Church Documents Made Public, Reveal “Truly Horrible” Details
Following a Superior Court order issued last week, the Boston Archdiocese on Tuesday publicly released over 2,000 of 11,000 internal documents detailing an undeniable, chronic problem with priest pedophilia over the last three decades. The files reveal a disturbing pattern of prioritizing the church’s reputation over the protection and safety of those vulnerable to priest pedophilia.
One particular case involved Rev. Robert Meffan, who told the Boston Globe his physical and sexual relationships with teenage girls aspiring to become nuns were “beautiful” and “spiritual,” because “[w]hat I was trying to show them is that Christ is human and you should love him as a human being… that by having this little bit of intimacy with them that this is what it would be like with Christ.” For years, the archdiocese ignored complaints regarding Meffan; Cardinal Bernard Law continued to reassign him during the 1980’s. In 1996, Law wrote to the retired Meffan, “It is important that all of us be reminded of the pain endured by those who have been accused,” according to CNN. Archdiocese spokeswoman Donna M. Morrissey admitted, “Some of the information contained in those documents is truly horrible,” but she pledged, “We’re committed to helping any and all survivors,” reported the Associated Press. Still, just last week the church attempted yet again to save face—requesting that the documents be held from public view until January. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Constance M. Sweeney responded angrily, “While the defendants have seemingly produced the documents to opposing counsel at the last minute and under a warning of sanctions and contempt, they still resist public disclosure of those documents…The court simply will not be toyed with,” reported the Associated Press.
While Law has yet to comment on the documents’ release, area Catholics are growing increasingly impatient. Thomas O’Neill, son of former speaker of the House Tip O’Neill told CNN, “You know, I and my family have been around politics for a long time… And I think we’ve seen arrogance at every level, in every size. But frankly, this takes the cake.”
Additional documents are set for release on December 13, according to CNN.
Media Resources: Associated Press 12/4/02; Boston Globe 12/4/02; CNN.com 12/4/02; Feminist Daily News Wire
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Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
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