A priest here in Salem, Mass., has been revealed as having fathered several children back in the 60s and possibly having had other relationships with married women. Although he denies it, there is documentary evidence in diocesan files that he acknowledged the affair(s). Here’s what has the press so riled: Apparently the woman had a drug overdose when he was present, he didn’t call police right away, and she subsequently died, although it’s not clear it was from the overdose.
Now lawyers and victims of sex abuse are trumpeting this as some grand disclosure. What exactly does this disclose? Foley was reassigned to a parish at some point. Perhaps he repented of his past sins? This wasn’t sex with minors, so why should he be permanently banned from ministry?
From the article:
- There is nothing in the documents about Law or anyone else going to the authorities. “I feel very strongly that it’s a blatant disregard for the legal law,” said Paula Ford, the mother of an alleged victim of abuse. “And the attorney general should have had his hands on these months ago.”
What does the attorney general have to do with it? Presumably when this woman died, emergency personnel were called and an investigation was done and they decided that there was no foul play. But just because there was a priest involved, now there’s automatically an assumption of something sinister.
Look, I’m not saying that what Foley did wasn’t wrong, but it’s of a completely different than what Geoghan and Shanley and Meffan and the others did. There is no hint that there was any kind of abuse or that this relationship was nonconsensual. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t sinful.
Many of these same journalists had a very different attitude about this sort of thing not too long ago when Bill Clinton was being grilled about sex with an intern. Hypocrisy among journalists. I’m shocked.
You may ask why Father Foley’s files were sent to the lawyers for abuse victims. It seems there’s another Father Foley who is accused of abusing children and the archdiocese mixed them up. Oops, talk about your bad recordkeeping.