has yet to meet with Marie Tupper.
Diocesan spokeswoman Bernard said Malone has invited Tupper to meet with Dubois, the vicar general, and Paul Falconer, chairman of a diocesan board that reviews sexual-abuse claims. The sole reason Malone has not met with Tupper, Bernard said, is Paul Kendrick, who has been Tupper’s primary spokesman these past several years.
“He does not feel comfortable sitting down with people who have such a close association with Paul,” Bernard said. “It’s as simple as that.”
Bernard said the diocese’s concerns were heightened again this month when Kendrick, Tupper and Harvey Paul, another victims advocate, confronted Malone with a video camera while the bishop was entering an Old Port bar to meet with a group of young Roman Catholic adults.
The bishop asked for and received a police escort past the trio, who peppered him with questions as he walked by, Bernard said.
Bernard said that tactic was typical of Kendrick, who “keeps victims in a place of anger. We try to reach out – we truly try to do that. But that’s not what he’s about.”
Contacted at her home Monday, Tupper called Bernard’s comments “absurd.”
“I’m my own person – I’m very much my own person,” Tupper said, noting that it was she who reached out to Kendrick, not the other way around, after her son first told her of the abuse, in 2002.
Tupper said the offer of a meeting with Dubois, the vicar general, was “an insult.” She tried for months to contact Dubois seeking an update of the Lee case, she said, but her messages went unanswered.
“The issue is that (the diocese) never wanted to have anything to do with the victims,” Tupper said. “They never have.”

Update, from a Reader on the Ground (in the comments)

A couple of “local” points. I am writing from Maine and am a regular reader of the Press Herald. I can assure you that Bill Nemitz, the columnist to whom you are linking, is hardly an objective observer when it comes to the Catholic Church, or any other institution that smacks of “tradition.” Readers of your blog should not assume they’re getting the straight story, as Bill is notorious around here for his slant.
I’ve had extensive conversations with others who have encountered Paul Kendrick, and, as near as I can determine, he’s a bit unhinged, to put it mildly. I have no knowledge of Mrs. Tupper or her contentions, but my sense has long been that Bishop Malone is doing all he can to deal consistently, fairly, and proactively with these cases.
Bill Nemitz, however, should always be taken with a huge grain of salt. He has a weekly column and is not on the reporting staff. As a result, he makes hardly a nod toward objectivity.



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Kozaburo

posted December 30, 2008 at 1:21 pm


“[Bishop Malone] does not feel comfortable sitting down with people who have such a close association with Paul,” Bernard said. “It’s as simple as that.”
Wow. I’m usually not one to side with people who are in VOTF but this looks pretty convincing. The bishop should get over himself and talk to Mrs. Tupper.



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John Gibson

posted December 30, 2008 at 2:17 pm


:::sigh:::
I really don’t have anything to say…. I am almost totally speechless on this one…



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N.B.

posted December 30, 2008 at 2:18 pm


It is good to get this missing piece from the local newspaper and I think it is appropriate for Mrs. Tupper to be asked to speak with the vicar general, even as if a preliminary stop to eventually speaking with the Bishop. I love to invoke the principal of subsidiarity and if it can be taken care of by the vicar general, then let’s try it. If not, we can move to the Bishop later.



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Kozaburo

posted December 30, 2008 at 3:08 pm


I must disagree with two points raised by Mr. Gibson.
The principle of subsidiarity addresses the contradictions of local and global governance. Mrs. Tupper wants to address the bishop because he has authority in his diocese. Indeed, he – being the Apostle – is the only legitimate authority of the diocese. The priest, like all priests, is only a representative of his bishop. Hence, subsidiarity is a moot point, as a priest cannot exercise any governance beyond his own parish, which is limited to matters of finances, scheduling, etc.
The second issue, albeit small, is the phrase “if it can be taken care of by the vicar general, then let’s try it.” There is neither a “we” or “let’s” in Mrs. Tupper’s situation. Her son was abused by a priest who was under the jurisdiction of Bishop Malone’s predecessor, and Mrs. Tupper wants to address the current bishop about the matter. She is certainly within her rights to do so, and the matter is strictly between her and the bishop. On that note, I’d add that Paul Kendrick has no right to be involved. A “Stephen Brady” he is not.



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Tom Kelty

posted December 30, 2008 at 4:24 pm


It is very sad to learn that the Eucharist is being used as a cudgel to pound on the Innocent Children and anyone who represents them. And this is being done by a Bishop, who draws his power from the Apostles.
This reeks and the stench is overpowering.



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Wolf Paul

posted December 30, 2008 at 4:45 pm


Kozaburo: Paul Kendrick may no have a right to be involved, except Mrs Tupper says SHE asked for his involvement … which changes the picture, doesn’t it?



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craig

posted December 30, 2008 at 5:08 pm


Even if this Kendrick is a complete nutcase, that does not absolve the bishop of the duty to grow a pair, go the extra mile, and hear out Mrs. Tupper. Whether she has anything new to say, or just wants to vent, does not matter. If the good bishop paid attention in seminary, he would know it’s his job to seek out the lost sheep, not keep them at bay behind a gauntlet of underlings and restraining orders.
It is certainly proper for the bishop to request to meet with Mrs. Tupper without Kendrick present. And if, having heard out Mrs. Tupper, he is presented with a newly discovered additional demand from Kendrick, then the bishop might have a point in sanctioning him. As it is, his behavior is an anti-witness — the kind of thing that leads non-Catholics to conclude that the Church is a scam and Christianity a joke.



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Kozaburo

posted December 30, 2008 at 5:30 pm


Once Mrs. Tupper asked for Mr. Kendrick’s involvement, she complicated matters. And she hasn’t gotten her meeting.
She should have appealed to the Vatican, and not Mr. Kendrick. That’s why Catholics have a Pope and curia to appeal to when our local ordinary misbehaves. I wonder what one’s options are in say, the Russian Orthodox Church, under similar circumstances.
Of course, the misbehavior here seems to be pride-based, which seems to be the typical episcopal issue. After all these years, I’ll bet that the episcopate still doesn’t get it, by and large.



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Liam

posted December 30, 2008 at 5:35 pm


I cannot think of anything that His Excellency might do with Mr Kendrick that is more likely to undermine His Excellency’s ministry than to impose an interdict on Mr Kendrick in this context.



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Chris-2-4

posted December 30, 2008 at 5:51 pm


I was confused by the part that said she settled a lawsuit against the Diocese three years ago on behalf of her son who she claims was molested.
If she settled the lawsuit, what is it that she wants to speak to the bishop about?
It sounds like the reached a settlement, the case was sent to the Vatican who deemed that the abuse was not proven, the Bishop has appealed the decision and is trying to move that appeal forward.



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FrMichael

posted December 30, 2008 at 6:15 pm


Another arrogant yet cowardly bishop who hides behind his chancery and his canonical authority rather than deal like a shepherd with a very troubled member of his flock.
No sighs or surprise here.



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Marty

posted December 30, 2008 at 6:18 pm


Clearly the bishop is willing to meet with Mrs. Tupper; just without Mr. Kendrick present who appears to be guilty to some degree of harrassment of the bishop.
Mrs. Tupper clearly wants to present to the bishop her evidence of cases involving additional victims though has previously settled a grievance with the diocese, which is perfectly logical and reasoned.
The offer to meet with the vicar general seems an alternative because Mrs. Tupper seems to want to meet with the bishop AND Mr. Kendrick.
I support the bishop’s willingness to exclude any further involvement with Mr. Kendrick for reasons as stated by the diocesan spokesperson; however, he could certainly make a much stronger and concerted effort to meet with Mrs. Tupper and the other victims immediately. To not do so reflects poorly on himself, his diocese, and our Church.



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John Gibson

posted December 30, 2008 at 6:23 pm


Kozaburo,
I didn’t post what you think I posted…



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Jim

posted December 30, 2008 at 6:52 pm


Prince Malone does not apparently dine with malcontents.
If bishops [and a lot of priests] would ditch the feudal trappings and live among the people, it would go a long way to fixing a lot of things in the Church. Being “set apart” does not mean that they are not there to serve.



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JCR

posted December 30, 2008 at 7:58 pm


Amy,
A couple of “local” points. I am writing from Maine and am a regular reader of the Press Herald. I can assure you that Bill Nemitz, the columnist to whom you are linking, is hardly an objective observer when it comes to the Catholic Church, or any other institution that smacks of “tradition.” Readers of your blog should not assume they’re getting the straight story, as Bill is notorious around here for his slant.
I’ve had extensive conversations with others who have encountered Paul Kendrick, and, as near as I can determine, he’s a bit unhinged, to put it mildly. I have no knowledge of Mrs. Tupper or her contentions, but my sense has long been that Bishop Malone is doing all he can to deal consistently, fairly, and proactively with these cases.
Bill Nemitz, however, should always be taken with a huge grain of salt. He has a weekly column and is not on the reporting staff. As a result, he makes hardly a nod toward objectivity.



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Kozaburo

posted December 30, 2008 at 8:43 pm


J.G. – my bad



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Sebastian

posted December 30, 2008 at 11:12 pm


The solution is usually to listen, to make a habit of listening. It is impossible to be a shepherd without listening. It is impossible to get to the root of the issues without listening. It is impossible to preserve what is left of the Church’s reputation without listening.



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marianne

posted December 31, 2008 at 12:34 am


Why should the Bishop of a Diocese meet with somone who sued the Diocese and with whom the Diocese settled the suit? Why? To discuss what exactly?
I suspect she wants to put him on the spot about this: “The diocese has never said how many complaints it had against Lee. Tupper said this week that she’s spoken with nine other victims in Boothbay Harbor, where Lee served as pastor from 1971-85, and three at St. Philip Parish in Lyman, which he led from 1985-2004″. Why? So that lawsuits can be brought by the other “victims”. If he meets with her, he’ll say something to her that will be used against him in court, mark my words. She’s already demonstrated a readiness to be advised by attornies and to sue and she appears to be constructing a list of future complainents.
In my Diocese, pressure was put on the Bishop to release the names of priests against whom “credible” (this does not mean “proven” but more like “plausible”) allegations were made, even if the priests were long dead; eventually the Bishop released names.
Then the state legislature was pressured – and lobbied by VOTF and other dissidents as well as lawyers who would benefit- to give a 2 year window for bringing suits that were long past the statute of limitations. And guess what kind of “healing” ensued…dozens of suits have been brought against those long dead or long retired named priests, the ones who can’t defend themselves but for whom the Diocese (read: parishes) will have to pay and pay. After all, if Father X was accused by someone, he must be guilty in whatever anyone who was ever in his presence accuses him of, right? Why even talk about it, just settle up.
If “healing” means “cashing in”, which it seems to in many quarters, why should that Bishop meet with a woman who has already shown what “healing” means to her?



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Chris M

posted December 31, 2008 at 8:46 am


It’s impossible for us to tell who’s at fault for what given the situation, the lack of details, and the credibility (or lack thereof) of the sources.
But there has GOT to be a better way to handle the situation than this…



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Jim

posted December 31, 2008 at 9:56 am


The medical doctors have learned, in many instances, that sometimes an apology is all that is needed. Of course, medical malpractice does not involve an intentional tort.
In those years in which suing a priest or diocese was unheard of, the Church was never very pastoral about these abuse cases. They tended to ignore the complaints or even counter-attack. It wasn’t until some lawsuits were successful that the Church woke up and admitted its long-standing problem of pedophiles and ephebophiles in the priesthood.
I like the Bishop’s response up in Vermont………let’s go to trial and see how things shake out. How’s that working out for the preservation of the Church’s temporal goods?



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Sebastian

posted December 31, 2008 at 10:04 am


marianne wrote: “Why should the Bishop of a Diocese meet with somone who sued the Diocese and with whom the Diocese settled the suit? Why? To discuss what exactly?”
Why? Because she is a Catholic, a part of the flock, and she is clearly hurting. Her family has been injured by someone she trusted, by someone assigned to pastor her family and to whom she entrusted her son.
Whatever the lawyers and the courts do, whatever the legislatures and the newspapers do, the bishop’s job is to imitate Christ, who never once sent someone away without a hearing.
That is why the bishop should meet with someone who sued the diocese and settled the suit. And if more bishops took advice from Christ and not from the damage control folks at the insurance company, and not the lawyers, then the scandals would have been mitigated, and there would have been fewer suits. If a bishop will not meet with an aggrieved mother, does anyone doubt who is more right in this situation where neither side is likely to be totally right? If a bishop will not meet with an aggrieved mother, perhaps the only way of getting his attention is to sue, or to picket, or to go to the press.



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FrMichael

posted December 31, 2008 at 1:03 pm


Amen Sebastian!



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Daniel H. Conway

posted December 31, 2008 at 1:11 pm


Once again, we are blaming everyone but the bishops-the damage control folks, lawyers, etc. And taking some anonymous word that the columnist is “slanted”-just an opinion, mind you, with little substantive evidence offered. Such is all that is required to deflate the impact of a critique of the leadership. An unsubstantiated ad hominem argument.
The Catholic culture of leadership and how it views itself is the problem. It remains fearful of image problems-look its the Catholic Church, it comes with image problems-some justified, some not. Fearful of loss of “authority” which reveals a deep insecurity in the prelates about the true nature of leadership and authority. And how to best execute such leadership.
The flawed leadership model inherited from the Dark Ages and those who have been wedded to this model are to blame for this crisis and its response, not homosexuals, not lawyers, not predatory lawsuits, not the main stream media.
This case is one more example.



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marianne

posted December 31, 2008 at 3:30 pm


Gee whiz, Sebastian…Jesus was quite adept at not answering questions and not going places when His mission would be endangered by doing so.
How many times should a Bishop meet with a litigious, publically defaming, stirring up scandal person that he has already been sued by? Particularly when she is deliberately causing harm to his influence with the rest of the flock. How many meetings do you honestly think it would take to cause her to accept his shepherding? A dozen? A hundred? A million?She seems more wolf than sheep, at this point, based on all accounts, I’m sorry to say and I hope I’m wrong. I think your attitude is very foolishly unrealistic, and/or perhaps basically anti-clerical.
JIM: “long-standing problem of pedophiles and ephebophiles in the priesthood”
According to the John Jay study, allegations concerned adolescent males in about 82% of the cases making it homosexual activity NOT pedophilia. The fact that this elementary finding is still roundly ignored and that the type of activity is seriously mischaracterized suggests that objections are motivated by policy objectives rather than sincere concern about mistreatment – though not necessarily by you, Jim. People who say “we must get to the bottom of this” are invariably the ones refusing to acknowledge facts.



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daviddelaney

posted December 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm


Those who impugn Bishop Malone based solely on the reporting provided here would seem to reflect the same anti-hierarchical bias that marks the agenda of Voice of the (not so) Faithful. One might ask why they do not appear to demand as much from the laity as they do from Church hierarchy.
The confrontational/accusatory tactics of Vot(ns)F are not those of faithful Catholics. They are the repackaging of Call to Action trying to capitalize on the tragedy of the abuse scandal in order to promote their agenda of remaking the Catholic Church into their ideal of another liberal Protestant denomination.
Those who align themselves with this group may or may not reflect the same agenda. Whether that is the case here is a prudential call. The woman’s refusal to meet first with the Vicar General in order to assess this suggests ill will on her part. It is in fact a prudent step in order to avoid providing Vot(ns)F the opportunity to publicly humiliate a bishop–a favorite tactic of theirs.
Perhaps this could be handled better, perhaps not. We don’t have sufficient information to make an informed judgment. However, the inclination to indict Bishop Malone on what we have seen here suggest to me the need for greater introspection on the part of such people.



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Greg S

posted December 31, 2008 at 4:25 pm


David:
Why?
Because the laity don’t…
1) ask each other for money with the implication that refusing to give adequately is a sin
2) Then use that money to pay and protect sexually miscreant priests and pay diocesan lawyers to intimidate victims
3) Threaten each other with the interdict.
Granted, the laity are guilty – in doing their own protection racket of popular, accused priests and marginalizing victims for saying such terrible things about Poor Father. Yup, they are.
But if you’ve studied the documentation from the past fifty years, you know that the vast majority of these cases would have been settled in Christian manners if bishops had only listened to victims and their families. They didn’t. Read Lee Podles or any of the other studies. It’s appalling.



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Jim

posted December 31, 2008 at 4:37 pm


MARIANNE:
1) There should be ZERO PERCENT pedophiles in the priesthood, and
2) Do you know what an ephebophile is?



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marianne

posted December 31, 2008 at 7:01 pm


JIM:
The percentage of pedophiles in the clergy probably IS zero.
Yes, I know it is an obscure term for an adult who prefers adolescents to adults, a term that was dredged up so as not to ever have to confront the homosexual nature of the alledged acts. So, you’d prefer saying “homosexual ephebophiles”? OK, whatever makes you feel comfy.
We don’t know, of course, if homosexual behavior was restricted to adolescents though, do we? We only know that 82% of the complainents were male adolescents.
And your point was?



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Tom Kelty

posted December 31, 2008 at 7:06 pm


An ephebofile is erotically attracted to prepubescent males as opposed to a pedophile, one attracted to post pubescent males.



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marianne

posted December 31, 2008 at 9:10 pm


Tom Kelty, the etymology is “adolescent” of either gender.
You’ve got “pedophile” mixed up also.
The word “ephebofile” is so arcane and obscure that several of my otherwise excellent dictionaries don’t include it but it does NOT apply only to homosexual acts so you would need to specify that to be accurate about “the scandal”.
The point you want to obscure is: with the Catholic Church allegations – as opposed to the equal or greater and much more recent and ongoing sexual abuse allegations in public schools, say – 82% concern HOMOSEXUAL acts directed towards adolescents. Sorry, them there is the facts, like it or not.



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Jim

posted December 31, 2008 at 10:17 pm


marianne:
Your use of statistics is stunning: 82% is not 100%. Sure, most of the priestly abusers were ephebophiles, but not exclusively so. Most were homosexual, but not exclusively so. ALL of them should not have been priests………..none of them would have been priests if the bishops and seminary rectors hadn’t looked the other way, and, in some cases, recruited gays into the priesthood.
Truth is: a lot of heterosexual priests left the priesthood in the 60′s and 70′s, leaving the “other team” in charge of a lot of seminaries and chanceries. What happened next is “the facts.” And a lot of the problems are just now reaching middle management.



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Sebastian

posted January 1, 2009 at 1:11 am


The drift of these remarks is interesting. We have gone from noting that a bishop is threatening an ecclesiastical penalty for behavior he considers to be obnoxious, to blaming that person, to blaming the mother of a child-victim, to blaming the press, to blaming all who call the bishops to task, to blaming homosexuals.
This is very typical, isn’t it: to do absolutely anything rather than criticize an inept bishop who, whatever is going on, has failed to see the elementary facts of public relations and pastoral practice.
As far as marianne’s accusation above that I am “anti-clerical,” I, a priest, am not. But I find the bishops to have been absurdly incompetent in their handling of this scandal, and find that the bishops have become the worst enemies of the Church’s reputation and that they have, most of them, failed miserably to follow the Gospel life in this matter. So I am anti-hierarchical, yes. And for very good reasons.



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DrinkMoreWater

posted January 1, 2009 at 7:21 am


I thank God for our bishops – they have been given to us to guide and lead us.
Do I always agree with my bishop? I’ll answer that by saying I don’t always agree with my wife but she and I find a way to submit to one another as husband and wife.
As to this particular instance of Bishop Malone (as if my opinion really matters in the big scheme of things) – public harassment of a person, bishop or not, is an offense against that person and is uncivil; this type of “tactic” puffs up the ego and “power” of the one performing the harassment and is one of Saul Alinsky’s “rules for radicals” for humiliating a public official.



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David Deavel

posted January 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm


As with most stories of this nature, I have no idea what to think about it since we don’t really know much about it. There simply isn’t enough info here so all of this damning of the bishop et al is simply more internet blather.



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KrisII

posted January 1, 2009 at 3:15 pm


Sebastian: This is very typical, isn’t it: to do absolutely anything rather than criticize an inept bishop who, whatever is going on, has failed to see the elementary facts of public relations and pastoral practice.
And you of course can swear, aside from all the familiar jargon, to having all of the facts.
So I am anti-hierarchical, yes. And for very good reasons.
Uh huh! What the Body of Christ certainly thrives upon today!! Lots of varying motivations here it would appear.



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dymphna

posted January 1, 2009 at 4:44 pm


A few years ago a nut was stalking Cardinal McCarrick. He was discreet and just hired some cops to drag her away whenever she showed up.
Maybe instead of an interdict, the bishop should get a restraining order and call the cops.



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Tom

posted January 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm


I agree David. The condemnation of Kendrick as an insane stalker and Tupper as greed-driven are unfair internet blather.
That’s what you’re talking about…
..right?
(somehow, I doubt it.)



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David Deavel

posted January 1, 2009 at 6:36 pm


Tom,
My inclination is to think that we don’t know what’s going on on either side, so it’s better to just shut up until we know more.
All of this talk seems ridiculous. I got the impression the “head to the chancery with a pitchfork” crowd was winning this thread. You seem to be on that side, huh? Or should I say “snide”?



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maura

posted January 1, 2009 at 7:26 pm


According to the John Jay study, allegations concerned adolescent males in about 82% of the cases making it homosexual activity NOT pedophilia. The fact that this elementary finding is still roundly ignored and that the type of activity is seriously mischaracterized suggests that objections are motivated by policy objectives rather than sincere concern about mistreatment – though not necessarily by you, Jim. People who say “we must get to the bottom of this” are invariably the ones refusing to acknowledge facts.
Unless you consider a 12 year old to be a man, please stop with this foul canard.
According to the John Jay study, the majority of allegations (59%) concerned children aged 10-14. An additional 14% were younger still, and only a quarter of the victims were 15-17. It’s not broken down by sex, but 20% of the victims were girls. Is someone who molests a thirteen year old eighth grader a pedophile? Technically, no. Are they are child molester? Absolutely.



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KrisII

posted January 1, 2009 at 10:27 pm


Important words of a celibate homosexual that didn’t get published:
http://poetreaderpacht.blogspot.com/2008/12/celibate-homosexual.html



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marianne

posted January 1, 2009 at 10:36 pm


Maura says “According to the John Jay study, the majority of allegations (59%) concerned children aged 10-14″.
This is false.



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marianne

posted January 1, 2009 at 10:58 pm


“The largest group of alleged victims (50.9%) was between the ages of 11 and 14, 27.3% were 15-17, 16% were 8-10 and nearly 6% were under age 7. Overall, 81% of victims were male and 19% female. Male victims tended to be older than female victims.”
http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/PriestAbuseScandal.htm
Let’s see…78% between 10 and 17 with male accusers tending to be older than female accusers;
81% of the accusers were male.
H-m-m…78% was NOT pedophilia and 81% was homosexual.
I wasn’t defending ANY of it but was pointing out what it wasn’t and what it was, according to the definitive study, to those who don’t know or must be pc.



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maura

posted January 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm


Maura says “According to the John Jay study, the majority of allegations (59%) concerned children aged 10-14?.
This is false.

No, it’s true. I got the numbers from the report:
http://www.usccb.org/nrb/johnjaystudy/incident3.pdf
The scandal is generally referred to in terms of child sex abuse – which is accurate. A minority of cases were of true pedophilia, but all were minors and the majority were young kids (10-14, still in elementary school). I hope you agree that elementary school children are not normally objects of adult desire, and that in any case they cannot consent to sexual activity with an adult.
What is interesting about the predominately homosexual abuse is that in the wider culture the vast majority of sexual abuse victims are girls (which is to be expected, given that the vast majority of abusers are men, and the vast majority of men are straight). Why the Church numbers are so wildly disproportionate is a troubling mystery that I don’t have any answers for.



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Jim

posted January 2, 2009 at 1:01 pm


marrianne: For the record, I’m not in favor of accepting priests into our parishes that molest infants, children or adolescents, male or female. The Church’s record on this is not acceptable, period………..no matter how you parse the stats.
But if the Pope wants to solve part of the problem by banning all homosexuals from the priesthood, then OK by me.
But the real solution is a sudden outbreak of healthy priestly formation programs, run by healthy formators, supervised by healthy bishops. Easier said than done.



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craig

posted January 2, 2009 at 2:40 pm


KrisII, “having all of the facts” isn’t germane to Sebastian’s point. Note his charge: “…who, whatever is going on, has failed to see the elementary facts of public relations and pastoral practice.”
The point is this: regardless of whether Bishop Malone had the canonical or the moral right to refuse to hear Mrs. Tupper, or to slap an interdict upon Mr. Kendrick, publicly and obstinately doing so burns the bridges across which potential and/or lapsed Catholics might see the face of Christ reflected in the Church. The soul struggling to submit his will to the lordship of sinless Jesus Christ, through whom all things are made, is not helped in that quest by His earthly lieutenants demanding the perquisites of lordship for themselves even as they obfuscate their own complicity in past sinful deeds. The louder the clergy insist upon their honor, the more the laity count their spoons.
Jesus Himself was revered by those who saw merely rabbinical authority, adored by those who came to recognize His divinity. But He was not quick to condemn those who failed to adore Him before they were given eyes to see (the woman at the well, the Roman soldiers, even the disciples). He was gentle with those who knew their own miserableness, and harsh with those who insisted on their own piety.
Would that the successors to the apostles would learn now, before the next great persecution comes, to give their honor to the Gospel and keep none for themselves. That attitude attracts a thousand for every one it alienates; a “kneel and kiss the ring first” attitude tends toward the opposite ratio.
I have no desire to tear down the authority of the bishops, and no respect for VOTF or any of the other lobbying groups desiring to deform the faith. But since the bishops will not censure one another, then eventually the stones themselves will cry out. A few heated blog comments are mild by comparison.



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Jeannette

posted January 2, 2009 at 6:43 pm


Marianne,
Your numbers look like a slight rearrangement of Maura’s numbers (50.9%: 11-14, 16% 8-10 vs 59% 10-14, 14% 9 and under), just putting 10-year old children into different categories?
But then you said “78% was not pedophilia”? You don’t think that child molesters who attack 10 and 11 year old children are pedophiles?
While I don’t make a direct link between homosexuality and the abuse crisis, it’s important that there is a large group in the homosexual community who go after “chickens” (underage boys). This needs to be considered in any discussion of gay priests.
Back to the original topic though; it’s interesting that so many people are all over VOTF and SNAP, for being bitter ex-Catholics who are only after what the bishops treasure most ($$$), but don’t seem to have a higher standard for their Catholic bishops/shepherds’ greed. Yeah, a lot of victims are angry and just want the bishops to hurt, too, but why have such high expectations for a bunch of ex-Catholics, who were essentially chased out of the Church by the priests and bishops that were supposed to look after them, while looking the other way when the bishops’ early response is now, and always has been, to “lawyer up”? It’s absurd. (And yes, I realize that “The bishops started it!” isn’t a great defense for VOTF’s actions, but what goes around comes around)



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marianne

posted January 3, 2009 at 1:02 am


maura: the source you yourself cited contradicts what you yourself wrote :
“The majority of victims are males between the ages of 11-17, and just over half (50.7%) of all
individuals who made allegations of abuse were between the ages of 11-14. The average age
of all alleged victims is 12.6. This number has increased over time, however. In the 1950s, the
average age was 11.5; in the 1960s it was 12; in the 1970s it was 12.87; in the 1980s it was 13.2;
and by the 1990s it was 13.87.”
http://www.usccb.org/nrb/johnjaystudy/incident3.pdf
It was exactly my point that people who don’t know the facts, or find the facts unhelpful to move other balls down the field, wrongly call it “pedophilia”.



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Sr. Lorraine

posted January 5, 2009 at 4:37 pm


Just on the basis of the information in the newspaper reports, and considering their possible (probable?) bias, I don’t think we know enough about this particular case to make a judgment.
A Fr Michael above called Bishop Malone “Another arrogant yet cowardly bishop.” Wait a minute, Father. Have you ever met Bishop Malone? Well, I have. When he was in Boston before being ordained a bishop he was one of our community chaplains. He is a very fine, good and holy priest. Is he pursuing the right course of action in this case? I don’t know. Please, let’s not descend to such caustic judgments of anyone’s state of soul, bishop or not. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged”



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Janet Clark

posted January 11, 2009 at 4:43 pm


I am a survivor of rape by a priest and while most of you are showing the Gospel values we learned in Catholic school, there’s a few of you who really make me glad I left when I did.
Here is a link to an interview with Marie Tupper:
http://www.examiner.com/x-1135-LA-Religion–Spirituality-Examiner
Of all the stories I have listened to, it’s the parents’ stories that are the hardest to hear.



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