Victims? We don’t care about no stinkin’ victims!
San Diego, California: Fr. Jose Alexis Davila was arrested in January 2012 and pled guilty in April for battery and “unlawful touching of an intimate part of a victim’s body.” He is serving three years’ probation.
The diocese put Davila back into unresricted ministry in May, saying
When SNAP asked that Davila (who is still on probation), be taken out of the parish and assigned to a remote and secure facility where he would have no contact with women and children, parishoners defended the priest … who PLED GUILTY. (Hello? Anyone home?)
No one at the church or the diocese has publicly said a prayer or a word of support of the victim. (but I am grateful for the whistleblower at the parish who called to tell me that Bishop Brom snuck Davila back into ministry. I mean, if Davila is so awesome, why not make a public announcement about it?)
Ontario, California: In 2011 Fr. Alejandro Castillo pled guilty to lewd and lascivious acts upon a child (in the sentencing documents, prosecutors said that five children had accused Castillo of sexual abuse). He served a year in jail.
After Castillo was released from jail in May, those same supporters threw a huge party in support of the priest. Since there were numerous children present at the party, Castillo was thrown back in jail for violating probation.
No parishioner or supporter has apologized to the victim in the case, who is still a minor. No one has raised a nickel to help the child with therapy.
Redding, California: Fr. Uriel Ojeda, who was arrested in November 2011, is charged with seven felony counts of sexual molestation of a child under 14. According to an unreleased diocese report, Ojeda admitted to repeatedly abusing the girl.
When the priest’s bail was lowered, supporters released balloons outside of the courtroom. Dozens of supporters have shown up at every one of his hearings, selling t-shirts, accepting donations for Ojeda’s legal fees, and singing prayers.
No one has publicly sung a prayer for the young victim, who is still a minor.
Stockton, California: A jury unanimously found that Fr. Michael Kelly sexually abused a boy (another victim has since come forward). Kelly skipped the country. The Diocese doesn’t care … but they still paid the victim $3.75 million in a settlement, because they knew that the jury would award ten times that much for the cover-up and callousness of Stockton Diocese officials.
I’m not saying that parishioners should not pray for these priests, love these priests, or support them quietly and respectfully. They should. Here’s how.
I AM saying that if there are victims of child sexual abuse at ANY of these parishes (by priests, dentists, parents, boy scout leaders, teachers, babysitters, etc) do you REALLY think that they believe it’s safe to report?!
Hell, I’m not going anywhere near those parishes, because I might get punched.
Finally … where are the Bishops?! Last time I read the King James Bible:
But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
There are a lot of children—who have been vindicated in the courts—who are suffering doubly. They were sexually abused, and now they are shunned by their religious community.
Isn’t is time for Bishops Jaime Soto, Gerald Barnes, Stephen Blaire and Robert Brom to give a lick about the victims and show these well-intentioned (but SORELY misguided) Catholics that they are using their church as an excuse to defend criminals?
Or am I asking to much?