RICO case in Boston?

RICO case in Boston?

Very curious. The local US Attorney has convened a federal grand jury that has already heard testimony from Cardinal Law and two other bishops. A priest accused of abuse years ago, but never substantiated, has testified, but apparently they weren’t interested in his case specifically, but in his transfer.

The article says that the prosecutors are building a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) case on the actions of Boston bishops who transferred perverts from place to place.

Fr. Bob Carr, a priest at Holy Cross Cathedral and blogger, identifies himself in the Boston Globe article as a friend of the priest who testified.

That the grand jury was convened by US Attorney Michael Sullivan is significant. Sullivan is not generally a grandstander or media hog. If this were done by Mass. Attorney General Tom Reilly, I’d think it was just an attempt to get his name in another headline, but the fact that Sullivan is behind it makes it more significant. There’s a story brewing here.

  • I thought there already was a precedent which declared that religious organizations could not be prosecuted under RICO.  I think it was the California Jesuits seminarians case.

  • The bishops who did such should be in jail.  Endangering innocent kids with known sexual predators is criminal.

  • In today’s Herald, Cardinal Law’s attorney, Owen Todd, is quoted as saying that “The cardinal is not the target of any criminal investigation being conducted by the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.”  Todd, I believe, is known as an excellent lawyer—other lawyers hire him.  (He used to be a judge, but decided he rather be back in practice.)

  • Speaking of the law and the Church, how many of you are familiar with the deal cut between the Diocese of Manchester and the NH AG?  The chancery decided to submit to state supervision so that Bishops McCormack (trained at the Bernard F. Law School of Tergiversation) and Christian (no, this is not a Dickens novel, and, yes that is his name) wouldn’t be hauled into court and this diocese indicted.  Now, true to form, the two bishops and their staffers are trying to renege on the deal and have turned to the courts to ask for relief (There is a shortage of priests in NH, but no shortage of lawyers and PR men around the chancery).