More Culture of Suspicion

A reader laments over my defense of the stupid but not criminal Fr. Jaeger:

I don’t understand why Mark Shea is so hot about this priest when I do not think he knows all the facts about this priest. I used to think Cardinal Law was cleaning up Boston when I was there, not spreading the mess.

The facts are that he has done nothing criminal, judging from the public record. Arguing that somebody should have their career destroyed because “we don’t know all the facts” is called “arguing from silence”. Courts operate on fact, not on silence. If the only facts we have are that Jaeger once did something stupid and has never done it again, then appeals to “what might be in a file somewhere” are pointless. Produce the file, then we can talk. Till then, all we have is the facts: a stupid lack of judgment 24 years ago and no criminal behavior. Shall we start destroying people’s lives because, despite the lack of any evidence to show it, they are “probably” guilty of something bad? The principle remains: innocent till proven guilty.