Profile of Geoghan

Profile of Geoghan

The Boston Globe is running a three-part story about John Geoghan, the Boston priest whose case ignited the Scandal in 2002. Today is the second of three installments.

Nothing too surprising here, but it adds to what we already knew about him, his personality, his way of thinking, and how he had such a rough time in prison.

At one point, the reporter interviews Geoghan’s cousin:

Houlihan said Geoghan was failed by two institutions. He said the Catholic Church could have given Geoghan an administrative post at the earliest sign of his abuse. The state Department of Correction should have been able to keep an obvious target for violence safe from harm, he said. “I think the church failed John,” Houlihan said. “There could have been a lot done to meet their obligations and give John an opportunity to do something useful.”

This type of talk bothers me. Yes, the cardinal should have acted more decisively and the prison should have provided better security, but the person ultimately responsible for John Geoghan’s fate is John Geoghan. Placing blame on anyone else isavoiding the reality.