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Reply #15


Response to olddad56 (Reply #13)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 11:36 AM

15. Now, as to the punishment I was talking about

Under the rules the Catholic Church adopted in 1995, it does INCLUDE turning the name of the priest over to the Police. Thus it would be up to the Police to decide if there is not enough evidence. Please remember often then not all you have is the word of the victim and remember under our system of law you are innocent until proven guilty and then must be beyond a reasonable doubt. If you have two people saying two different things and you have NO OTHER EVIDENCE (common in such situations) how can you say to a Judge that you have proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Whose lying? Even if the priests takes the Fifth (i,e, refuse to answer on the grounds that it might incriminate himself) the law then PRESUMES he would have denied the allegation. That is what the JURY must assume if the defendant does NOT take the stand. Thus these cases are rarely taken to a criminal trial, you do NOT have enough evidence to convict anyone of a crime

On the other hand Civil Litigation is a lower standard of proof for we are talking about mere money. If the jury believes the victim more then the alleged perpetrator, the perpetrator has to pay up even if the jury has doubts as to the evidence (i.e. the jury could believe both sides are not telling the whole truth but it is more likely then not that the incident occurred). Thus most of these cases end up in the Civil Courts, the lower standard of proof is the key.

As to the Church itself, it has NEVER been held liable for any SINGLE act of pedophilia. When the Church has been held liable is where it could have done something to stop such acts, but did nothing (Nothing in the eye of the Jury). Moving a Priest who has been accused of such actions is one form of punishment, for it means he loses the contacts and friends he had developed over the years. On the other hand, it is the best way to see if the accusations have any merit, if the accusations do NOT re-incur that is evidence that the accusations had been false (and false accusations are common). On the other hand if such accusations re-incur then that is strong evidence that the accusations were valid. It was at this point the church screwed up, what they should have done (and most dioceses did do this, thus most dioceses have NOT been sued) is never put the priest into a position to have access to children. What the Dioceses that have been sued did instead is continue to move the priest around. The Bishops of those Dioceses did not want to tell their friend, the accused priest, that he would NEVER be allowed around children. Where the Bishop took a stand and told the Priest he would NOT be allowed around Children, no liability set in for the Bishop took a position based on the facts he knew of. On the other hand, those Bishops who refused to restrict such Priests have been sued and held liable for NOT doing they job (Which include disciplining one's own employees).

Notice, the issue, when it gets to litigation, is rarely if the Pedophilia occurred, but if the Bishop and the Dioceses, knew about it or should have known about it based on any level of proper supervision. The same with the boy-scouts, the Boy-scouts will NOT be held liable if they did all they could reasonably do to make sure such incidents did not occur. Such incidents occur, the issue is proper supervision to minimize such incidents and the "Punishment" that is part of any supervisory duties.

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