Naming names

Naming names

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has published a list of names of priests who have been restricted from priestly ministry because of sexual misconduct, including those who are dead but would have the restrictions placed on them if they were alive. Archbishop Dolan says that the goal is to let other potential victims know they can come forward, and to make sure that everyone knows the rests of the priests in the archdiocese have not been accused (including those who have left ministry for other reasons).

I would hope that only the names of those who have either admitted their guilt or had their guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt are listed. It would seem to violate the due process rights of the accused to list them as abusers if that has yet to be established by an investigation. One name is included and it is noted that he is appealing the decision. That’s a case that bothers me because he could yet be exonerated on appeal. I’m not saying that he shouldn’t be suspended from ministry, just that listing him on a list of molesters might be premature.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers on this because I’m torn between wanting to get all the molesters and perverts out of the priesthood while still respecting the chance that some innocent men may be accused.

  • “…..I, I don’t think this list is at all slander, because some of these guys admitted to the abuse and others have been thoroughly investigated and the predonderance of evidence points to their guilt. Some of these guys won’t ever have criminal or civil trials because of limitations of our legal system, not a lack of evidence. Certainly those who have been laicized have been found sufficiently guilty under canon law.

    Yes, those who are accused have rights, but Dolan is claiming that these guys have been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I assume that is the case. I just hope that the principle is being adhered to is all.

  • Dom, I think you can trust Abp. Dolan.  He’s been very clear—and has been MORE than fair to accused priests.  There’s been significant Diocesan investigation by outside parties as well as by internal Diocesan personnel.

    Interesting:  the worst violators in terms of number of victims, are already deceased.

  • If Archbishop Dolan is to avoid the accusation of high hypocrisy Rembert Weakland’s name had better be at the top of his list.  But I suppose accusations of raping an adult don’t count in his political calculations.

  • For the love of God,

    You just can’t find a way to agree can you?  Re-read my statement.  I said “will slander.” 

    “I also agree that those who have been affected adversely should come forward, but again not in a way that will slander those presumed to be innocent.”

    Future tense!!!!!  What if they are found to be innocent, what is it then?  SLANDER!!!!  Oral communication of false statements injurious to a person’s reputation.  If they are found to be innocent, that is what it has become.

    I even qualified it, especially for you…“If and when anyone is found guilty, either by civil or canon law, then that changes everything.”

    Again, we agree….You say, “I would hope that only the names of those who have either admitted their guilt or had their guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt are listed.”  (11:10am)

    Then you change your premise, “….but Dolan is claiming that these guys have been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I assume that is the case.” (12:46pm)

    There is a cavernous difference between “I would hope…” and “I assume that is the case.”

    Why is that?  We agree and in order for you not to agree, you change the rules?  What a crock.  Sometimes even the wolf can have a point, Mr. Bettinelli.

    “I just hope that the principle is being adhered to is all.”

    So do I.


  • Not to get technical but if its in print, its libel. 

    I learned that from the first Spiderman !!


  • Hey, Camilam, relax.

    The way I read what you wrote I thought you were saying that by printing the list Dolan was slandering those priests. I guess I misread you. I apologize.

    TGIF. Take the weekend off. Have a beer. Relax a little.

  • See, I do pay attention to what you write…. Now I am off to have a beer.



  • As long as none who have been accused be allowed to get anywhere near children…

  • I was shocked that Eileen McNamara would write such a column before the election. I would think that even if she had a problem with JoKe’s position, that she would just shut up about it for the sake of Kerry’s winning the election. After all, if Flip-Flop and Mop-Top win the election, it will be a “great day” for women…

  • Are we gonna see the NEA put out a list of all the teacher offenders????  Gee that should be pretty extensive…I don’t know…I just don’t like the idea of lists and I bet dollars to get you whatever that there ARE innocent people on it….

  • If they go looking to find schoolhouse offenders, they’ll find as many in private (read Catholic) schools as they will in public ones, if not more.  Do we really want to go there, Peter?

    I’ve taught in both Catholic and public schools and I will tell you that general morals are much worse in the Catholic schools than in the public ones.—-ie. students feeling each other up in the halls, necking by lockers, meeting in the gym, etc. between students;  unfortunate relationships between adults and students, etc.

  • Here’s the quote from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report of today which is pertinent:  “Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan released on Friday the names of 43 current or former diocesan priests with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors…”

    SUBSTANTIATED allegations. 

    The original list was 45—two were dropped because of ‘credibility problems’ with the accusers.

    Also please note that none of these are members of Orders which have had problems.  One not mentioned here is Fr. Pecore, a Salvatorian, who has done jail time.  After his release, this slimeball then introduced HIS OWN NEPHEW to ANOTHER predator (now under arrest and charged, finally…)

  • michigancatholic,

    2004-07-10 12:49:00
    2004-07-10 16:49:00

    I hope you realize that you and your behavior are just making my point for me. 

    Been there, done that.  Lots & lots & lots of times.  Glad I ain’t going to be teaching your kids.  wink

    Cam, if you have some facts, say them.  I’m just hearing generic cultural static out of you right now.  I think you just want to fight and I’m not interested in that.  I’ve got better things to do and probably Domenic does too. 

    Besides, we’re off topic (and no I don’t want to fight about that either).  I have the experience and you don’t.  Period. 

    Back to the Milwaukee abusers list issue……

  • Kerry has done what I would have thought pretty near impossible.  He has managed to alienate both sides on the same issue—
    the republicans because he has a 100% voting record for abortion, the democrats because he is claiming a fetus to be a person before birth.

    Do you realize what that would mean if the democrats signed onto this statement???  Whoa. 

    Unfortunately though, the distinction may be beyond most people until it is spelled out and I don’t know who might be able to do that.  The media won’t unless they get desperate to sell newspapers and tv time.

    Interesting development.

  • michigancatholic,

    “Cam, if you have some facts, say them.”

    You haven’t exactly given any yourself… I can’t refute with fact that which is not based in fact.  Enough of that though….let it go.

    I completely agree that we should get back to the abusers list…..I don’t agree that Archbishop Dolan is listing the priests, however, I will accept the fact that he has done it, against my personal thoughts, because he is looking out for the betterment of the archdiocese.  I just hope that the innocent on all sides are protected.


  • I have given you tons of facts.  Facts about what I’ve done, facts about teaching, facts about things that happened.  You’re all wet.

    I hope the innocent on all sides don’t come to harm either.  It’s a crazy situation.  People who are guilty of real crimes are going free, while others who are innocent are being terrorized.

    The real problem is that a lot of this stuff is beyond the statute of limitations and not prosecutable.  So we have lots of hearsay running the show.

  • The Republicans are so lame. They should be relentlessly keeping Kerry’s ridiculous position fresh in our minds, but so far I haven’t heard a peep from them.

  • Sorry sister,

    2004-07-11 12:02:49
    2004-07-11 16:02:49

    WRT divine revelation, there is a way of knowing that “trumps” evidentiary statistics, pragmatism, every other method but doesn’t contradict them if you look deeply enough.

    It’s called faith.  And the way to learn it is prayer, which positivistic and pragmatic systems have no way to describe/explain without running to emotivisms. 

    And you know we see that ALL the time.

    Cam, good book, Dark Night.  Have you read the Ascent too?  Do you like St. Teresa of Avila too? I went to Avila 1.5 years ago for a 5 days.  =)  Amazing.

  • michigancatholic,

    “All those inductive insinuations donons should be levied.

    I think that to immediately ship them off to “rehab” at a place like St. Luke’s can be harmful as well.  It can often lead to convincing the innocent that they are in fact guilty…which is not the case.  Again, if they are guilty, that is another matter.

    Finally, I think that we need to follow the basic principle of Christian (and Catholic) charity.  Those who are accused are not guilty.  We need to treat them as innocent until proven as such.  We should not go around saying, “Damn Father, because Timmy’s parents say such and such.”

    What we should say is, “How can we help find the truth about Father?  Are Timmy’s parents right in saying such and such?”

    Both can lead to the truth.  But the thought is this….which shows the love of Christ?  Which is showing authentic charity.  I would assert the latter.  Look to Scripture.  Christ says, I have come to save the world, not to condemn it.  One scenario above is salvific and seeking the authentic truth; one is condemning and a witch hunt.


  • Ah Camilam, 

    On this we must disagree.  Suspension of all who are accused has to be the norm.  The greater goal and vision must be rebuilding the trust of the congregation.  Does that mean that there will be false accusations?  Yes.  Will they incur suffering from those accusations?  Yes.  But here is where we have the problem. 

    For too long, the Church has mishandled predatory priests.  I am in the very small minority (especially around these parts) that the bishops handled it with the best intentions and with the best knowledge they had at the time.  30 years ago, our knowledge about the psychology of predatory behavior was nacent at best.  Then it was thought to be a behavioral abberation.  Today it is classified as a personality disorder.  HUGE difference. 

    At any rate, “How can we help find the truth about Father” and a mandatory suspension do not have to be mutually exclusive.  Quick due process has to be enacted.  Especially in the form of ministry and counseling to the accuser.  In that, the truth will unfold.  And if the the accuser is lying, then they are still in need of ministry and counseling. 

    This has been an understood rule in teaching, medicine, psychology, and police work.  Like in so many other areas, the Church has to catch up how to handle it properly.  My guess would be that the reason the list was published was at the advice of an attorney. 

    Oh and Mich, we haven’t left.  Some of us were waiting for you to stop double and triple posting. 


  • Ok Jaime,

    I understand what you are saying.

    So, if we are to suspend these priests, which I will agree to, then we must treat them utmost charity and avail them to the complete process.

    So, not only do we suspend them, but we ask, ment_id>
    2004-07-08 20:10:18
    2004-07-09 00:10:18
    I did not know that Senator John F. Kerry believes that life begins at conception. Now that I do know, I do not understand 20 years of votes supporting a woman’s right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

    I read this yesterday and brushed it off as just another lie.

    Eileen? You know when life begins and so does NARAL and so do most people. The problem Kerry poses is that he outted you.

    Now you’re going to have to rationalize your pro-“choice” (yet Catholic) stand by desperately grasping on to the high-button-shoes-old notion that—what?—life really begins at birth? At “quickening?” When, exactly?

    Betsy Cavendish, interim president of NARAL Pro Choice America, was offended that I wanted to discuss Kerry’s abortion comments on ‘‘such a great day.”

    In Cavendish’s shoes (God help me!) I would’ve reacted exactly the same way. It could be that, despite it all, Cavendish recognizes hypocrisy when he hears it.

    Oddly enough, Cavendish and Kerry are being honest. Believing that life begins at conception (duh…talk about a no-brainer, these days) they are simply saying: “It doesn’t matter, in the vast scheme of things. Other things are far, FAR more important.”

    Kerry has outted many a pro-“choice” adherent in his statement. I think you’re one of them, Eileen.

    I’d ask you to wake up—but I’m not at all sure you’ve been sleeping.