Skip to comments.Law s legal low point: Cardinal blames the victim
Posted on 05/01/2002 3:58:33 AM PDT by billorites
IT SHOULD NEVER have come to this. Indeed, it should never have come to anything at all. Had Cardinal Bernard Law and other leaders of the Boston Archdiocese been even remotely concerned about the welfare of the children in their flock, they would have found ways to protect them from pedophile priests. But the record shows that Law, and certainly others under him, went to great lengths to shield their brother priests from public scrutiny, with no regard for the victims.
Law has been given more than ample time to rectify the situation. Yet his actions have done nothing but add fuel to the fire. In his most incomprehensibly uncaring act yet, Law filed legal papers last month blaming then-6-year-old Gregory Ford and his parents for being at least partly responsible for the molestation Ford allegedly suffered at the hands of priest Paul Shanley, a known advocate for sex between men and boys.
Ford is suing the cardinal for knowingly allowing Shanley to molest him. In response to this allegation, Law responded by claiming that the defendant says that the Plaintiffs were not in the exercise of due care, but rather the negligence of the Plaintiffs contributed to cause the injury or damage . . .
In essence, what Law is saying is that the 6-year-old Ford and his parents should have known better than to leave him alone with a Catholic priest, and therefore they share part of the responsibility for Fords being molested, if he was.
This is a standard legal claim under the theory of contributory negligence, which states that a defendant cannot be held 100 percent liable for damages if the plaintiff helped cause those damages. If this were, say, the case of Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton, the use of such a defense would be understandable. But this is a case of a 6-year-old boy claiming he was molested by a priest. How could a 6-year-old possibly have invited his molestation?
Laws use of this blame-the-victim defense reveals more than just a stupefying lack of judgment and taste. It is an astoundingly uncompassionate and cold-hearted act.
There is a saying that has been extremely popular among the faithful for the past several years: What would Jesus do? Its long past time Cardinal Law started asking that question of himself.
The question we are left asking is, how much more damage must Law inflict on the noble institution of the Roman Catholic Church, on the majority of its members and clergy who are good and decent, and on the poor victims of its renegade priests, before he sees fit to relieve the flock of his presence?
Jesus is ashamed of Cardinal Law.