Yesterday’s big settlement announcement raised a question for me: What about the wives?
One of the perpetrators who was a part of the settlement, Michael Nocita, has now been sued by four different women for sexual abuse. He was removed from ministry and laicized. The Archdiocese has paid out big money to his victims.
It’s also been reported that he is married.
Anton Smario, a former brother who admitted that he was often nude in front of young girls in the Native Alaskan villages where he taught religion classes, remained married after he was exposed in lawsuits and admitted his actions.
Thomas Hodgman—the man who admitted to abusing me and at least two other girls—is married with children. He also still hangs out on busses with girls (albeit not minor girls. This time).
I can’t help but wonder: What do the wives think? Do they not take their husband’s crimes seriously because the victims were girls?
“Straw men” would say that these women may believe that they are married “for better or for worse.” I tend to think that even the Pope would bless the divorce of any woman who discovered she was married to a child molester.
But there are other things to think about: if these women have children, how can they—in good conscience—allow those children to have friends over to the house? How can they be sure that their husbands are not still abusing?
It makes the prevention imperative even more important.