Pols eye tougher penalties for failure to report abuse

Pols eye tougher penalties for failure to report abuse

Mass. lawmakers want to add teeth to the mandatory abuse law. Right now the bill requires certain professions, including clergy, to report child abuse. The current law imposes a $1,000 fine, but th e proposed one would expand to it a fine ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 with a jail term ranging from six months to 2-1/2 years. That should get some people motivated.

When the current law was passed last year, it required anyone with any prior knowledge of abuse to report it by June 30, 2002. Only one priest came forward by the deadline.

    The Rev. David O’Leary told district attorneys in Massachusetts and New Hampshire that the Rev. Robert V. Gale of Boston allegedly abused a child near the church-run Camp Fatima in Gilmanton Iron Works, N.H.

    O’Leary also sent a copy to Manchester Bishop John B. McCormack, the Boston archdiocese’s former clergy personnel chief.

    “Greetings, John,” O’Leary wrote. “My report concerning Bob Gale should not be new. I wrote a few years ago when (the camp director) invited Bob Gale to celebrate a Mass (at) a camp reunion.”

Kudos to Fr. O’Leary and jeers to Bishop McCormack who did nothing when Gale was first reported to him in 1993.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli