So some guy who got dismissed from the priesthood in 2003 for being a perv turns up working for TSA at Philly airport:
A TSA official tells the I-Team Harkins’ title is “Transportation Security Manager, Baggage,” meaning he deals mostly with luggage, not passengers.
“Sure, that’s his title,” Polesir said. “That doesn’t mean that’s where he stays, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t fill other roles when necessary.”
The TSA says all its employees go through a criminal background check before they’re hired, but because these cases are so old, criminal charges were not filed. A spokesman says the Camden Diocese settled the first two lawsuits with Harkins’ accusers–it has not seen this suit just yet.
Situation like these are indicative of what happens when Catholic officials refuse to monitor child molesting clerics: they move elsewhere or get jobs elsewhere, usually interacting with the public where they can begin to meet and befriend single moms and vulnerable kids. (We think it’s much more prudent for Catholic officials to house pedophile priests in remote, secure, independent treatment centers. Also, when priests leave for ‘civilian jobs,’ we think it’s best if they work in factories or other places with little or no contact with the public.)
Soooo… some accused but never convicted guy who doesn’t actually have a criminal record (dismissal from the priesthood does not show up on criminal records) passes the background check for criminal records and is hired to do stuff with luggage. There’s no evidence that he’s done much of anything except do stuff with luggage since he got the job. So assuming the old-fashioned notion that he is innocent till proven guilty, why is this news? I mean, apart from the need to gin up hysteria in order to sell beer and shampoo. Are we to simply assume the mob mentality that the guy should never be gainfully employed ever again?
Meanwhile, SNAP seems to be saying that the transformation of America into a police state isn’t enough. The Church is apparently obliged to be a police state as well. At least, that’s all I can gather from the bizarre suggestion that the Church is apparently obliged to…what? Staple a GPS salmon tracking tag to former clergy and track their movements? The notion that the Church can or should “house pedophile priests in remote, secure, independent treatment centers” is hindered by this little thing called “reality”. You see, when you dismiss somebody from the priesthood (as SNAP rightly demands the Church do with pervy priests) that person remains what we call a “citizen of the United States”. It is not legal for the Church–or anyone else besides the state–to force citizens of the United States to be housed somewhere against their will. The term for this is “kidnapping”. Only Caesar gets to force people to live someplace against their will. When the state does it, it’s called “imprisonment”. If the state decides that Mr. Harkins needs to spend time behind bars, that’s fine by me. But blaming the Church for failure to do this indicates that somebody at SNAP has a screw loose.
I think the main thing driving this story is location, location,. location. Philly is in the throes of the latest edition of the priest abuse scandal and this just seemed like some good gas to throw on the fire. Beer and shampoo, not information or intelligence, is the lifeblood of the media.