The clergy sex abuse scandal has been a blight on the Catholic church for too long now and has stained the cause of Christ in immeasurable ways. The hurt and pain is grievous and cannot in any way be minimized. Care and focused attention must be the modus operandi in moving forward and in attempting to ensure that the guilty are punished and the victim given his or her due recompense while acknowledging that any remuneration or restitution will never make up for the real loss experienced at the hands of the abuser. Justice must be sought and served swiftly.
And yet, justice cannot turn a blind eye to those within society who will use this scandal to substantiate their hatred for the Church. Dave Pierre from TheMediaReport is reporting from LA on that which needs to get wider play:
In a stunning ten-page declaration recently submitted to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, veteran attorney Donald H. Steier stated that his investigations into claims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have uncovered vast fraud and that his probes have revealed that many accusations are completely false.
Counselor Steier has played a role in over one hundred investigations involving Catholic clergy in Los Angeles. In his missive Mr. Steier relayed, “One retired F.B.I. agent who worked with me to investigate many claims in the Clergy Cases told me, in his opinion, about ONE-HALF of the claims made in the Clergy Cases were either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported a prosecutable claim for childhood sexual abuse” (capital letters are his).
Mr. Steier also added, “In several cases my investigation has provided objective information that could not be reconciled with the truthfulness of the subjective allegations. In other words, in many cases objective facts showed that accusations were false.“
Mr. Steier’s declaration is a stunner. He is as experienced as anyone in studying the claims of abuse against Catholic clergy in the Los Angeles area. Also among Steier’s eye-opening statements:
- “I have had accused priest clients take polygraph examinations performed by very experienced former law enforcement experts, including from L.A.P.D., the Sheriff Department, and F.B.I. In many cases the examinations showed my clients’ denial of wrongdoing was ‘truthful,’ and in those cases I offered in writing to the accuser to undergo a similar polygraph examination at my expense. In every case the accuser refused to have his veracity tested by that investigative tool, which is routinely used by intelligence agencies.”
- “I am aware of several plaintiffs who testified that they realized that they had been abused only after learning that some other person – sometimes a relative – had received a financial settlement from the Archdiocese or another Catholic institution.”
- “In my investigation of many cases, I have seen the stories of some accusers change significantly over time, sometimes altering years, locations, and what activity was alleged – in every case, the changes seemed to have enabled or enhanced claims against my clients, or drastically increased alleged damages.”
- “I am aware that false memories can also be planted or created by various psychological processes, including by therapists who might be characterized as ‘sexual victim advocates,’ if not outright charlatans.”
- “Most of the approximately seven hundred psychiatric ‘Certificates of Merit’ filed in these Clergy Cases, as required by [California] Code of Civil Procedure § 340.1, were signed by the same therapist.” (!) (Note: A “Certificate of Merit” from “a licensed mental health practitioner” is required in California before filing an abuse lawsuit.)
There’s much more at the link including references to a victim advocacy group’s website allegedly used by some to foster the fraudulent claims.
It’s all ugly and seedy and distracting and initially I was hesitant in posting on it but as someone in the midst of embracing Catholicism anew, I am buoyed somewhat by the knowledge that the scandal may not be anywhere near as widespread as the media portrays it. And being more than familiar with the media’s nefarious embrace of that which would do harm to the truth, I thought I could do my small part in shedding some light on what is exceedingly a very dark place.
H/T to Insight Scoop.