One year, one week ago, our Virginia Attorney General announced his investigation into criminal child sexual abuse in the Catholic dioceses of our state. The world-famous Pennsylvania Grand-jury Report of August 2018 had spurred him into action.
The two Catholic bishops of Virginia simultaneously announced not only their “full co-operation” with the Attorney General, but also their own internal “investigations.” In February, our diocese of Richmond released a list of names of priests accused of sexual abuse. And created more confusion and disillusionment than before.
As we discussed here in July, the Catholic diocese of Richmond’s record in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse by priests is: conspicuously bad. The way Bishop Walter Sullivan dealt with the victims of Fathers John Leonard, Julian Goodman, and Randy Rule stands out as a genuine national disgrace, a remarkably evil travesty among many, many such evil travesties.
And the Richmond diocese’s February list contained another little neutron bomb: The name Carroll Dozier.
Father Dozier served in our diocese for 34 years, then went on to become the founding bishop of the diocese of Memphis, Tennessee.
Dozier is our own little Ricmond-diocese McCarrick. It would appear that Dozier became a bishop after the diocese of Richmond secretly settled at least one abuse claim against him.
…Cardinal Dolan of New York appeared on CBS This Morning yesterday, repeating the mafia party line: “We fixed this problem in 2002.” Not true, because…
1. Innumerable victims of pre-2002 abuses have yet to receive any justice. The people crying with cathartic abandon at the August 2018 Pennsylvania press conference, announcing the release of the grand-jury report–they knew all too well that the Church had not fixed the problem in 2002. For God’s sake, at that time, the face of the Catholic Church in America was Theodore McCarrick.
2. The 2002 “Dallas Charter” rules are not solid. The recent Colorado Attorney General’s report outlines the problems in detail. Including:
Overall, we found the Denver Archdiocese’s investigative process to be flawed at best, and re-victimizing at worst. (p. 33)
[See footnote below for more illuminating quotes from the Colorado report]
….So, my dearly beloved fellow Virginia Catholics: Get ready for the imminent gut punch of our own state AG’s report.
Mr. Tom Lee–to whom I have referred above and in previous posts–he has worked tirelessly for justice for victims of Richmond-priest abusers. He has graciously shared some “inside” information with me.
The Virginia Attorney General’s Office investigators have rooms full of files. They do not trust the dioceses. They will produce a report that will embarrass the living hell out of the Catholic Church in the state of Virginia.
And rightly so.
The day will come. Soon.
But, please: Let’s see this for what it is, my dear ones. A genuine gift from God.
The report will contain the testimony of sex-abuse survivors who somehow found the clarity and courage to call evil evil. The mitered mafia told them, over and over again, to shush. Now, finally, in Virginia, their testimony will see the light of day.
In the long run, facing the truth will cleanse, purify, and renew the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. This imminent Virginia gut-punch will do us great good. Romans 8:28: All things work for the good for those who love God.
Couple more illuminating quotes from the AG report on the three dioceses of Colorado:
“From this lack of experience, presumably, stem weaknesses manifest in some of the investigations we have seen in the Colorado Springs Diocese priest files. Specifically, investigative team members have intimidated victims during interviews by questioning their faith, asked them nothing but leading questions designed to confirm a predetermined conclusion rather than find facts, expressed bias in favor of the diocese, expressed that their goal is to defend the priest and protect the diocese rather than find facts or care for the victim, and threatened victims with dire consequences if they falsely accuse a priest of child sex abuse. This approach to sexual assault victim interviews is extremely ineffective at determining whether the diocese has an abusive priest from whom its children need to be protected.” (p. 177-178)
“…Another flaw in the Pueblo Diocese’s response practices is its consistent pattern of closing investigations as ‘inconclusive’ unless the accused priest admits the abuse or an independent third-party witness confirms he or she saw it. While the Pueblo Diocese generally conducts very thorough investigations designed to uncover additional witnesses and victims, its application of this standard of proof is not an effective way to determine whether a priest presents a risk to children… Indeed, it can potentially lead to an active abuser staying in ministry without restriction. The standard should be ‘if there is a risk to children, restrict access to them.’ That standard would be more consistent with the Pueblo Diocese’s public statements about safety and child protection. (p. 198-199)