Welcome to Horror Show Wednesday, part of my week-long orgy of stories on the horrors of religion. It’s always the ones most in danger that are the last to know. Catholic officials in Massachusetts have told the police about the actions of Father Edward P. Lettic. They’ve told the Vatican. The one group they didn’t bother to inform was Lettic’s congregation at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Lancaster, Massachusetts. This makes a lot of people mad and rightfully so.
It’s pretty typical for Catholic spokesmen to say when the abuse took place but they virtually never tell people how long the Catholic Church had that information before bothering to hand it over to the authorities. This keeps people from being upset that the Church had this information for many months or years and didn’t bother to warn the parishioners that they were in any kind of potential danger. While Father Lettic is now on administrative leave, who knows how long he was allowed to remain in the church, actively working with children, while the RCC putzed around trying to put themselves in the best possible light before admitting they have yet another pedophile priest on their hands.
That seems to be an unintentional theme for this week, various religious groups denying accountability and pointing fingers at others because they don’t want to be implicated or culpable for the system that they put in place, a system which is producing demonstrably bad results. They’re more interested in keeping their public face clean, they don’t worry about actual people getting hurt and these stories have demonstrated that over and over again.
If there’s one group that deserves to know before anyone else, it’s the potential victims. If a priest is even suspected of being a pedophile, they ought to be yanked out of the church immediately, the allegations checked and if there’s any validity at all, the church told of the suspicions so that victims can come forward and no one else will be harmed in the interim. Sure, this might harm the reputation of the priest but too bad. I understand there may be false allegations but the church is in so much trouble now, I’d rather see priests disgraced than actual victims harmed. Besides, if the priest is found to be innocent of the charges, they can be returned to another church somewhere with an open and squeaky clean record, I know that, if I was a Catholic, I’d be more comfortable having my children around a priest that has had his background gone over meticulously and found to be fine than one who could have been doing anything and had never been checked out. If you do it for babysitters, why don’t you do it for priests?
So that’s another entry in Religious Horror Show Week, what do you think? See you tomorrow.