Thursday, May 22, 2008

Nun Who Wanted To Expose Sex Abuse Dies

From CBS News:

Sister Catherine Mulkerrin, who pressed Roman Catholic church leaders in Boston to warn parishioners about priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children, has died. She was 73. [...]

"I know I sound like a broken record," according to a memo from Mulkerrin that was released in 2002, "but we need to put in church bulletins: `It has come to our attention a priest stationed here between 19XX and 19XX may have molested children - please contact ... ."'

She said archdiocese leaders ignored her repeated concerns that priests accused of sexual abuse were allowed to return to parish work without the kind of supervision she had recommended.

"I expressed concern, consternation. What are we thinking of? What are you thinking of?" Mulkerrin said in a deposition released April 8, 2003, about her conversations with Bishop John McCormack, who handled sexual abuse complaints involving priests as an aide to Cardinal Bernard Law, then head of the archdiocese. Law resigned in 2003; McCormack became bishop of New Hampshire in 1998.

People like Mulkerrin need to be acknowledged for their efforts and more importantly, their recommendations need to be listened to and followed.

Her efforts also highlight that those who continued to protect abusive priests while failing to protect church members were not acting from ignorant good faith.

This problem of protecting abusers and dismissing the opinions of those who don't want to sacrifice the safety of the innocent isn't limited to the Catholic church and it isn't limited to churches or other religious groups. Judges jump into this same trap whenever they refer to a rapist or sex abuser as being an otherwise good person when justifying a sentence which disregards the harm that offender has done.

Those who are only supportive of practices which protect people from certain rapists and abusers are teaching rapists and abusers that rape and abuse can be acceptable behaviors if done properly by the right people. Like those who ignored Mulkerrin, these people are actively working to protect respectable violent men from accountability.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:07 PM   0 comments links to this post

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