Sunday, February 27, 2011

You Have to Hear This . . .

You just have to hear Joelle Casteix of SNAP talking about Father Martin O'Loghlen's case to John Kobylt and Kenneth Chiampou at KFI AM 640's (southern California) "John and Ken Show."  The link is at Patrick Wall's blog (with a hat tip to the wonderful Abuse Tracker site). 

If I were pope--and I have an inkling I may not ever be, so please don't hold your breath contemplating that horrid possibility--I think I'd put every bishop in the world in a room and have him listen to this interview.  Over and over.  Non-stop.  For, oh, about 10 days.

I'd offer bread and water as the bishops listen.  I'm not utterly cruel.

And, in particular, I'd have the contingent who want to say that this is, for pete's sake, just a story about a lonely, sad, repressed priest kissing a teenaged girl listen for 20 days non-stop.  Sipping water and chewing bread as they listen.

This story is just so sick from all kinds of angles, and what's most disturbing about it all is that the sickness in the narrative is normalized in the heterosexist male-dominated culture of Catholicism, so that every excuse in the book comes pouring forth when a story about this particular kind of abuse breaks open:   

Just an isolated, overworked priest doing what men do, kissing a teenaged girl.  

And we all know what teenaged girls are like when their hormones are raging.

Not gay, after all.  Not molesting boys like the rest of them. Doing the normal thing for a change.

And so he gained valuable experience.  Other priests can benefit from this experience.  Let's put him on the review board of the diocese.

Called her up and tried to apologize, didn't he? 

Got counseling, got himself straightened out--why don't they leave poor Father alone and let him minister in a parish?  Forgive and forget!  That's what Christianity is all about.

Just sickening, the excuses.  As John and Ken conclude, this is a story of stinky liars running a Catholic diocese, trying to convince us--with all the abundant records of what O'Loglen did to Julie Malcolm in his bulging file--that they didn't happen to look carefully at O'Loghlen's file when they put him back into ministry.  In 2009!

And who managed to whisk O'Loghlen out of the country to the Philippines, I wonder, for the precise period of years in which California extended the window for abuse victims to file suit against molesters?  Whose power has been protecting and promoting this priest who was superior of his religious community, with powerful ties in Rome?  Why has he been protected and promoted?  After his molestation of Julie Malcolm was well known.

Worth the whole listen: Joelle Casteix's brilliant analysis of the minors that clerical perpetrators choose to groom and molest--the defenseless, vulnerable, confused young people who are least likely to have any power to fight back.  Or to blow the whistle after they've been molested.

Bread and water and non-stop wall-to-wall messaging for 10 or 20 days.  Would they get the message then, those who keep placing priests like Martin O'Loghlen back into parish ministry and schools?  And the many Catholics who continue to make excuses for the stinky, lying behavior of those who make the decisions to put O'Loghlen and others back into ministry?

The graphic for the posting is a photograph of Joelle Casteix.

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