More questions than answers

More questions than answers

A Fort Worth man was convicted of sexually assaulting a teenager. So what, you say. It’s tragic, but there are sexual assaults all the time. What makes this different?

This time the defendant used to be the lay director of liturgy at a Catholic parish. Joseph Mangone was sentenced to five years for sexual assault and two years each on two counts of indecency. He vows to appeal. Cops say he confessed. Yada, yada, about what you’d expect. However, the victim has also filed a civil lawsuit against the Fort Worth diocese claiming they failed to supervise the attacker properly.

Unfortunately, the article fails to tell us anymore. What is the basis of the lawsuit? Was she raped on church property? That in itself is not enough to say the diocese was responsible. Was the diocese warned about Mangone’s behavior? Even if it was, what steps could it have taken without specific allegations? Was he even an employee or just a volunteer? Unfortunately, the article never tells us. Instead it goes off to discuss a different lawsuit.

The Dallas Morning News fails in this case to do its basic duty to provide the truth. Instead, readers are left with the impression that the Catholic Church has once again done something wrong and should be tarred by the actions of an individual Catholic. Now, I’m not saying the girl isn’t correct in her allegations. It’s just that I have no means of making a judgment since the newspaper doesn’t provide me with enough information to do so.

Finally, what does a parish director of liturgy do? Is he just in charge of music? Then why isn’t he called the director of music?

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli