There are two things that certainly will be in the news these days, a story about Israel and housing and a story about a priest who abused children while the church gazed off into space. Still another example emerged when Bishop Seamus Hegarty announced that he had known about a priest who sexually abused an eight year old child and the girl’s family was paid to remain silent. The girl endured a decade of abuse at the hands of a priest who had been invited to her home where the abuse occurred. She was told that God would punish her if anything was said to other people. However, when she turned 18 the story emerged. She recently won a court case and was awarded about $20,000 in compensation.
The family went to Bishop Hegarty and informed him of the sexual abuse but the good bishop expressed more concern over the “ill priest” who needed their “pity” rather than their anger. As the father put it, Hagerty was “totally unsympathetic.” As so often occurs in these child abuse cases, the messenger is the culprit, not the culprit.