The sad story of the troubles in Kansas City has taken a new twist:
The Catholic official who oversees sex abuse complaints against priests in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, has himself been accused of past sexual improprieties.
You can read it all there. A friend of mine was quick to email about this story, and this writer:
Judy Thomas has had that report since 2007 and decided it was not newsworthy until now.
Here is a more detailed account by the same writer. Note the accuser was not a minor at the time of the alleged event.
I don’t know what to think!
On one hand, one considers that the accusation against Murphy was he-said-he-said and ultimately unprovable. It seems to me if we allow every such accusation to be immediately be considered “credible,” without due process, we run the risk of exposing good, faithful, innocent priests to ruin, and we could precipitate a witch-hunting mindset against any-and-all priests, or simply provide an expedient means of taking revenge — tick someone off, they come back with an accusation against you. It’s a minefield.
BUT — on the other hand — we can’t just dismiss accusations, either.
This is the classic dilemma. Without evidence, how do we handle such things? If this happened 27 years ago, and the guy wasn’t a minor, he should have landed Murphy a facer and reported him — but then again, back then no one was reporting anything.
And if it happened, then are their others out there who experienced something similar?
Or, are there others out there who will say they did, just because they can?
This is very dicey. How do we protect priests and also protect the laity?
But whether Murphy did this or not (and we cannot POSSIBLY know either way; where people land on this will largely demonstrate what they want to believe, over what they can possibly know) one still has to ask: is this the guy who should have been put in charge of sexual abuse reports, in ANY case? And it just makes everything that much dicier and gives support to those questioning Finn’s judgment.
What a mess. I am inclined to think Finn is incredibly naive and perhaps not as sensitive as he needs to be — this is the second demonstration that he is taking a long time to “get it” or he is completely unaware that people care about the optics of a thing.
Don’t know what to think about Murphy. As with Fr. Corapi, we cannot possibly know the truth, no matter how much someone claims they “know” something in their gut — we do not know. All we can do is watch, wait; hope things work themselves out, justly.
In additional news, The Catholic Key reports that Bishop Finn is initiating sweeping changes in processes within his diocese and also has hred a former U.S. attorney to investigate what exactly happened — who knew what, when and how they did or did not do — in the Ratigan case. The report will be made directly to the public.
It’s a good start — read the whole thing