Skip to comments.(Albany Diocese) Men: Abuse truth won't ever be told
Posted on 06/15/2004 3:30:03 AM PDT by sidewalk
Two alleged victims of clergy sex abuse on Monday described the decision to reinstate a retired priest accused of having two boys masturbate in front of him back in the 1960s as a "blatant" example of the Albany Diocesan Misconduct Board's inability to eradicate corruption, immorality and pedophilia within the church.
The Albany Diocese's over-the-phone announcement on Friday of the clearing of Rev. Louis Douglas for a third time came just one day before the Albany Diocese reinstated Schenectady priest Rev. Alan Jupin and removed Troy priest Rev. James McNerney amid allegations he sexually abused a minor in the 1980s. Jupin returned to Our Lady of Fatima Church in Schenectady Sunday.
Douglas retired as pastor of St. Catherine of Siena in 1993 after rumors of his alleged inappropriate behavior with young boys began to spread.
McNerney, 56, pastor of two Troy parishes, denied any allegations of sexual misconduct, but was still placed on administrative leave.
Two local men who accuse Albany Diocese priests of raping them as children sat down Monday to express their frustration with the review board's "closed-door" investigation tactics and the board's lack of belief in their stories.
Schenectady native Tim Sawicki, 45, who accuses both Jupin and Douglas of sexually abusing him in the 1970s, said he only had to look at the review board's handling of the Douglas case to know the truth "will never" be told.
"Everything they do is behind closed doors. ... We'll never know how they arrive at their decision," said Sawicki, while sitting on a bench outside the Schenectady County Office Building on Veeder Avenue Monday afternoon.
"The panel works in disingenuous ways, and it doesn't matter anyway, because the bishop has the power to overrule whatever they decide," he added.
At his side to criticize the board's recent judgments was former Albany parishioner Joe Woodward, 37, who was allegedly abused by Rev. Dozia Wilson, a priest with a long past of sexual misconduct allegations, both in the Capital District and Boston.
Wilson was finally removed from the priesthood in 1993, two decades after being caught with two boys in an Albany hotel and having numerous complaints lodged against him while he served in Boston.
According to past reports filed by the Boston Archdiocese, accounts of allegations against Wilson were well known, but it remains unclear if Albany was informed of the priest's problems when he was sent back to the Capital District.
Last year, the Albany Diocese reached a $500,000 settlement with a man who was victimized by Wilson. Woodward currently has a multi-million dollar civil suit against Wilson in Boston.
"Look how much it took just to get Wilson out. ... He was a proven pedophile and all (Albany Bishop Howard) Hubbard cares about is moving my case back to New York from Boston so he has an easier chance of getting it thrown out," said Woodward, who first met Wilson when he was 14 at St. Ann's Church in Fort Ann, Washington County.
Since the misconduct panel was created in 2002, none of its members has publicly spoken about how it decides cases, whether the diocese supplies them with background information on accused priests, or if Hubbard has ever overruled a judgment to defrock a priest.
The eight-member panel is made up of clergy sex abuse survivors, social workers, pastors, parishioners, nurses, judges and lawyers like Christopher Rutnik, a former Albany County assistant district attorney.
During a telephone interview Monday, Rutnik declined to discuss any of the details involved in how the board makes recommendations on cases to Hubbard.
"We're not providing the public information and don't want to talk about the process. ... To find that information, you'll have to talk with the diocese," said Rutnik.
Both alleged clergy sex abuse victims and their attorney, John Aretakis, believe the diocese shouldn't speak for the board, considering it is supposed to be independent of the church.
"There's no transparency like the diocese claims. ... There's actually a lack of it," said Aretakis, who added that he would like to know what the board's vote tally was on particular cases.
Sawicki pledged to take a lie detector test to prove Jupin and Douglas abused him.
A statement issued by the Albany Diocese said the review board's recent judgments on cases were based solely on fact.
According to the diocese, the panel has all the resources and information necessary to conduct a thorough investigation on cases that have gone beyond the statute of limitations.
The statement added that any allegation the diocese now receives that is within the statute of limitations is immediately referred to the local district attorney's office.
The diocese also stands behind all the decisions on priests that were made this past week.
When asked, Diocese spokesperson Kenneth Goldfarb was unsure if Hubbard had ever used his power to overrule a board assessment on a victim's claim of sexual abuse involving clergy.
Hubbard is in Englewood, Colo., to join bishops from around the country to discuss both the handling of the clergy sex abuse crisis and the current controversy over whetherCatholics who support a woman's right to choose should be allowed to receive Holy Communion.
But, but, the Albany "sheeples" LOVE Bishop Hubbard!
Gee - why am I not surprised!!! Hubbard has influence with the local media, politicians, police.........gee sounds like a the Bishop is a good brother of the local masonic lodge!!!! wouldn't be a bit surprised, nd that would answer a lot of questions.