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Comment by Joan Denoo on March 4, 2013 at 4:25pm
Pat's statement needs to emphasized:
"Now, given that there are already laws on the books to deal with the conspiratorial criminal cover-ups done by monsignors, bishops, archbishops and cardinals, seems to me its up to the civil authorities here in the US - State and Federal prosecutors - to get off their derrières and actually do something about this!
Comment by Joan Denoo on March 4, 2013 at 4:09pm
Mac Rex, Amer, Richard, John, and Pat
I am very happy to see each one of you on this site and your comments powerfully convey messages of intolerance of abuse of power, not only of the priests, but of the entire religious institution and other institutions that maintain and perpetuate injustice.
As Loren and others remind me, to be effective, language that has power is descriptive, definitive, specific and concrete. OK. I will do that.
Comment by Pat on March 4, 2013 at 3:38pm

@amer chohan. Today, it's generally up to the male to become a priest or nun in the Catholic Church. A few hundred years ago, among European nobility, the oldest male inherited the title and lands, the middle boy went into the military, and the youngest into the clergy. It was used to keep large land holdings together, and insuring all the offspring had a job.

Now, it's not uncommon for an 18 year old to join a Catholic seminary (college), and after receiving his degree and appropriate training, being ordained as a priest.

Funny story about a friend of mine. He decided, after high school, to join a seminary. He got thrown out after he wouldn't make his girlfriends quit writing to him. He never did quite get the whole "celibacy" concept. Went on to become a decorated US Marine sniper in Viet Nam.

Comment by Loren Miller on March 4, 2013 at 3:37pm

Pat, thank you for the further explanation of the RICO statute.  I have heard of it, but did not know the details which you were so good to outline.

The applicability of the RICO statute to the specific activities of the RCC which Pat and I have discussed here is clear and unambiguous ... and once again, I have to ask: where is there someone with the cojones to APPLY them?

Comment by Pat on March 4, 2013 at 3:33pm

Just to follow up on what Loren said, there is a Federal statute commonly referred to as the RICO Act. "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations" Act. It was designed to go after the heads of Mafia families, for the crimes committed by their underlings with full knowledge of the Capo di tutti capi ("Godfather" - or in the case of the RCC - governing prelates). In addition, there are both State and Federal conspiracy laws that meet out prison sentences for those that consciously cover up crimes or, as listed in Illinois, Obstructing Justice (a felony). There are also numerous statutes regarding accessories to crimes - before, during, and after the criminal act. All of these, by the way, carry prison terms.

Now, given that there are already laws on the books to deal with the conspiratorial criminal cover-ups done by monsignors, bishops, archbishops and cardinals, seems to me its up to the civil authorities here in the US - State and Federal prosecutors - to get off their  derrières and actually do something about this!

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 4, 2013 at 2:44pm
Loren, powerfully stated. You break silence-barriers.

Amer, I don't know how a boy becomes a priest, I am not Roman Catholic nor have I ever been. Perhaps someone else in this string can answer your question.
Comment by amer chohan on March 4, 2013 at 2:35pm

At what age one is sent to become a priest? Is it his own decision to become a priest or family decides for it?

Comment by Loren Miller on March 4, 2013 at 2:19pm

Something to keep in mind: the abusers themselves are not the only transgressors here.  There also remains the issue of those who shuffled these pedophiles from one parish to another with no notice to those congregations about the past of their new priest or what comprised his Complete history.

These particular offenders, being monsignors, bishops, archbishops and even cardinals, are at least as culpable as those committing the abuses.  Indeed, they amount to enablers for them and deserve at least as attention And Correction from the criminal and civil courts as those who committed the primary crime involved

It is also from these higher-ups in the RCC that we hear about hush money paid and insistence on secrecy.  It is time that veil was pulled down.  Recompense should still be paid, certainly, but as a part of a civil complaint And Part Of The Public Record.  These wolves in priests' clothing used to use the tools of shame and guilt to goad their flock into contrition.  Let Them Learn What It Is To Be On The Business End Of Those Tools!

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 4, 2013 at 1:39pm

Patricia, I understand your position on retribution for crimes. Sadly, our prisons are full of mentally ill and poor people. Having worked in the prison system preparing long term prisoners for release to the modern world, I heard many compelling stories from them. Some call me a "bleeding heart liberal" and that I proudly am. 

There was a middle aged Native American who killed a man when he was not yet a mature adult and served 20 years. It was my job to teach him how to handle money, apply for work, get an apartment, take care of himself after being behind bars since he was not even out of his  boyhood home. Can you even imagine what he felt as he walked out the prison wire a free man with a prison record for murder? 

I see him every once in a while and he is doing just fine. 

While he was in prison he wanted to follow his native spiritual traditions which was denied him. He didn't like a chapel or chaplains that came for  prison ministry. I went to his tribe and asked them to supply me with material he would need to conduct his rituals. They gathered sage, a drum and stick made from natural products according to their tradition, some mint and I can't remember what all else. 

We set up an area in my classroom, a large gym; he came every day to class and quietly did his ritual and I began to notice he had different drumming patterns that matched the tone and temper of my classroom. He not only blended in well, he participated in his way and he heard all the lessons from all classes. 

The warden found out about what I did and he came to chastise me. I invited him to join with us and he sat through one class period, we each doing what we normally did. Even he was impressed and OKd the plan. After I left that job, the warden had a sweat lodge set up for Natives. Being in Native American country, we had quite a few Native prisoners. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 4, 2013 at 1:21pm

amer chohan "Prison for preditory priests" is in response to a situation in our country in which priests are shielded from predatory laws by the Roman Catholic Church. Over many decades, priests molested boys, often parents didn't believe their children, bishops to popes kept the records hidden and moved priests to new dioceses without warning members. We have had that problem here in Spokane. It happens all over the country, and it seems, all over the world. 

Pedophilia is a crime punishable by prison and fine. Hidden priests suffer from neither one. Pedophiliac priests do not change with new locations. 

Very recently, grown men started speaking out about their childhood abusers, and because the statue of limitation, a law that states charges must be made within a time limit for reporting, charges could not be filed. The abused adults started forming into small groups, they joined into larger groups until there was a mass demand for justice. Many of our law enforcement (police) and judges have not wanted to overlook time limits. That, too, changes.  

Many pedophiles state they can't stop their criminal acts. If that is true, in the interest of the common good, they have to be stopped, one way or another. 


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