Saturday, September 16, 2006

As the 5th anniversary of 9/11 passes, another significant anniversary will soon arrive. The 5th anniversary of the explosion/exposing of the priest sex scandals. It is important for Catholics to know just how widespread the corruption is in the priesthood, so keeping tabs by reading the Roman Catholic Faithful website is recommended, although not for the weak of heart. The public exposure of this massive problem of (mostly) homosexual abuse by Catholic priests all started with the release of documents relating to Fr. John Geoghan and Fr. Paul Shanley from Boston. Geoghan was later beaten to death in jail. All the info you need on Shanley can be found here. Today, it seems he is inmate # W84979 at the Old Colony Correctional Center in Massachusetts.

Diocese of Rockville Centre

An update on this diocese should be made, hopefully Newsday will do a story updating the situation soon. Most of the information Catholics get on the "scandals" has to come from secular sources as the Dioceses are just not honest and forthcoming enough. Just this week the Long Island Catholic reported a priest, Fr. William Logan would be returned to ministry because allegations could not be substantiated, but no details were given. Newsday provides the details here. The two accusations mentioned do not involve sexual acts. There have been two other accused priests returned to ministry - Fr. Brian Brinker and Fr. Michael Carroll. If the allegations against Brinker and Carroll are true, then I would not let any boys anywhere near these two and I don't see how these two priests can possibly remain in ministry.

Otherwise, the most info available can be found on Bishop Accountability right here. This page lists all the accused, except Logan. The site is good for info, but it is not totally up to date. I count 4 accused priests that have died, one that is in jail (Millar), and 1 that was defrocked according to the page. But Michael Hands, the last priest to be arrested for raping a boy, was also defrocked. Others may have died since the page has been updated. The page also lists each of the accused priests by letter from the Suffolk County Grand Jury Report, but those accused are the same accused listed by name in many cases so it is a bit confusing. Since Bishop Murphy has been here, the number of allegations of abuse has been 0, so that is good news, but there are still some priests living mostly in the St. Pius X residence in Uniondale that were accused of abuse. They have not been defrocked as far as I know, and little info is given to Catholics. The fear of "scandalizing" Catholics is what helped this crisis grow, and that fear is misguided anyway. The Diocese should offer more info to people so that this situation won't ever become as widespread again. I was an altar boy and attended Catholic schools for 16 years and never experienced anything negative in the Church. The priests I knew were all pretty good men, except for one I thought was arrogant and not so nice. I never knew an abusive priest and have known some really good ones, so it is hard to believe just how much went on in this Diocese. All Catholics should remain vigilant to help keep the priesthood holy. With so many stories of sexual abuse of children making the headlines today, all people should remain vigilant with regards to any adults in authority as well.

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