Wednesday, October 27, 2010

As part of a multi-million dollar settlement, the Diocese of San Diego was forced to release personnel files of sexually abusive priests. Attorney Anthony DeMarco said "These documents demonstrate years and years and decades of concerted action that has allowed this community's children to be victimized, and it is not until the community looks at these documents that this cycle is ever going to be ended."
What concerted action?
Apparently the Diocese had a habit of moving abusive priests from parish to parish without notifying the police.  Once again, I'm guessing, I'm sure the Pope is shocked and saddened.
Who knew? Outside of folks in Boston, Ireland, Australia, etc where everyone knew, it is safe to say the Bishop in your Diocese might have known too.
Heck, even the Pope knew how to do this when he was a Bishop in Germany when he shipped a pedophile from Esson to Munich for engaging in oral sex with an eleven year old.
Yet most still believe him when he says he is shocked and saddened. Even with such an enormous paper trail.
Which brings me back the the 10th Congressional District in Massachusetts and candidate Jeff Perry.
At a recent debate he claimed that if he knew Officer Flanagan was assaulting a fourteen year old girl, 
“I would have locked him up myself.”
However, just like the church, there is a paper trail.
Two civil suits were filed. One surrounding the assault of a 16 year old girl in 1992 and one on the assault of the 14 year old girl in 1991.
The suits named Flanagan and Perry as defendants, along with the Town of Wareham. The one filed by the 16 year old girl's family went to trial and and they won the verdict saying Perry and the town acted with deliberate indifference. 
That doesn't quite sound the same as locking someone up.
In fact, in this case Perry didn't really show indifference. He was quite active. Even though he wasn't present (this time) during Flanagan's assault he went the the girl's house the night of the crime, claiming to have been with Flanagan telling her parents they found what might have been marijuana on their daughter's possession.
Perry tried to facilitate a cover-up. Unfortunately for him, he didn't quite have the expertise in this area like the church.
The family called the Wareham Police the next day.
After the verdict in this case they decided to settle with the 14 year old out of court.
Yet pundits for the right, filling the role of the Catholic League, will claim Perry did nothing wrong.
Ignoring the actual paper trail.
For the complete breakdown of the Perry and Flanagan relationship, just follow this link.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Excuse me for a moment while I scream. The recent circumstances surrounding the candidacy of Jeff Perry for the US Congress has my head spinning.
In 1991 a 14 year old girl was illegally strip-searched...Okay nice euphemism but she was actually sexually assaulted... by Scott Flanagan, a Wareham police officer while Police Sergeant Jeff Perry stood by, as close as ten feet away and did nothing to stop it and then tried to cover it up.
Flanagan forced the girl to lift her shirt and bra, as he stuck his hand down her pants. She screamed for help.
These facts are indisputable. The State Police Report puts him there.
In 1992 Flanagan again assaulted a 16 year old girl in Wareham. Perry wasn't present this time, however later that evening he accompanied Flanagan to the victims house and threatened her parents. 
He only reported his awareness of the assault, after the girls parents came forward to report it.
Yet Jeff Perry has consistently denied any wrong doing. Excuse me, I feel the scream coming on.
Can some one tell me the difference between this man's badge and a Bishop's ring? Can someone tell me the difference between Jeff Perry's behavior and Cardinal Law's?
He was a man in power who allowed the abuse of children and actively covered up. It is simple, if Perry had stopped the assault in 1991 and reported Flanagan, the 1992 assault never would have happened.
No difference between Law protecting and moving a Father Geoghan. None.
Now, Flanagan's first victim steps forward to hold Perry accountable to the truth, as he is running to become a United States Congressman. I know there are plenty of punch-lines to write about accountable congressman, but I'm not in a joking mood.
The assault from the right on this victim for coming forward is frightening. The comments posted by people on the Herald and Globes are horrifying. Most blaming the victim while blaming liberals for being soft on crime. What?
The hypocrisy makes me scream. Because it shows the basic truth, that conservatives want to stop the sexual assault and abuse of children, as long as it makes liberals look bad. Otherwise we will stand with our own.
Don't make the mistake that I only attack conservatives on this point. I have pointed out Martha Coakley's free pass given to Geoghan while she was a DA.  And I'm always horrified by the Democrats support of Rep. Fagan. 
But it is the right who consistently claims that the left, with their buddies in the ACLU, who don't go to proper lengths to hold criminals accountable.
But now they are throwing their support behind Cardinal Law for Congress.
I will repeat, if Perry had stopped the assault in 1991 and reported Flanagan, the 1992 assault never would have happened.
Just look at Charlie Baker running to stand by Perry's side. He says that Perry has done a good job explaining the 1991 incident. Clearly the reports show Perry has done the opposite. In the same story, Senator Scott Brown is reported as saying that Perry has "run an honest campaign."
I've been trying to help a group, CORSAL,  for years to eliminate the statutes of limitation of sexual abuse of children. Eliminate it. The right points to, rightfully so, the Democrat Eugene O'Flaherty  has been our biggest obstacle. He co-chairs the Joint Judiciary Committee and refuses to release it from committee for a vote.
But when they talk about Perry, they say, well this happened almost twenty years ago, as a way to minimize the abuse. 
Judged by Charlie Baker's response, I can only guess that he is in O'Flaherty's corner.
Because, at the risk of being redundant, if Perry had stopped the assault in 1991 and reported Flanagan, the 1992 assault never would have happened.
I really wish I could fine more people who stop viewing the sexual abuse of children a left or right issue and simply see it as wrong. And do everything they can to stop it.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

I just shot a video today using shoes that were donated for an art installation I am hoping to show at some point in the future. My goal was and still is to collect 1000 shoes making each shoe represent 1200 victims of clergy sexual abuse. That's right, that means there are around 1,200,000 victims of clergy sexual abuse worldwide.

How did I arrive at that number?

Bishops Accountability has concluded that there are roughly 50,000 victims in the United States. The US represents 6% of the world's Catholic population so that would figure over 3/4 of a million victims worldwide. 

Father Andrew Greeley estimated that there were 100,000 victims in the US. That would make it a whopping 1,650,000 worldwide. 

I averaged the two and came out to 1,200,000. So far I have collected 180 shoes. I seriously thought it was a lot more but this was what I had to work with today.

Which was kind of creepy once I did the math. Each shoe represents 6,666 victims worldwide. Hmmmm.

The name of the short video and future art installation is "Putting On Its Shoes," named after the Mark Twain Quote - "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes."
What's the lie?

That the abuse is something new. It has been going on for a long time.

The song in the video is Ave Maria sung by Alessandro Moreschi, the last famous castrito who sang in the choir at the bascillica in Rome. He was castrated when he was a little boy so he could sing like that for the Pope. The song was recorded in 1904 when he was 46 years old. 
I'm going to say that castrating a kid as late as the in the 1860's or 70's is abuse. 
Come to think of it, it always was abuse!

Speaking of 1870, Mother Mary MacKillop was excommunicated from the church for reporting Fr Keating for sexually abusing children. Now she is about to become the patron Saint for the sexually abused.
Did I mention this was all in 1870?

And they are still shocked and saddened by the abuse they have been covering up for centuries.
Yep, the lie.

It is time to put on our shoes.