Tom Kreitzberg Speaks for Me…

Tom Kreitzberg Speaks for Me… June 20, 2013

…regarding the preposterous claim that there was nothing the Diocese of San Diego could do for an abused woman and her four children besides kick mom out of her job and ban the kids from the school system for the crime of being abused:

There are no Knights of Columbus councils in San Diego? No Catholics in the Archdiocese willing to underwrite the cost of a security guard? No way for the Archdiocese to work with her, make sure she and her children are safe, comfort them, if it comes to it help her to find another job? No way to demonstrate that anyone in the Church actually gives a shit what happens to her?

If the “only option” really is to fire her by letter, and expel the children, then to hell with Catholic parochial schools in this country.

Better to close all the schools than kick someone in need out of the community.

But sure, I can see how it might be illegal in San Diego for private schools to have volunteers — or vigilantes, as [some] call them — on their property. And yeah, now that you mention it, how likely is it that the thought of asking benefactors to help out with a particular expense would ever cross a bishop’s mind?

And that take-a-hike termination letter sent in April, I guess we’re supposed to assume it wasn’t forged. Or maybe Tom Beecher and Bonnie Espinosa were too busy helping Carie Charlesworth find a job to mention that they were helping her find a job in the letter they sent her saying she would be out of a job. And when they wrote that they “have conferred with counsel,” that’s probably just how Southern Californians refer to conferring with the bishop.

And maybe she hasn’t been to Mass since she was put on leave in January because she’s been too busy being helped by the diocese.

Who will dare to blame her for walking away from Christian love like that?  This is, in the exact sense the Church means it, a despicable scandal. Christ has been re-crucified five times by this cowardly response to a woman and her children in desperate need.  May God give her the grace to forgive, but may he above all give the diocese and the school system the grace to repent.  Shameful.

Not that Bp. Brom can’t find financial and legal resources when necessary:

He is one of about a dozen U.S. bishops who have been accused of sexual misconduct in recent years. Catholic leaders in Minnesota, where Bishop Brom once headed the Diocese of Duluth, have paid a settlement to a former seminarian who alleged that he was coerced into sex. A spokeswoman for the bishop recently told The Boston Globe that “minimal insurance” money was paid to the accuser, who agreed to retract his claim. Two archbishops who helped negotiate the deal in the mid-1990s said the man received roughly $100,000. The man alleged that in the 1980s, Bishop Brom and other high-ranking clergymen pressured him and other young men to have sex at a seminary in Winona, Minn. Bishop Brom has denied any sexual misconduct and has said that an investigation disproved what the former seminarian “thought he remembered.” In San Diego after Bishop Brom took over, questions arose about how his top aides handled the 1993 case of the Rev. Emmanuel Omemaga, who was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl after her grandfather’s funeral, tying her to a bed and photographing her in bondage. The diocese has said it suspended the priest when it first learned of the accusation, then let him go home to the Philippines on vacation. Police, meanwhile, began investigating and asked a priest who was one of the bishop’s aides to alert them immediately upon Father Omemaga’s return. “He agreed to do so” but instead waited five days, according to a police report. At that point, according to the report, the aide left a message saying that he had told the wanted man to call police and to consult an attorney. Father Omemaga vanished and remains the target of an arrest warrant. The aide has said he did everything he could do to bring his fellow priest to justice.

These are the times when I have to remember that I am a Catholic because of Jesus Christ and not because of any man.

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