Thursday, April 17, 2008

Five Worst Catholic Cardinals in the US re: Clergy Sex Abuse

For all those believers who think that atheism leads to immorality and crime, let us not forget that the Catholic Church is guilty of widespread concealment and even fostering of child sex abuse.

The following press release by SNAP (Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests) today listed the following five cardinals as the most complicit in concealing child sex abuse by the religious. In this, they are accessories after the fact because they concealed a crime rather than reported it to authorities.

Five Worst Catholic Cardinals
1. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago
2. Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles
3. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston
4. Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston
5. Cardinal Edward Egan of New York

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago

-- In August 2005, Fr. Daniel McCormack was questioned by the police because of
abuse allegations. Two months later, the Chicago lay review board recommended
that George suspend McCormack. George refused, kept silent and let his
chancellor promote McCormack. Three months later, police arrested McCormack
again. During those last few months of his active parish ministry in Chicago's
inner city, McCormack molested at least three boys, the district attorney said.
(One of the children, prosecutors say, had been assaulted "on an almost daily"
McCormack has pled guilty to child molestation. Later, records
obtained by victims' attorneys showed that in 1999, a school principal reported
accusations against McCormack to archdiocesan officials. Nothing was
done. Adding insult to injury, five high ranking church officials closely
involved in this fiasco have since been promoted.
The female veteran school principal (who was the only archdiocesan staffer
to call the police) has, however, been fired. Church authorities refuse to say
why. -- While the McCormack
case has received some attention, George has displayed shocking callousness,
recklessness and secrecy in other, post-2002 cases. Perhaps most notably, within
months of the adoption of the so-called 'reforms' in Dallas, George knowingly
and secretly let a convicted predator priest (Fr. Kenneth Martin) work in the
archdiocese and live, part-time, with George in George's mansion.

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles

In 2005 or 2006, LA church
and school officials were questioned by police about current child sex abuse
allegations against John Malburg. Malburg was a Catholic high school principal
from a politically prominent family. The archdiocese didn't suspend him. They
told no one about the investigation. Six months later, Malburg was arrested and
criminally charged. Parents asked church officials "Why didn't you tell us? Why
didn't you suspend him?" Cardinal Mahony's PR man told the LA Times "Law
enforcement told us to keep quiet." The next day, in the LA Times, prosecutors
said they never made any such request.
, In
just nine months, police say, Fr. Nicholas Aguilar Rivera, sexually assaulted at
least 26 boys in Los Angeles. In August 2007, long-secret church records
about Aguilar were publicly disclosed. According to the New York Times, the
documents showed that then-Msgr. Thomas Curry "tipped off" the accused pedophile
priest who then fled to Mexico to avoid criminal prosecution.(An LA district
attorney said Curry "facilitated" Aguilar's flight.) Aguilar went on to molest
kids in Mexico later.
Curry is now one of Mahony's auxiliary bishops. Despite public pleas to
discipline Curry, or at least speak out about Curry's irresponsible secrecy,
Mahony said and did nothing. · For years, Mahony stayed secretly let
an admitted child-molesting cleric live in his archdiocese (in a picturesque
religious complex overlooking the ocean), despite the cleric's being wanted on
criminal charges in Canada. In 2005, when SNAP and others demanded that Mahony and his colleagues turn Franciscan friar Gerald Chumik to law enforcement, he
let Chumik move from Santa Barbara Mission Church in Santa Barbara to
Missouri. For 14 years, Chumik has been a fugitive from his native
Canada. SNAP leaders believe this needlessly put children at risk and is a
clear violation of the much-touted Dallas Charter which all American bishops
adopted in June of 2002. Elected district attorneys rarely feud in public
with powerful religious figures. But in October 2005, (more than three years
after Mahony pledged "openness" about child sex abuse and cover ups), Los
Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said "Three years ago, I urged
Cardinal Mahony to provide the fullest possible disclosure of evidence of sexual
abuse by clergy. Despite two court rulings ordering full disclosure, Cardinal
Mahony continues to claim 'confidentiality privileges' that no court has

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston

In November 2007, a victim reported
having been sexually abused by Fr. Stephen Horn between 1989 and 1993. DiNardo
found him credible and suspended Horn. The Cardinal, however, kept the
allegation and his determination secret from parishioners, police and the public
for two months, despite US bishops' repeated pledges to act quickly and openly
with credibly sex abuse allegations. Finally, in mid-January, DiNardo disclosed
his action. (The delay gave Horn, a credibly accused molester, ample opportunity
to fabricate alibis, destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten witnesses,
or even flee the country, as some pedophile priests have done.) Part of
DiNardo's secrecy and delay occurred in the weeks between when the Pope
announced that DiNardo would be named a Cardinal (October 2007) and when DiNardo
was promoted amid much pageantry (November 24). Some Houston Catholics have
speculated that DiNardo didn't want the news of Horn's crimes to 'rain on
(DiNardo's) parade.' Weeks ago, SNAP wrote DiNardo, urging him to explain
and apologize for his secrecy. SNAP has urged the cardinal to visit parishes
where Horn worked and emphatically beg victims and witnesses to come forward,
get help and call the police. He has not responded to either the letter or the
request. When he was a bishop in Sioux City Iowa, DiNardo similarly
mishandled the Fr. George McFadden case in Iowa, only disclosing the allegations
against this predator priest long afterwards.) Beginning in the 1990s (and
likely longer), Sioux City church officials knew of repeated charges of child
molestation against McFadden, an admitted abuser, dating back into the 1960s.
(DiNardo was Sioux City bishop starting in 1997.) For at least five years (and
even later), DiNardo had the chance to disclose McFadden's hurtful actions to
police, prosecutors, parishioners, and the public, and to keep McFadden from
other vulnerable children. He stayed silent. According to the Des Moines
Register, "The confessed child molester continued to hear confession and say
Mass daily over the past decade at the Cathedral of the Epiphany, Sioux City's
largest Catholic church.)
McFadden is accused of abusing more than 25 girls and boys in dozens of
civil lawsuits. Despite his alleged 'treatment' and 'retirement' in the 1990s,
he continued to function as priest until 2002.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston

Last month church officials disclosed that, for the second year in a row,
O'Malley is in violation of the US bishops' child sex abuse prevention
policy. Much in the policy is meaningless public relations, SNAP is
convinced. But O'Malley's breaking one of the proven, practical requirements
that help prevent abuse: training kids how to avoid or stop being victimized.
Roughly one in five Boston Catholic children is not receiving this
training. Every child is supposed to receive it. Worse, O'Malley tries to
dodge responsibility for this clear, egregious refusal by blaming pastors and
parishioners. But O'Malley's had six years to persuade colleagues to weaken
the national abuse policy, devise alternative programs, or get on board (and get
his employees on board). He's done none of these three steps. Nor has he
disciplined a single individual for flaunting this national requirement. In
a 2006 case with disturbing parallels to many of the hundreds of Boston
pedophile priest cases, O'Malley moved very slowly and gingerly against a
prominent Catholic hospital official who faces multiple allegations of sexually
harassing employees. A high ranking human resources official at the
hospital "accused O'Malley of improperly interceding in the investigation to
help (the accused), giving him advance notice of the probe, providing him with
an adviser, and telling of the reprimand before consulting with the board,"
according to the Boston Globe.
The cardinal's actions ''have made a
mockery of the investigation. It is nothing short of shameful," she
wrote. "Perhaps most troubling" was what she called the ''near absence" of
concern for the women complainants that she said was shown by the church
Cardinal Edward Egan of New York

Less than two months ago, the New York Post reported "The former principal
of a
prestigious Catholic high school who resigned amid allegations of
images on his work computer was allowed to stay on the job for
nearly five
months after a priest wrote the New York Archdiocese accusing
him of serious
misconduct." In
2003, Egan became the first US prelate to refuse to say mass for the
Catholic, hand-picked, distinguished lay panel chosen by bishops to
look at the
church's child sex abuse crisis. According to the New York
Times, Egan also
"interfered with" and prevented the US bishops' 'watchdog'
on clergy sex cases
from speaking in his archdiocese.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation's
oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for
17 years and have more than 8,000 members across the country. Despite the word
"priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of
all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers.
Our website is

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