Another priest of the Archdiocese of Boston has been reinstated after the allegations against him were considered and rejected as not credible. Of course, victims’ advocates, and the accuser’s lawyer, are crying foul, saying that the process wasn’t open or didn’t allow the victim to have his say. But when you see the flimsy pre-text for the accusation, you’ll only wonder why it took so long for the reinstatement:
The archdiocese released no details of the allegation, but Neila J. Straub, an attorney in Salem, said her client, now middle-aged, had alleged he was abused as an altar boy at St. John the Evangelist Church in Beverly sometime between 1965 and 1967.
Straub said her client did not remember the name of the priest who had allegedly abused him, only that he was young, good-looking, and had wavy hair. After being shown photos of several priests who served at St. John the Evangelist during that period by the Rev. George J. Butera, the church’s current pastor, the man pointed to Bourgault as looking most like the individual who had allegedly abused him.
In others words, “I don’t know his name or when the alleged abuse occurred or even remember enough to give a decent description, but show me a lineup of photos more than 35 years later and I’ll pick him out.” Perhaps this guy was abused, but we need better information than this to punish someone for it. And the alleged victim apparently didn’t cooperate with the investigation to help his case. The only question is why it took eight months to clear this up.