The Boston Herald reports on the 1988 case of a prosecutor who declined to prosecute a priest accused of abuse. The priest had apparently confessed to the crime, as well as several other cases of abuse. The DA at the time now echoes something Cardinal Law has said:
- “I think back then people thought, ‘Get these people treatment. They’re otherwise very intelligent, highly educated people. They’ll recognize that the behavior is inappropriate and wrong and criminal, and they’ll modify their behavior,’” Hardoon said.
I’m surprised people ever thought that. Was molesting kids a crime or not? It wasn’t a one time event. He apparently molested at least one other boy (the article is confusingly worded; there may have been another case as well.)
Now this priest was apparently dealt with appropriately by the archdiocese, eventually. He was removed from ministry, although he continued to wear a collar and celebrated Mass publicly on occasion. He even celebrated Mass a number of times at my parish a couple of years ago. The one thing I remember from meeting him is that he had the incorrect impression I worked for Mother Angelica and EWTN (Catholic World News has a cooperative relationship with EWTN, but we’re not connected) and expressed his intense dislike for Mother and her network. Hmm.