“Police Gave Church Leeway On Abuse” says the headline in today’s Boston Herald. Bishop Thomas Daily, the former vicar general in Boston and current head of the Diocese of Brooklyn, said in court depositions that the archdiocese had an agreement with police that law enforcement would “overlook” priests who abused kids.
- “Let’s put it this way: It was not automatic that we had to notify the police,” Brooklyn Bishop Thomas V. Daily, who was Boston’s vicar general from 1976 to 1984, said in a deposition released yesterday. “We were to take care of it ourselves,” Daily added. “As a matter of fact, we were told that in some instances, by the police themselves, that they treated us that way. If it came back to us, we were presumably to take care of it.”
Isn’t it about time that the attorney general started an investigation into police departments and officials who allowed this? How about lawyers for victims filing lawsuits against the police for failing to prosecute molesters and knowingly allowing them back into the community to abuse again? How about the police failing to follow up to make sure that the priests handed back over to the diocese were actually dealt with? Or is the Church the only legitimate target?
Also of note in the article are comments by Bishop Daily that he knew Shanley endorsed sex between men and boys and still sent him into parish ministry. Let’s assume for an instant that the bishop knew somehow that Shanley only advocated sex between men and boys as moral, but never intended to do it himself. Wouldn’t that still make Shanley unfit to serve as a pastor of souls? What exactly does a priest have to do and say for a bishop to conclude that the man is unfit to serve as a shepherd for Christ’s flock?