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The Church’s ‘Geographic Solution’

Back in 2003, I had a conversation with a Dallas plaintiff’s lawyer who had been involved in sex abuse lawsuits against the Catholic Church. She told me that the Church was going to be hit with a second wave of abuse lawsuits once the Latino community started facing up to what priests had done to them.

She explained that it was hard to get Latino Catholics to talk about the scandal, and about clerical sex abuse that had happened in their communities. There were various reasons for this; I recall the lawyer telling me that there was a lot more shame about it within Latino culture, and also priests were held in much higher regard than in Anglo culture. Sooner or later, she said, it’s going to come out.

I wonder if we are starting to reach that point. From NPR: [1]

Catholic Church leaders in Los Angeles for years shuffled predator priests into non-English-speaking immigrant communities. That pattern was revealed in personnel documents released in a decades-old legal settlement between victims of child sex abuse by Catholic priests and the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Now clergy sex abuse victims throughout California are calling on the state’s attorney general to investigate clergy abuse and force church officials to release more information about their role covering it up. The goal is to discover how wide-spread the practice of hiding abusers in immigrant communities really was.

Manuel Barragan was one of those victims.

More:

DeMarco says that settlement forced local Catholic officials to turn over thousands of pages of personnel files on accused priests. Those files showed how higher-ups repeatedly sent predators into communities where they knew people were less likely to speak up.

change_me

“Blatant statements as to ‘there is no need to take corrective action, because folks who were undocumented won’t report,'” DeMarco says. “That’s in some of these files.”

There are dozens of examples of immigrant communities thrown under the bus.

“This is complete pattern,” says Patrick Wall, a legal advocate who coined the term ‘the geographic solution’ to describe the church’s actions.

And:

There’s a good reason Latino Catholics view this issue differently than the rest of the Church, says Cecilia González-Andrieu, who teaches theology at Loyola Marymount University.

“The Latino Church was already in a really painful spot and needed the Catholic Church with moral authority to continue to fight for our human rights,” she says.

Immigrant Catholics depend on the Church to speak out on issues related to legal status, poverty and healthcare.

“With this scandal cropping up, that voice is now completely gone from the conversation,” González-Andrieu says.

Read the whole thing. [1]

Back in 2002, I wrote about Father Robert Larson, a serial molester in the Diocese of Wichita. There were five — five! — suicides of young men who had been his victims. Larson died in prison a few years back, and I noted that here. [2]Excerpt:

Hearing of Larson’s death gets to me, because I well remember the telephone conversation I had with Horace Patterson on the day I interviewed him for that NRO article. He described to me sitting on his front porch after having received the news by phone of Eric’s suicide. He watched his wife Janet driving up the lane towards the house, knowing what he was going to have to tell her when she arrived.

Something inside me broke when I heard that story. I was at the time a relatively new father; my son was not yet three. I imagined myself in Horace’s chair on that day. I imagined myself in the places of all the parents of Father Larson’s dead. What would I say to the bishop(s) who allowed Father Larson to remain in ministry, knowing what he was? What would I say to the diocesan officials who repeatedly lied to mothers and fathers about this monster the diocese allowed to come into their midst and prey on their children?

After this essay appeared online, I heard from a Vietnamese-American man who said he was one of the boat people refugees that Father Larson had responsibility for. He too had been molested by the priest, but like so many of the other boys, he did not have the language to tell others what was happening to him. And he was a child in a foreign land. He was scared. They all were.

And the Diocese of Wichita let this happen to them.

The Boston Globe has reported, on Larson and the Vietnamese: [3]

By some accounts, Larson’s assaults began in the 1960s when he served as a church pastor in Wichita. Karen Schneweis recalls complaints about the priest in the mid-1970s when she worked for the local Catholic social services organization and Larson was managing a resettlement program that found homes for thousands of Vietnamese refugees.

At lunch, Schneweis recalled Larson’s hand running up and down the legs of Vietnamese boys clearly uncomfortable with the contact. When she complained to her supervisor, she said he replied: “Oh God, here we go again,” and promised to take her report to the bishop.

Those refugee kids, who had no English, were a geographic solution for the Diocese of Wichita.

Here’s a different kind of “geographic solution” that’s going to cause the Catholic Church a world of trouble. I’m hearing about it from various worried priests. The clergy shortage nationwide is causing a number of US dioceses to import priests from other countries. In part because the churches in Africa, much of Latin America, and elsewhere in the Global South have yet to go through their own abuse crisis — that is, their scandals are yet to be revealed — many of these countries have nothing like the screening processes that the US does, to identify and weed out problematic priests. Dioceses here that accept priests from those places typically do so on trust.

US priests I talk to worry that that trust is going to prove catastrophic.

This is what happens when you regard the Church as a Sacrament Factory, and bishops think of themselves and the clergy as management.

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38 Comments To "The Church’s ‘Geographic Solution’"

#1 Comment By KD On November 9, 2018 @ 9:29 am

Not a big fan of structural racism in general, but this is exactly how groups with less sophistication, resources and a capacity to advocate for themselves get screwed over by institutions (literally in this case). No wonder the Church is so supportive of immigration, where else can they let lose the predators?

#2 Comment By Ted On November 9, 2018 @ 9:30 am

The L.A. Times recently ran a puff piece on Roger Cardinal Mahony, who ran L.A. as his personal chickenhawk farm for many years, and who Francis recently tried to rehabilitate kinda sorta. Here are some letters to the editor on the piece:

[4]

Roger Dodger was created Cardinal-Priest of Santi Quattro Coronati by Pope John Paul II in the consistory of June 28, 1991. He had been made bishop by Woytila as well. Evidently Mahony’s rule in L.A. was one of things JPII couldn’t “get his head around.”

And just to show you can’t keep a bad man down, here’s our Roger’s blog, less than a month old:

[5]

Keep those little brown kids comin’, amigos!

[6]

#3 Comment By Hal On November 9, 2018 @ 9:51 am

I don’t want to come off as cynical, but it bears asking: Is the Catholic Church’s boisterous stance on immigration simply compensation for the abuse of immigrants within the church? Perhaps it seems like penance on the part of the leadership to push hard on immigration issues when they’ve failed other immigrant groups so disastrously.

#4 Comment By ginger On November 9, 2018 @ 9:51 am

Anywhere people are relatively disadvantaged, you can expect there has been a lot of abuse. It’s a dog eat dog world.

At least the Church here in the US knows better than to start forcing tithing on the poor:

[7]

That’ll show those stingy Ugandans who are trying to feed their families of 6,8,10 kids on 1.90 a day but are clearly not doing their duty and giving their 19 cents worth of daily earnings to the archbishops.

Apparently the hierarchs over there have managed to convince at least some of the sheep that if you don’t give 10% of your income to the institution of the Catholic Church, not only will you have toiled away in poverty and misery here on earth, you’ll get to burn in hell for all eternity, too.

They’ve got those poor people over a barrel. Just wait until the priest abuse stories start pouring out of places like that. It’ll rival what was done to poor Latino children and poor children on the reservations and then some.

#5 Comment By Tom Mastroianni On November 9, 2018 @ 9:57 am

It’s starting to make sense why the leftist clergy in this country (i.e., the USCCB) have been less concerned with—if not entirely indifferent to—issues such as marriage & family, human trafficking, and the ritualistic murder of the unborn and, instead, disproportionally consumed with promoting unfettered immigration, usually to the complete exclusion of the former (see, e.g., “Rabbit Hole” Cupich). Fortunately, President Trump and his administration have been waging war against these evils, which he/they will continue to do despite the Church’s failure to do so for the past 50-plus years. (Of course, the MSM doesn’t, hasn’t, and won’t report on this.) But Donald Trump is super-“icky” and, like, says/Tweets really mean things in response to people who wish him and his family nothing but the absolute worst, so UNFORTUNATELY we can’t take him serious or give him any credit for his efforts (and victories) in fighting for innocent human life and against these pedo-vores…(*SARCASM*)

#6 Comment By Ted On November 9, 2018 @ 10:01 am

Hal: “I don’t want to come off as cynical, but it bears asking: Is the Catholic Church’s boisterous stance on immigration simply compensation for the abuse of immigrants within the church?”

Hal, that’s not cynical, it’s starry-eyed! An open border is a continual supply of fresh meat for Moloch.

The scandal blights EVERYTHING the church is supposed to stand for, the family as the unit of state, the dignity of labor, everything. I don’t want to hear about apostolic succession any more. Roger Mahony and their merry men have destroyed it.

#7 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 9, 2018 @ 10:13 am

This is what happens when your church is led by princes, organized in a hierarchy, who are considered God’s representatives on earth, the apple of Christ’s eye, rather than as fellow poor sinners who may have learned enough to be of some help to the rest of the flock.

The danger is of course equally present in Protestant churches who emphasize “obedience to your pastor.” That’s not the same thing as obedience to God.

Obviously, there is no political dividing line as to who is prone to commit these atrocities.

#8 Comment By James On November 9, 2018 @ 10:16 am

This is why my diocese does not accept foreign priests to serve as externs in our diocese without really good reason. Staffing a Parish is not a good enough reason.

#9 Comment By John_M On November 9, 2018 @ 10:20 am

Rod,

I don’t know if you have seen this, but if not you need to read the report at the following link.

[8]

It is relevant to what you have been saying for years.

#10 Comment By Lee Podles On November 9, 2018 @ 10:33 am

When I was researching my book, I too noticed that pattern: abusive priests were disproportionately assigned to Latino, Native American, and Aleut communities. Sometimes the children could not speak English, or they did not have the English words to describe what was done to them, or they feared going to the police. Some communities were isolated and had no one to report to.

The Jesuits abusers in Alaska justified their abuse by claiming that child-adult sex was accepted in the native communities.

This is one reason I find the Catholic language about “preferential option for the poor” not only to be sheer hypocrisy but to be (inadvertently?) a double entendre.

#11 Comment By John_M On November 9, 2018 @ 10:34 am

More grist for your mill,

From Kevin Lewis’s excellent blog

The Surprising Predictable Decline of Religion in the United States
Simon Brauer
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, forthcoming

Abstract:

Scholars over the past several decades have noted the resilience of religion in the United States (Chaves 2011; Gorski and Altinordu 2008; Hadden 1987:601–02; Presser and Chaves 2007), but many recognize that the youngest U.S. cohorts are significantly lower on several religious characteristics than older cohorts (Hout and Fischer 2014; Putnam and Campbell 2012; Voas and Chaves 2016). Scholars have proposed several explanations for this trend, disagreeing about whether it is the result of a particular cultural moment or an ongoing process leading to even greater religious decline. Voas (2009) proposed one such explanation. He used European data to show that the proportion of nonreligious people in each cohort only became significant when previous cohorts reached a critical mass of moderately religious people. Voas’s model is novel and promising but has neither been examined statistically nor applied to U.S. data, which I take up here. I find that, surprisingly, the United States fits closely on the same trajectory of religious decline as European countries, suggesting a shared demographic process as opposed to idiosyncratic change. I conclude by discussing how these findings inform theories of self-reinforcing religious decline and cross-national patterns of religiosity.

#12 Comment By redbrick On November 9, 2018 @ 10:39 am

“stingy Ugandans who are trying to feed their families of 6,8,10 kids on 1.90 a day”

You just opened a whole can of worms most people dont want to talk about.

Why are the Africans having 6,8,10 kids they can’t feed or take care of…..while we Westerners can only have 1 maybe 2 because we have to take responsibility for our own actions and take responsibility to feed and take care of the ones we have.

#13 Comment By Frank D On November 9, 2018 @ 10:47 am

Did you hear that Chaput is now starting a program to “compensate” abuse victims financially. You fill out an application. It goes to an “independent” arbiter. They calculate how much you get (nothing on the metrics used) and they cut you a check. Easy peasy. What could possibly go wrong with this approach?

#14 Comment By C. L. H. Daniels On November 9, 2018 @ 10:50 am

It’s so sad that the Catholic Church has come to this pass. The modern world is so starved for the sacred that the Church ought to be in its glory right now, standing as a beacon against the latent nihilism and pervasive isolation of our age. But alas, that cannot be, for far from standing against the spirit of the age, it is entirely clear that the Church has been utterly corrupted by it. How tragic for the rest of us.

#15 Comment By catbird On November 9, 2018 @ 10:50 am

“The clergy shortage nationwide . . . ”

Isn’t this a big chunk of the whole problem? Bishops can’t be selective because they just don’t have a big pool to chose from.

#16 Comment By Creme Fraiche On November 9, 2018 @ 11:02 am

I’m assuming here that some people saw the HBO Series “The Young Pope”…. There was exactly this dynamic of sending offending priests to developing countries. It is a colonist, imperialist attitude, consistent in fact, if we are honest with ourselves, with the history of the Catholic Church.

Many millennials today are searching for ritual, tradition, and community. I have recently crossed many that have (literally) started using new (perhaps ancient?) pagan rituals of worshipping the moon and paying attention to astrology.

I truly believe the Catholic Church pews would be so much fuller, especially during this time of spiritual searching, if not for these deep violations of trust that have been committed and hidden over and over again. We are talking about centuries of treating children and brown people as pawns for pleasure and free labor. To be clear, I’m referring to numerous papal bulls which were used to justify slavery, starting in the “Age of Discovery”.

I’m sure many Americans would like to forget, but in Caribbean French and Spanish speaking countries (where the majority is still Catholic), let me tell you, this is still actively debated and remembered. What is very interesting to see is the number of these people flocking to African American forms of Protestantism, because of its beautiful gospel and historical role of resistance against these sins which were committed in the name of God.

It’s like the Catholic church needs some sort of public sacrament of penance? Unfortunately, I, like most people, am ignorant as to how these things must be handled. I do think the silver lining is that humans continue to search for Truth and communion, I believe we can all be encouraged by this!

#17 Comment By TR On November 9, 2018 @ 11:10 am

You can’t have an organization without some people thinking of themselves as “management.” And when you have bills to pay and appointments to make, you are a manager. The question is whether you are a good or bad manager.

As for “latinos,” the operative word here is “undocumented.” On its own, Latin culture, especially Latin male culture, is full of church-haters, including lots of pesky Freemasons. And the Hispanic literature that I know is far more likely to be anti-clerical than any Anglophone literature is.

#18 Comment By Jon in Maine On November 9, 2018 @ 11:16 am

Hal and Ted: I suspect the main reason for the USCCB’s stance on immigration has more to do with its status as “the Democratic Party at Prayer”. More Meat for Moloch is certainly a side benefit though.

But hey, let’s not get hung up on this, after all we are all sinners! We have more important things to worry about, like plastic in the oceans!

#19 Comment By Scott Woltze On November 9, 2018 @ 11:28 am

Shortly after Archbishop Sample arrived here in Portland, three priests imported from abroad by his predecessor were busted for sexual abuse. A priest from India tried to lure early-teen girls into his car. A priest from Mexico abused a 12 year old boy during a sleepover (idiot parents), and a priest from the Philippines was spying on his altar boys with a hidden camera aimed at the bathroom toilet. The first two were arrested but the third fled the country.

We still have too many men becoming priests for the wrong reason. This is particularly true in countries where the priesthood is a sure means for free higher education, social prestige and economic security.

#20 Comment By john On November 9, 2018 @ 11:29 am

So a crime is committed, the Church hierarchy covers it up. That is a conspiracy, the coverup has international dimensions. Is it really a big reach to state that the Catholic Church is an international criminal conspiracy. I suppose crime isn’t its primary mission

#21 Comment By Elijah On November 9, 2018 @ 11:35 am

“It is a colonist, imperialist attitude, consistent in fact, if we are honest with ourselves, with the history of the Catholic Church.”

I hadn’t thought about it in those terms; I think there’s a lot of truth there.

I’d like to second Siarlys’ comment as well: you can’t refer to men as “Princes of the Church” then act surprised when they behave as such.

#22 Comment By Jackie Treehorn On November 9, 2018 @ 11:39 am

To Tom Mastroianni @ 9:57: Do you have any evidence that Trump is doing anything to combat the Catholic church in general or the child sex-abuse problem in particular? First I’ve heard of it.

And to redbrick @ 10:39: Africans have lots of kids because there is no culture of birth control and no easy access to contraceptives, and also because the Catholic church forbids their use in any case. Telling 3rd World people to wait till their economic situation improves (it won’t) before they have sex is a non-starter.

#23 Comment By charles cosimano On November 9, 2018 @ 12:10 pm

“that’s not cynical, it’s starry-eyed! An open border is a continual supply of fresh meat for Moloch.”

Moloch screams from the paradise of the Canaanites, “Leave me out of this!”

This is what comes of not worshiping Baal.

#24 Comment By Sid Finster On November 9, 2018 @ 12:27 pm

What will be interesting is to watch these revelations coming to light against the backdrop of the ongoing implosion of Catholicism in Latin America.

I suspect that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

#25 Comment By Austin (UK) On November 9, 2018 @ 12:34 pm

“Church as a Sacrament Factory, and bishops think of themselves and the clergy as management”

1) Are people who confect, confectioners? That would explain the Papal sentimental penchant for not “denying smarties”. (In my young day over half the congregation didn’t “go up” and my Dad for one, who always did “go up”, never gossipped about them.)

2) Do they have to ensure performance “down to” a “professional standard”?

(A number of bishops in the UK are good by the way. But some staff probably get trained – am not sure by whom – to “get under their feet” somewhat.)

#26 Comment By TR On November 9, 2018 @ 12:44 pm

Maybe too Foucauldian for some: Maybe the church has always had a pedophile problem and has always handled it this way. Only it was kept under wraps (in the Anglo-Saxon world to keep from giving scandal to the Protestants, of course). But suddenly, thanks to the press and plaintiffs attorneys, the whole thing became known–and known to the likes of RD and others who were outraged. In other words, the church always had the problem and the power, until that power was challenged.

If that sounds unlikely, keep in mind that parental child abuse only became a hot topic in the 1960s. Spouse abuse followed. But familial violence hardly began in the
Eisenhower-Kennedy years.

#27 Comment By ginger On November 9, 2018 @ 12:56 pm

“And to redbrick @ 10:39: Africans have lots of kids because there is no culture of birth control and no easy access to contraceptives, and also because the Catholic church forbids their use in any case. Telling 3rd World people to wait till their economic situation improves (it won’t) before they have sex is a non-starter.”

And for anybody interested in such things:

“Factors related to the uptake of natural family planning by clients of catholic health units in Masaka Diocese, Uganda”

[9]

Perhaps the good archbishop can use some of that tithe he wants to force on these poor people to actually do something to help them, including discouraging use of alcohol, which seems to be a real problem affecting the ability of these poor folks to use NFP effectively. Setting up effective NFP training programs and working to give women agency in their lives would be nice, too.

#28 Comment By Ted On November 9, 2018 @ 1:24 pm

Creme Fraiche: My kids tell me the young Pope in “The Young Pope” controls a kangaroo with his mind. OR DOES HE? I wouldn’t go to cable for anything more than yucks if I were you.

Austin (UK): This has been frosting me for years (as our host knows). I can remember back to the late ’50s. There was no disgrace in “not receiving”. There’s a disgrace in some of the characters who consecrate the host, though, that’s for sure.

#29 Comment By Tom Mastroianni On November 9, 2018 @ 1:28 pm

Hello “Jackie Treehorn” (@ 11:39 am) – LifeSite News reported earlier this summer that 2,300 pedophiles were arrested back on June 12, 2018 in a massive nationwide, multi-agency operation (“Operation Broken Heart”). See https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/over-2000-suspected-pedophiles-arrested-national-media-yawn. The LSN article even links to local news reports, in event you’re dubious of that publication’s credibility. The DOJ even issued an official press release on Operation Broken Heart here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/more-2300-suspected-online-child-sex-offenders-arrested-during-operation-broken-heart.

There was another FBI sting on sex trafficking resulting in the rescue of nearly 160 children (one as young as 3) and nearly 150 arrests, convictions, or sentences. Again, only the local news reported on this: see, e.g., [10]

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration into office he signed an executive order vowing to enforce federal law against transnational organizations engaged, inter alia, in human trafficking. See [11]. He then issued another executive order in December 2017 “Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption” (i.e., freezing the assets of these transnational organizations). See [12]. Again, sorely under-reported (if at all).

In addition, just last month the DOJ launched an investigation into the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania regarding the alleged sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, which they will likely prosecute under the RICO statute in the event they find evidence that children were taken across state lines for sexual abuse. (Pennsylvania is not on the Mexican border, as you know…) Rod actually related the story on this very blog: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/catholic-rico-lavender-mafia-pennsylvania/comment-page-2/. There’s no telling where that investigation will lead them.

The MSM’s silence on this—which likely explains why you’re hearing of it for the first time—is intriguing at best and terrifying at worst, especially in light of their ravenous reporting back in 2002/2003 on the Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal 1.0. Russian Collusion, Trump’s tax returns, “kids in cages,” White Nationalist/Racist America, Stormy Daniels, etc. are all distractions. You would do well to inform your conscience by looking into the truth of this more. It’s the only plausible explanation for why virtually every institution of power and influence (e.g., Hollywood, the media, academia, etc.) has had such a visceral and disproportionate HATRED for a man who has lived a public life for more than three decades and is, at best, is a MODERATE Republican. The monsters are real but they are cowards and the Truth will defeat them. So, in the continued spirit of borrowing from popular movies, will you take the Red Pill or the Blue Pill?

#30 Comment By Fran Macadam On November 9, 2018 @ 1:42 pm

No wonder latino countries that were 95% Roman Catholic within the last decades, are now approaching majority evangelical protestant.

God is not dead, even if the Roman hierarchy is assisting in the suicide of their organization.

#31 Comment By Weiss On November 9, 2018 @ 3:48 pm

This explains the transfer of Fr. Nicola Coradi, one of several clergy and religious who for years viciously raped deaf children at the Provolo School for the Deaf in Verona, Italy, to…the Provolo Institute in Mendoza, Argentina, where he continued viciously raping even more deaf children. It is a perfect example of what you are describing here.

Vatican Secretariat of State knew about Verona, btw, and did absolutely nothing. Or maybe it’s not accurate to say “nothing” was done, because Angelo Becciu, the main official who was alerted to the problem in Verona, stubbornly stayed silent despite repeatedly pleas for someone to do something. He was just made a Cardinal this past summer. A red-hat reward for a job well done.

[13]

#32 Comment By TR On November 9, 2018 @ 4:05 pm

Fran Macadam: Does becoming Pentecostal equate with becoming “evangelical protestant?” Because that is what is happening in south of the border.

So, by the way, is the U. S., as mainline Protestant churches supposedly decline, but many confessional Protestants and RD would prefer not to notice..

#33 Comment By Ted On November 9, 2018 @ 4:14 pm

Jon in Maine: “I suspect the main reason for the USCCB’s stance on immigration has more to do with its status as ‘the Democratic Party at Prayer’. More Meat for Moloch is certainly a side benefit though.”

That was just my fun, kind of. You’re right, of course. It’s actually worse than that. Years ago I stumbled on this book [14] and thought, what on earth is the Toy Boy Benedictine doing writing a forward to a book by Christopher Dawson? So I read said forward. Our Rembert very slyly draws the analogy between the barbarian invasions ca. AD 240-AD 500 to the influx of the global south into North America and Europe and says in effect, a la Martha Stewart, it’s a Good Thing. The analogy breaks down of course when you consider that those barbarians were mostly Arians, and in North America at least our latest wave of gastarbeiter are ALREADY CATHOLIC. But what’s a little homoousion between friends? The Left Liberationist hierarchy sees the south as their, and the Church’s ticket out of the slough. Just a bunch of dumb mozos to push around and from which to harvest the cute ones. One of the good things coming out of this mess is the whistle blown on that little bit of skulduggery as well. To your point the Democrats want votes, Big Business wants slaves and the Church was pews filled. See?

#34 Comment By PeterK On November 9, 2018 @ 4:23 pm

“Immigrant Catholics depend on the Church to speak out on issues related to legal status, poverty and healthcare.”

in the 19th and early 20th cent the Church made sure that their parishioners were assimilating into American culture,that they learned English,etc. They didn’t look to the Government. for example the Knights of Columbus was originally established as a mutual aid/benefit society.
“The Order was intended to be a mutual benefit society. As a parish priest in an immigrant community, McGivney saw what could happen to a family when the main income earner died. This was before most government support programs were established. He wanted to provide insurance to care for the widows and orphans left behind. In his own life, he temporarily had to suspend his seminary studies to care for his family after his father died.[3]”
[15]

“For it was the Catholic Church, more than any other organization, that made a concerted effort to welcome the new Catholic immigrants. Catholic citizens helped them find jobs and homes; sisters (nuns) taught their children English in Catholic schools; priests tried to protect their political interests and shield them from a sometimes hostile Protestant environment; the local church held religious festivals and social events. It is important to stress that for the immigrants, the neighborhood Catholic church was not just a church; it was the focal point of a whole community, a whole way of life. Even if the relationship between the Church and Catholic immigrants was often far from perfect, local parishes provided millions of heartbroken, homesick immigrant men and women the familiar comforts of ritual and belief that gave their world meaning. ”
[16]

#35 Comment By Pius X On November 9, 2018 @ 7:14 pm

I go to Mass every week. There are no young people there. Kids go to CCD where every teacher has to undergo a state background check. I am not aware of any parish where kids are allowed around Priest unsupervised. I doubt that even immigrants allow their children to be alone with a Priest. Abuse of minors will stop since there aren’t many minors left.

#36 Comment By lancelot lamar On November 9, 2018 @ 8:20 pm

This is almost unimaginably evil: that the Church–who proudly on every occasion clamors for “social justice” for immigrants, meaning to their mind open borders and no real enforcement of immigration laws–would use these same illegal immigrant communities as hunting grounds for their perverted clergy, it’s almost beyond belief.

I am opposed to illegal immigration but am sickened that any human being or group is having their vulnerability exploited by people who have social and religious power over them, people they look to for help and care.

Any bishop who would intentionally send a predator priest into such a poor and weak community of people, or any archbishop who was aware of such a thing and did nothing about it, is evil, full stop. Any decent pope would not only laicize them, he would also excommunicate and anathemize them. I don’t just mean Frances, but Benedict and John Paul too.

#37 Comment By Theresa On November 9, 2018 @ 10:43 pm

“Blatant statements as to ‘there is no need to take corrective action, because folks who were undocumented won’t report,'” DeMarco says. “That’s in some of these files.”

I have no love for bishops who failed in their obligation to initiate canonical trials for priests who were credibly accused of sexual abuse. But before I’m going to believe that there was some deliberate intent to send priests who were known to be guilty of sexual abuse to undocumented immigrants so they could molest at will without fear of being reported, I’m going to need more than this conspiracy-theory hearsay.

Like, maybe, give us the exact quotations, and exactly who said them, and the files themselves.

Until then, I’ll file this under yet-another-hit-piece by church-suing lawyers who have made tens of millions suing the Catholic Church based on nothing more than allegations of crimes from as far back as 1956. Do I think these lawyers care about victims of sexual abuse? Hardly. What they care about is finding a fresh market in the CC for more dollar signs, because ONLY with the Catholic Church can they go back 60-80 years.

Meanwhile, the LA United School District has paid out “over $300 million in the last four years alone” to more recent victims of sexual abuse in that public school district alone. (That’s because alleged victims of public school teachers can’t sue the public schools for crimes alleged to have occurred 60-80years ago).

[17]

So give me evidence, not hearsay, before I’ll buy your conspiracy theories.

#38 Comment By Dan Green On November 10, 2018 @ 7:58 am

The Church’s only hope for influence and membership is Latin America and Africa.