We finally reach the end of Religious Horror Show Week with a prime example of what I’ve been talking about all along, that the churches really don’t care about the victims of abuse, they only care about keeping their own hands clean and their employees away from prosecution. And so, on Horror Show Saturday, let’s look at the case of Vince McCaffrey, a Catholic priest from Massachusetts who is now serving a 20-year sentence for kiddy porn and child molestation.
In 2002, hundreds of images of young boys, some as young as 6, were found under the mattress of McCaffrey, The images depicted boys being beaten, gagged and locked in cages and later it came to light that McCaffrey had molested as many as 50 boys in four parishes in and around the Chicago area.
And the Catholic Church helped him to hush it up.
Back in 1980, Reverend James T. O’Connor of Our Lady of Loretto informed the archdiocese of McCaffrey’s drinking and sexual problems, but just two months later, apparently at the urging of his superiors, O’Connor actively worked to cover up McCaffrey’s crimes when he was caught molesting an eighth-grader at his parish. Instead of reporting this to the police, O’Connor wrote a letter to McCaffrey saying “Are you going to be man enough to say to your friends that you have decided that it is best for you to start over someplace else or are you going to throw the blame on me?” Cardinal John Cody encouraged McCaffrey to get through his rehabilitation for sex and alcohol addiction so he could return to his fine priestly work. in 1987, facing serious allegations by two boys, McCaffrey confessed his “sins” to another priest who went on to lie to the mothers of the two boys, saying something would be done. Nothing was. Then the next year, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin moved McCaffrey to another parish where the abuse continued and the complaints continued to come. By 1989, with more accusations of sexual abuse at hand, Vicar of Priests Reverend Raymond Goedert wrote that an anonymous caller had informed them of another assault. “We don’t know if the anonymous caller will strike again, but Dom (Grassi) feels he can’t run the risk of the parish being hurt in any way,” Goedert wrote, adding, “The sad thing is that this threat will hang over Vince until the day he dies.”
Yeah, you act like that’s a bad thing.
It’s hard to argue that the Catholic Church doesn’t know what’s going on, every time the courts get their hands on Church records, it’s clear that these stories have made their way up into the upper echelons and they just don’t care. Looking at Goedert’s letter, it’s clear they only care about the health of the church, not the wellbeing of the victims. While McCaffrey stepped won from his ministry voluntarily in 1993, he was convicted of sexual abuse and child molestation in 2002. When was he finally officially defrocked by the Catholic Church?
That’s just sad.