Monday, March 01, 2004

Accused Clergy had Influential Posts

In Springfield, Mass. Of course, this is one of the greatest dangers in a system that is modeled more on the monarchies of the middle ages then the Church of the first millenium.

From Accused clergy had influential posts:

"The vast majority of 14 local priests recently accused of sexual misconduct held positions of considerable power in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, some ascending steadily through the ranks while they allegedly engaged in sexual misdeeds with minors.

Among them were the recently retired bishop, a secretary to two bishops, the executor of one bishop's estate and the head of diocesan schools. Another was the chief recruiter of young seminarians, a man who was later entrusted with diocesan records.

The exceptional proximity to power - and documents that may show some clerics abused it - have triggered questions about whether personnel files and other paperwork that may have revealed a pattern of abuse were destroyed or mishandled.

And, while their numbers represent just a fraction of the 120 priests in the diocese, the accused provide evidence that a powerful 'cabal' of abusers had free reign to prey on victims over decades, according to lawyers for alleged victims. "