Evidence against someone else is evidence against you

Evidence against someone else is evidence against you

Last year, a guy claimed he had been molested by two priests back in the early 80s. One of the priest, Fr. William Cummings, is dead. The other is Msgr. Michael Foster, the chief canon lawyer for the Archdiocese of Boston. Questions were raised about the accusers credibility, his lawyer quit, and his lawsuit was withdrawn with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled. Foster was reinstated. Then he met with archdiocesan officials, made new charges, and Foster was suspended again, only to reinstated once again a month later. Now, the accuser’s lawyer and victims groups say that because there was another lawsuit filed against Cummings back in the 80s, that Foster should be re-investigated. Huh?

    “The allegations by Paul Edwards against Monsignor Foster should stand or fall on their own, regardless of allegations against another priest, whether they were made by Paul Edwards or anyone else,” Coyne said. Coyne said the church’s investigation into the allegation against Foster determined that the accusation was not credible.

What kind of standard of evidence says that because there’s evidence against the supposed conspirator, that it should be evidence against the other man accused?

Edwards’ own credibility has been challenged, not just by strangers, but by his own parents, childhood friends, and others. But those who are wont to find a pervert lurking inside every Roman collar overlook that.

    Webb, who heads the SNAP group and is also a psychologist, said yesterday that she is “leery” of many of the challenges to Edwards’s personal credibility. “We have to remember that many survivors of abuse are very troubled. That is often the result of what happened to them, instead of evidence that you cannot believe them,” she said.

So if someone is a liar, we should trust their claims more? How then can you say any accusation is false? And this supposed second case hasn’t even been proven, so how can it be claimed to be evidence against even Cummings, nevermind Foster?

    Gorovitz said his client had long repressed the memory of both instances of alleged abuse, but had recalled them early last year as the number of other cases of clergy sexual abuse became known. Gorovitz said he is convinced of his client’s credibility in recalling the abuse.

Ah yes, repressed memory. And of course, the lawyer being convinced of his client’s credibility is supposed to surprise me? If the guy said he was a Martian and a lawyer thought he could get a settlement because of it, he’d be convinced the guy was a Martian. A lawyer is an advocate; he’s supposed to believe whatever the client tells him.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli

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