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Ex-classmates contradict Cardinal Law's deposition
Boston Herald ^ | August 21, 2002 | Robin Washington

Posted on 08/21/2002 9:53:22 AM PDT by maryz

In a sworn deposition released a week ago, Bernard Cardinal Law said he was unaware of sexual misconduct by priests until 1973, when he first heard of charges against his former seminary schoolmate and fellow Mississippi priest George Broussard.

"It wasn't on my radar screen," he said to questions by attorney Roderick MacLeish Jr., who is suing the Archdiocese of Boston on behalf of several families claiming abuse by the Rev. Paul Shanley.

But two other men who attended the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, with Law and Broussard in the late 1950s and early '60s say the school was rocked by a major sex scandal that Law could not possibly have been unaware of - or forgotten.

"He certainly would have known. This was a rather huge incident," said Tom Reed of Madison, Wisc., a 1964 Josephinum graduate who served as a clergyman with Law in Mississippi until 1969, when he left the priesthood.

"It was revealed one of the faculty members, (the Rev.) David Heimann, was discovered to have been running a sex ring with high school boys. Afterward, he just immediately disappeared," Reed said.

Jack Fritscher, another Josephinum student, also recalled the incident, which he included in a 2001 novel he wrote based on the seminary. "All this came out that he'd been seducing boys in his apartment at the Josephinum," said Fritscher, though he said he believed no sex actually took place.

"It was a sensitizing situation," he said. "He had people take off their clothes and look at their bodies in mirrors, to tell them how good their bodies were and that 'Jesus loves you and your body.'"

Nonetheless, he said, a scandal broke out at the prestigious seminary, which reports only to the Vatican's ambassador to the United States. "The bishops were pulled in to find out what was going on. Rome wanted to know. There's no way on Earth Bernie Law couldn't have known."

After the scandal, Reed said Heimann was forced out of the priesthood and had difficulty making a living, often working as a translator of scholarly books. Heimann has since died, Reed said.

Fritscher said the scandal occurred in 1961, Law's ordination year. Reed was ordained in 1964, an event Law attended. Fritscher left the seminary that year without being ordained.

Josephinum spokeswoman Patty Donahey confirmed Heimann was a student and faculty member. "He attended high school here from 1946 to 1950, college from 1950 to 1954 and the School of Theology from 1954 to 1958,'' Donahey said.

After his 1958 ordination, he taught at the school until May 1961, when he was dismissed. Donahey said she did not know the reason for his termination, but said Heimann was laicized two years later.

Fritscher said the incident was the second sex scandal at the school during Law's tenure. "Some years before, someone in my class asked what was the average size of a penis," he said. "He took a dozen freshmen and sophomores into a shower and measured them. Nothing much happened but one kid confessed it in confession, which ended up getting the classmate expelled."

A noted gay writer, Fritscher said he was celibate at the seminary. "I probably became gay because of the Josephinum, although nothing happened (to me) there."

Fritscher and Reed say neither they nor Law were involved in the incidents, though Reed suspected Broussard turned in Heimann. In his June 7 deposition, Law described Broussard as a friend during their seminary days and in Mississippi until Law left in 1973 to become bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, Mo.

Around the same time, Law said he first learned of sexual misconduct allegations against Broussard, who was transferred from Jackson, Miss., to a Gulf Coast parish and subsequently left the priesthood.

The vicar general of the Diocese of Jackson at the time, Law said it would not have been his duty to handle Broussard's case and he could not recall a case of priest sex abuse before then.

Yet in the days following the deposition, a Hattiesburg, Miss., man told the Herald his mother alerted Law personally in the mid-60s that the Rev. Bernard Haddican was molesting her son. Haddican, who died in 1996, attended St. Joseph's Seminary in St. Benedict, La., in the 1950s with Law.

And Reed said another scandal erupted in Mississippi about the same time involving another priest. "(The priest) was a monsignor in charge of a minor seminary (high school) in Jackson," Reed said. "He had a long pattern of sexually abusing them as he was tucking them into bed."

The monsignor was removed to a hospital for "alcoholism" treatment, Reed said, but later retired as a priest in good standing.

And, as with the Josephinum scandal, Reed said Law knew. "Oh, absolutely. He was close to Bernie," he said.

Citing pending litigation, church officials in Boston and Jackson declined comment.

Both Reed and Fritscher describe themselves as having struggled with authority, culminating in the abandonment of their vocation. Conversely, they recall Law as a big man on campus, easily pegged as bishop material.

"Law floated on a cloud above all of us. How could he not have known about it?" Fritscher said. "If he didn't know about it, he should be removed. Anybody that disconnected should be fired."

Robin Washington may be reached at rwashington@bostonherald.com.


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: cardinallaw; catholicchurch; catholiclist; scandal

1 posted on 08/21/2002 9:53:23 AM PDT by maryz
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To: narses
Do you have your ping list handy? Mine's at home, and I'm not.
2 posted on 08/21/2002 9:54:28 AM PDT by maryz
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To: maryz; GatorGirl; tiki; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; Askel5; ...
Ping.
3 posted on 08/21/2002 10:25:05 AM PDT by narses
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To: maryz
I don't care to defend Law, he isn't competent for his job, but this is straining at a gnat to criticize him. If this is the biggest contradiction to his testimony the Boston papers can find then I'd suggest they've lost this battle.

If you want to know if he remembers this incident you have to ask that question. You can't ask the general question of when he first heard charges, as he probably doesn’t immediately recall when he first heard charges until you refresh his memory on it.

I have to do this in all my depositions. You first ask the general question, when did you first meet XYZ? They answer, well, I think that was at college in 1984. You then ask, didn’t you also go to the same High School? Answer: Oh yes, that’s right, we did. So I guess it would have been sometime around then, between 1978-82. If you don’t ask the specfic question your claim his testimony is deficient is extraordinarily weak.

patent  +AMDG

4 posted on 08/21/2002 10:37:04 AM PDT by patent
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To: patent
You can't ask the general question of when he first heard charges, as he probably doesn’t immediately recall when he first heard charges until you refresh his memory on it.

I caught part of the deposition on TV. I believe this answer was to the question of whether, when he was in Mississipi he would have considered child sex abuse a crime. He answered, with much hemming and hawing, that at that time sexual abuse wasn't "even on his radar screen."

5 posted on 08/21/2002 10:41:11 AM PDT by maryz
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To: patent
If this is the biggest contradiction to his testimony the Boston papers can find

Kind of hard to track statements of the nature of "I don't recall," "That wouldn't have been my resposibllity," I don't know."

6 posted on 08/21/2002 10:45:59 AM PDT by maryz
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To: maryz; sinkspur
A noted gay writer, [Jack] Fritscher said he was celibate at the seminary. "I probably became gay because of the [Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio], although nothing happened (to me) there."
Jack Fritscher's C.V., as posted on his website (WARNING!!):
(b. 20 June 1939, christened John Joseph Fritscher, and published as both John J. Fritscher and Jack Fritscher) lives in the Sonoma wine country north of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. The first of his more than 500 published photographs—mostly in the periodical metier of magazine covers, photography features, and centerfolds—appeared in 1961 as illustration accompanying his early poetry and magazine fiction. He is the author of more than 400 published feature articles and short-fiction stories as well as of two produced plays, three novels, five fiction anthologies, and three non-fiction books, the most recent of which is his popular culture memoir of his one-time bi-coastal lover, Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera. His 1990 novel is about the Golden Age of Liberation in the 1970's, Some Dance to Remember. Both Mapplethorpe and Some Dance are under consideration as motion pictures. As founding San Francisco editor of Drummer, Jack Fritscher re-invented and conceptualized this very first post-Stonewall leather-Levi magazine as a gay pop-culture journal created for masculine-identified gay men; he is the official First Editor Emeritus of DRUMMER Magazine and in his long-running "Rear-View Mirror" column he details homomasculine leather literature, art, photography, personalities, places, and events. See DRUMMER History. He received his doctorate in American literature from Loyola University of Chicago in 1968, and frequently reads and speaks on the aesthetics and politics of writing, photography, and the arts in American popular culture. With his spouse of over two decades, Mark Thomas Hemry, he has directed more than 100 videos for their California production company.

EDUCATION
BA, Philosophy and English, Post-Graduate Work in Aquinian Theology, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus Ohio, 1961-1963, 1953-1963 Scholarship to this Roman Catholic Seminary directly subject to the Pontiff, the Pope, at The Vatican in Rome:

ordained with minor orders of Porter, Lector, Acolyte, and Exorcist.

MA, English,
Loyola University of Chicago, 1966,
Thesis: When Malory Met Arthur
Ideal Love in Malory's Morte d'Arthur

Ph.D., English: British and American Literature/Creative Writing and Journalism
Loyola University of Chicago, 1968,
Dissertation: Love and Death in Tennessee Williams

Post-Doctoral:
Oxford University, Christ Church College, Oxford, England, 1997
Hollywood Film Institute, 1996
University of California, Berkeley, 1975, 1978
San Francisco State University, 1974

Any way of knowing if this guy was ever laicized, sinkspur?
7 posted on 08/21/2002 11:00:32 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: eastsider
Thanks for the warning -- I passed on the website! (I'm way too sensitive!)
8 posted on 08/21/2002 11:10:56 AM PDT by maryz
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To: maryz
Jack Fritscher is a shameless self-promoter. His presence on the scene makes an ugly situation even uglier.
9 posted on 08/21/2002 11:17:10 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: maryz
Law didn't know about this stuff? Riiiggghhht. In 1949, or thereabouts, a young boy was brought to a Catholic university here, possessed. He was brought here for exorcism in complete secrecy. Naturally, the entire campus knew.

It's impossible to keep this stuff secret or for anyone with half a brain to be so oblivious.
10 posted on 08/21/2002 11:29:38 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Desdemona
It's impossible to keep this stuff secret or for anyone with half a brain to be so oblivious.
That's an interesting point. So how long do you think Rome has been aware of the sorry state of affairs?
11 posted on 08/21/2002 11:31:47 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: eastsider
"That's an interesting point. So how long do you think Rome has been aware of the sorry state of affairs?"

Honestly, I can't say. I would hazzard a guess that on some level it's been known almost from the beginning, whenever it started. THAT's what I want to know - how long this has been going on. Each new report sets the date earlier. Somehow I doubt it started in the United States. Don't ask me why, but I get the idea that the origins are not American.
12 posted on 08/21/2002 11:41:23 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Desdemona
Each new report sets the date earlier. Somehow I doubt it started in the United States.

Your post seems to suggest you feel the whole sex abuse scandal is monolithic, almost centralized, perhaps with its own unbroken tradition -- rather than just disparate and more or less spontaneous eruptions.

13 posted on 08/21/2002 1:41:58 PM PDT by maryz
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To: eastsider
Any way of knowing if this guy was ever laicized, sinkspur?

He was never in major orders. The four orders listed are MINOR orders; porter and exorcist aren't conferred any longer.

Laicization is only required in the cases of deacons and priests; bishops are NEVER laicized, as far as I know.

14 posted on 08/21/2002 1:50:48 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: maryz
Once upon a time thse things were like boils, which were promptly lanced. What happened after 1970 was that they no longer were.
15 posted on 08/21/2002 1:59:39 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: maryz
How do I say this....

I have no doubt there are secrets beyond our imagining behind the walls of the Vatican. I believe the earliest roots of this scandal is one of them, but I don't really believe that it's too much more than a century or so old. Something just tells me it's not. It has to go earlier than WWII, just based on ages of some of the accused and figuring that they have to be at least second generation. And I have not much more than gut feeling to go on. But, in the US, homosexuality has never been really acceptable. Manliness is VERY desired and admired here. It just doesn't fit that it would be strictly an American problem originating here.

Another thing...every story and account has a tiny piece of the puzzle. It hasn't been put together yet. There's more than is being reported. But, the number of references to Rome is starting to stack up. I'm sure it was all underground and kept VERY close to the chest, so close, it's possible that it went unnoticed for a long time. When necessary, everybody can keep their mouths shut.

If the Vatican knew in the early 1960's, even by just an annonymous tip, and didn't do anything diffinitive, the rot was already at the top. Since conspiracy theories are not allowed here, um, I can't give what I honestly believe is the truth. Let's just say, I believe that evil is amazingly powerful and can organize.

Now how much Law knew or knows, only he and the Almighty can say for sure. The cover-up, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish.

I've probably watched "All the President's Men" one too many times.
16 posted on 08/21/2002 2:07:46 PM PDT by Desdemona
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To: maryz
I've sat through depositions where the witness's evasiveness would have made Cardinal Law look like the most honest man in the world with the best memory. In those depositions, Clinton's response about an answer depending on what the word "is" means was a standard response for over 2 days of depositions. Despite that, we got more in the way of contradictions out of the witness than I see here. There has got to be something better in four days of transcripts than this.

patent

17 posted on 08/21/2002 2:25:30 PM PDT by patent
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To: patent; eastsider
There has got to be something better in four days of transcripts than this.

Did you see the deposition videos? I had glanced over the first day's transcript, and it was the second and third day's that were on TV last week. I don't think the fourth day's has been released yet. And, to tell the truth, I kept falling asleep while the depositions were on (it was during last week's heat wave, and the heat affects me badly).

You can get the impression from the article that the question was when Law first knew of Broussard's sexual abuse. If that was asked, I wasn't awake for it. But I did hear the question I noted above: When you were in Mississipi, would you have considered sexual abuse a crime? That's the question he never actually answered -- or the last of a series of questions about whether Law considered sexual abuse a crime prior to 1993. Not whether he knew of any, not whether he covered up any, just whether in his opinion it was a crime.

The comment by eastsider above, however (Jack Fritscher is a shameless self-promoter) makes me wonder whether the Herald went digging or Jack Fritscher and company contacted them.

18 posted on 08/21/2002 3:46:01 PM PDT by maryz
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To: maryz
Did you see the deposition videos?
No, I haven’t seen them.
You can get the impression from the article that the question was when Law first knew of Broussard's sexual abuse.
In my last reply I was relying more on what you said than what the article said. You seemed to be putting it in a very different light than the article did, and I trust you more.
If that was asked, I wasn't awake for it. But I did hear the question I noted above: When you were in Mississipi, would you have considered sexual abuse a crime?
A very vague question. What is sexual abuse, and how did the Cardinal understand that term. What was the law on the books in Miss. at the time, and does this law support a conclusion that it was a crime. Etc. Personally, I would have prepped any witness of mine well enough that he wouldn't answer that question either. AT least make the attorney define the terms.

I’m sure there is more than I am aware of in the transcripts, and things that do a better job of pinning him down. If not, these attorneys have not done their job.

patent  +AMDG

19 posted on 08/21/2002 4:06:33 PM PDT by patent
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To: patent
I’m sure there is more than I am aware of in the transcripts, and things that do a better job of pinning him down. If not, these attorneys have not done their job.

In the average civil suit (or criminal case, for that matter) the two parties facing off are in an unqualified adversarial position; that's fine -- that's our system and it probably works as well as anything could.

I think a lot of the bad taste left by the church scandal cases stems from the fact that archdiocese attorneys (presumably with at least the acquiescense of the archdiocese) let these cases fester into fully adversarial proceedings between the bishop and his erstwhile flock. The archdiocese's lead attorney (a Catholic, a father and grandfather) has been handling the case with his son. Many people think they should have been sensitive enough to realize that representing the church against some of its members in a case like this is different in important ways from representing, say, GM or Ford against an unhappy customer.

I've worked long enough as a paralegal to read and summarize deposition transcripts that were worse than Law's -- one went on for 94 days because the deponent insisted on an explanation of every word in every question, demanding that every conceivable ambiguity be resolved to his satisfaction before he finally answered, "I don't recall." But he wasn't a church leader: he was a shady character trying to get the better of a shadier character in an enormous oil deal based on a real refinery and many, many fictitious oil tankers.

In Law's favor I can say that at least it seems apparent that lying and evading do not come easy to him -- he was clearly in great discomfort and even mental pain. I think his attorneys should have the sense to tell him long ago that the church can't win this way and that even if it did, it wouldn't be a win worth having.

20 posted on 08/21/2002 4:44:59 PM PDT by maryz
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To: maryz
Carnal Law bump
21 posted on 08/22/2002 3:21:54 AM PDT by Dajjal
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To: maryz
The photo gallery on Fritscher's website is devoted exclusively to photos taken at the Pontifical College Josephinum in the late '50s, early '60s. Jack Fritscher is one obsessed 63-year-old.
22 posted on 08/22/2002 7:32:18 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: eastsider
Attractive as you make it sound (gag), I still don't want to see his website!
23 posted on 08/22/2002 8:37:15 AM PDT by maryz
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To: maryz
said Tom Reed of Madison, Wisc., a 1964 Josephinum graduate who served as a clergyman with Law in Mississippi until 1969, when he left the priesthood.

Credibility?

24 posted on 08/22/2002 8:46:14 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: eastsider
Exorcist

This must have happened while he was a priest. Aren't priests the only one allowed to perform an exorcism? And then doesn't it take an additional two witnesses (priests) also?

25 posted on 08/22/2002 8:53:25 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: Desdemona
Maybe you were watching "JFK" too often. This sort of corruption has always been there, in the Church and in every court, and I might say in any family. My theory is is that it got out of hand as the number of seminarians dropped off sharply and more and more gay priests were ordained by dioceses desperate to keep their numbers up.
26 posted on 08/22/2002 9:01:27 AM PDT by RobbyS
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To: maryz
Many people think they should have been sensitive enough to realize that representing the church against some of its members in a case like this is different in important ways from representing, say, GM or Ford against an unhappy customer. It is more like a fight between family members with all the bitterness that entails.
27 posted on 08/22/2002 9:05:02 AM PDT by RobbyS
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To: RobbyS
Never saw "JFK" and never will. The Kennedys are highly overrated and I can't stand Oliver Stone.

After reading 50 pp. of _Goodbye, Good Men_ and somehow not throwing it across the room, I don't think the homosexual problem has been around all that long. It's really maddening.

28 posted on 08/22/2002 9:26:05 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Salvation; sinkspur
This must have happened while he was a priest. Aren't priests the only one allowed to perform an exorcism?
Jack Fritscher was never ordained so laicization is not required (see sinkspur's #14, above).

I have no personal knowledge of the requirements for exorcism, but according to the entry for "Ritual" in the Catholic Encyclopedia, the prayers are for an exorcism are found in the Rituale Romanum (Title X). I also recommend the Encyclopedia entries for Exorcism and Exorcist.

29 posted on 08/22/2002 10:03:15 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: eastsider
I realized it was Minor Orders; that is why I posed my question.

I am glad to see that New Advent is back up and running. Thanks for your reply.

30 posted on 08/22/2002 10:30:09 AM PDT by Salvation
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