Suffer the Children

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/opinion/bruni-suffer-the-children.html

By
Published: September 10, 2012

Just how flagrant does a pedophile need to be before the people around him contact the police? Just how far beyond seeming to force himself on a boy in a shower or loading up his laptop with photos of little girls’ crotches does he have to go?

In the first instance I’m referring to Jerry Sandusky, whom Penn State officials allowed to continue working with children even after they were told that something was seriously amiss. In the second I’m referring to the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, a Catholic priest in Missouri whose superiors acted no less despicably.

In May 2010, the principal of a parochial school next door to the parish where Father Ratigan served sent a memorandum to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, as Laurie Goodstein reported in The Times. It flagged his odd behavior, including his habit of instructing children to reach into his pockets for candy.

In December 2010, hundreds of troubling, furtively taken photographs were found on his laptop, according to court testimony given too long after that fact. One showed a toddler’s genitals.

In what jail or prison cell, you might ask, did Father Ratigan spend the first half of 2011? None.

After the photos were discovered, he attempted suicide, received counseling and was reassigned by Bishop Robert W. Finn, the head of the diocese, to a new post as a chaplain to an order of nuns. There he was allowed to celebrate Mass for youth groups and host an Easter egg hunt, and he was caught taking a photograph under the table, up the skirt of the daughter of parishioners who had invited him into their home.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/opinion/bruni-suffer-the-children.html

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