Friday, April 2, 2010

Abuse Crisis: The Hullerman Case, Bishops's Self-Reporting of Data, and the Glaring Flaws of the Blame the Gays Explanation

As I noted yesterday, those pushing the abuse-crisis-as-gay-problem meme are seeking to spin wildly incomplete data to create their homophobic meme.  The data, such as we have them, have come to us only as a result of persistent, tough legal battles that have forced the bishops to divulge information they do not wish or intend to disclose.

And which they are disclosing with no supervision, with no outside auditor assuring that the data being disclosed are complete and accurate.

Despite the glaring flaws of this system, some commentators who want to assist the bishops and Vatican in deflecting attention from the real roots of the problem—the clerical system itself, of which the bishops and Vatican are the center—now want to run with wildly impartial, incomplete, self-reported data from church authorities and spin a homophobic narrative about the abuse crisis.

To divert attention from its real roots.

To assist in the cover-up.

To further a homophobic narrative that originated with the very men doing the unsupervised self-reporting of data.

The attempt to spin the abuse crisis as a gay problem is part of the cover-up attempt.  Gay bashing goes hand in hand with covering up sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

For those who still don’t get the picture about how partial and incomplete our knowledge of the parameters of the abuse crisis in the Catholic church is, I recommend Nicholas Kulish’s article in today’s New York Times* about how long it took the charges of Wilfried Fesselmann, one of the boys abused by Fr. Hullerman in Bavaria, to emerge.

As Kulish notes, Fesselmann’s allegations emerged three decades after he was abused as an 11-year old boy, and then only by chance, when he happened to see an internet photograph of Hullerman still in pastoral ministry, still working with children.

Hullerman is the priest who was reassigned to ministry in the Munich diocese after his therapist pled with church officials not to reassign him, because he would certainly abuse again.  And he did so.

The present pope headed the Munich diocese when the decision to reassign Hullerman was made.

*I know.  It’s the devil’s journalistic rag, a tool of the many enemies of the church out to bring her down.  But surely on Good Friday, you’ll be protected as you read the rag, if you say a few Hail Marys and wear your special Papal Protectavision© goggles.  Or better yet, get one of the many people the church considers already polluted to turn the pages for you as you read.