UPDATE: I just discovered on the internet thanks to ABC news, the site bishopaccountability.org. It lists priests and accusations against them. There is a map of the United States on the site. When you click your state, a list of cases appears. I just discovered that there have been ten cases right in my own city over the past several years.
At what age do you tell your child about abusers and what to do about any lewd acts, gestures, or comments? These are people, along with others in authority, that we want our children to respect and not fear. At the same time, we want them to know it is OK to run, kick, scream, etc. if they are in danger. Who knows what to tell children and when?
The news clip was about priests from Ireland who are being shipped to the US to serve. People at a parish in Rhode Island called a news conference. They want full disclosure on any priest that is assigned to their parish. I think it is their right to do so. AA
Recently I watched a documentary film which was recommended to me. Some friends and I had been talking about how shame, which originated in the story of Adam and Eve, was connected to exposure of sexual organs. Adam and Eve wandered blissfully around the Garden of Eden unconcerned about clothing.
7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” (Gen.3) No one really knew the answer to the original question. Why does exposure of body parts lead in most of us to shame and quick cover up? A question arose as to why the early church placed so many restrictions on behaviors sexual in nature among the parishioners. That led to discussing the child molestation committed by members of the clergy that was brought to light not many years ago. The conversation somehow evolved into the recommendation by someone to watch Deliver Us From Evil. I had not heard of this 2006 film. It is a documentary film about the sex abuse occurrences in the 1970s onward that were covered up within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. In particular it was about Father Oliver O’Grady who, once he confessed to the parents of one of his victims, was simply moved by the church to a different parish in California, and moved, and moved each time his transgressions against the children of his parish came to light. The parents were assured that he would be assigned to a monastery where he would spend the rest of his life. That of course didn’t happen. He was moved merely fifty miles away instead and again, and again. There is no word for the revulsion I felt towards that priest in the film. Since this was a documentary, it was the actual priest who had committed all the atrocities being interviewed for the film. Watch in this trailer how he reacts when he’s talking about seeing children in their underwear and his sexual arousal. He actually gets a grin on his face. He is walking free in a park as he is being filmed with children passing around him. He was finally found guilty and sentenced to fourteen years in prison but was paroled after only serving seven of them. He was deported back to Ireland but his current whereabouts are unknown. This man is, according to the latest information I can find, still on the loose in some community. He is only sixty-three and possibly still fully capable of continuing his molestations. This is a man who raped a nine month old baby girl. The baby suffered vaginal scarring which will affect her the rest of her life. She of course will not remember what happened, but her body will remind her. I did not find specific references but I am guessing that since there was actual penetration, she possibly would have had to undergo numerous reconstructive surgeries. There is no word to describe this vile “man of the cloth”. I can’t imagine how cunning he must have been to be able to get this child away from her parents for enough time alone to something like that. The mere thought of any human being, let alone a priest, doing something like that to a baby is as sickening as anything I have ever heard of in my life. I know humans do bad things, but I think that is the worst that could possibly happen. I stumbled upon a website that lists some of the cases involving pedophile priests. The bar to the right of the screen is about 1/4″. As you scroll down, the list keeps growing and growing. O’Grady was one of hundreds. The documentary was about three of O’Grady’s victims and their families. At one point one of the female victims states how she was molested and then psychologically molested an additional time when she and her family confronted the church. One of O’Grady’s superiors stated:
“We knew you were being abused, but you were a girl. Had you been a boy, that would have been obscene.” (movie) They dismissed her complaint because she was a girl. How revolting is that? There are child molestation laws on the books. I was unable to discover when they were passed. Evidently many of them had to be established after this debacle.
Molestation is the crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, including touching of private parts, exposure of genitalia, taking of pornographic pictures, rape, and various sexual acts with the molester or with other children. Incest by a relative with a minor family member and any unwanted sexual acts with adults short of rape may also constirute molestation.
State laws vary, but generally child molestation, like other capital offenses such as murder, carries a maximum sentence of life behind bars. Some state law requires all records involving cases of child molestation to be sealed. Other states have laws requiring child molesters to be registered as sex offenders. If these laws carry a maximum of life in prison, how could a man with over twenty five counts of molestation walk after seven years? Child molestation is a capital offense. I do not understand how O’Grady’s situation could have been handled so lightly.
If you have never known what betrayal feels like and would like to know, study the above picture. When one experiences betrayal, it feels like a sword that drives itself through the midsection immediately under the breastbone. It is sharp, deep, and excruciating. There is no other psychological pain quite like it.
The victims of O’Grady felt overwhelming betrayal by their church. These were devout parishioners who viewed the priest as a person who could do no wrong. They viewed him not as a mere mortal, but with an awe only slightly less than that reserved for God himself. The two women in the documentary who sought an audience at the Vatican were betrayed numbers of times: by O’Grady, by his superiors, by those who dismissed their pleas because they were girls, and by those at the Vatican who instructed the guards to turn them away.
Cases like these are a travesty of justice. They put into the spotlight the arrogance of the hierarchy of the church and show the disdain felt towards women by those who are supposed to be the spiritual fathers of the entire congregation. They completely disregard the fact that the victims are children or sometimes their mothers who are as a result scarred for their entire lives. My question is this: In this day and age why do the masses still allow them to maintain so much power? How much longer will the threat held out to them of eternal damnation in the fires of Hell cause them to be blind to what many of these men truly are…monsters?!?
Namaste. Attic Annie