Two unrelated cases in New York State are going to test Catholics’ faith in their leadership.
The rest of us are going to get an unprecedented look at how NY church leaders handle cases of sexual abuse.
Case number one is dominating the headlines – I mean, how often do you see this:
The story is lurid and new details are being leaked every day. But here’s the meat of the story: the “sex slave priest” Fr. Peter Miqueli is being accused by worshippers of stealing millions to pay for his BDSM “boy toy” and their very icky antics.
But the REAL news hasn’t been released yet: I predict that when the always-fatal “drip, drip, drip of information” is fully underway, we are going to learn WHAT NY Cardinal Timothy Dolan knew about the perv priest and WHEN he knew it … and that Dolan knew a whole lot more (a whole lot sooner) than he says he did.
(As a side note, the perv priest is the dopplegänger of my neighbor. We’re keeping an eye out)
Case number two is not in the headlines …yet. But the effects of the case are going to change the way that some New Yorkers look at child sexual abuse in their dioceses.
The Supreme Court of the State of New York has decided that a public nuisance lawsuit against the Diocese of Rockville Centre can proceed. The lawsuit was brought by a Long Island girl who says she was sexually abused by Fr. Gregory Yackyshyn in 2003, when she was eight years old.
A year earlier in 2002, the Suffolk County Supreme Court Grand Jury issued a report of its investigation into the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
The report concluded that “officials in the diocese failed in their responsibility to protect children.” The report went on to say that their actions “were more than simple incompetence. Diocesan officials agreed to engage in conduct that resulted in the prevention, hindrance and delay in the discovery of criminal conduct by priests.”
It gets worse. In 2004, the diocese disclosed that they knew there were 66 sex-offending priests in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
The problem? THEY WOULDN’T RELEASE ANY NAMES. No one was told who these guys were. They could have been anyone.
So what does this public nuisance case allow? Well, the diocese is going to have to pony up names … and documents. And it’s going to be ugly.
In Minnesota, where other public nuisance cases have proceeded, dozens of previously unknown predator priests have been exposed—sending shockwaves through the Catholic community, who thought that they could trust their bishops.
My prediction for Rockville Centre? Lots of new names of predator priests, lots of enablers exposed, maybe even a few resignations of top diocese officials … and a big re-awakening of the SOL reform movement in that state.
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