Sometimes this stuff is so absurdly stupid, it makes your head want to explode. The Catholic diocese in New Jersey has declared that they are not responsible for pedophile priest sex abuse because, at the time the priests were molesting kids, they were clearly not performing their established duties.
In this case, the Catholic Church could not possibly have been responsible for the actions of Reverend Terence McAlinden, who was found guilty of molesting Chris Naples at a church retreat when he was younger. The argued position of the diocese left Naples reeling from it’s utter stupidity.
“You can determine a priest is not on duty when he is molesting a child, for example,” the lawyer for the diocese argued. “A priest abusing a child is absolutely contrary to the pursuit of his master’s business, to the work of a diocese.”
Essentially what this means, according to Naples, “Any hope I had that the church was concerned about me as a victim or about the conduct of its priests was totally gone, they were washing their hands of it. I was shattered. I just couldn’t believe that was one of their arguments.”
Unfortunately, Naples, who filed suit against the diocese, lost his case because he couldn’t show that the retreat was an officially sanctioned event, even though McAlinden was acting on the church’s behalf. He did win a $3 million dollar settlement against McAlinden himself, although he never expects to see a dime of that money because McAlinden had vowed poverty as part of his priestly vows.
That’s really the sad part of this whole thing, priests are, by definition, always on duty. They don’t have days off. They are a priest 24/7/365. The idea that their employer is not responsible for anything the priest does if they do something outside of their religious calling is ridiculous. Can they show that McAlinden clocked out and left his clerical collar in his locker? No? Didn’t think so.
It’s clear that the Catholic Church doesn’t take sex abuse seriously. They never have and I doubt they ever will. That’s why they spend so much time on Horror Show Sunday.