Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Living in a glass house, tossing stones

You probably saw, earlier today, the story of Father James Scahill and his call for the Holy Father to resign:

EAST LONGMEADOW — The Rev. James J. Scahill describes himself as “rather a reclusive person.’’ He insists he is no rebel.

But the parish priest from East Longmeadow was fielding media calls from around the country yesterday about his request from the pulpit on Sunday that Pope Benedict XVI step down over his handling of clergy sexual abuse.

In an interview, Scahill sounded exhausted but firm as he reasserted his critique of the pope: “The right thing is to be truthful, and if he is not up to dealing with this, then he should have the integrity to resign.’’

Scahill has been an outspoken critic of the church’s handling of sexual abuse cases since shortly after he arrived at St. Michael’s church in 2002, the year the clergy abuse scandal exploded in Massachusetts. [...]

Yesterday, walking from his office to the church where a local television crew was waiting, Scahill said the reaction to his homily has been overwhelmingly supportive.

“I’m simply speaking the truth,’’ he said. “Sometimes the truth can be harsh.’’

He said he hoped there would be “a grass-roots insurrection of calling for accountability.’’

Unfortunately for Father Scahill, an intrepid local TV station decided to look a little closer at Father's 2003 deposition in an abuse case. The deposition is here; the TV station reports:

East Longmeadow, Mass. (WWLP) - Just a few days after an East Longmeadow Priest calls for the Pope's resignation, 22News digs up an important document.

We wanted to know what first hand knowledge this priest had regarding the church abuse scandal and when.

We got that answer from a deposition dating back several years.

Father James Scahill in recent days has been quite vocal about the Pope's handling of the church abuse scandal.

Father James Scahill said, "People have solid ground to have doubt because of what our leadership is telling us as to when they knew about the abuse in children and minors and who knew."

But we wanted to know if and when Father Scahill knew anything about minors being molested by priests.

According to this deposition, Father Scahill knew about Father Lavigne bothering children and didn't do or say anything back in the early 1990's.

When asked what parishioners told Scahill regarding Lavigne he stated, "About the fact that their son had been bothered, that he had a reputation for sleepovers at the rectory."

Rev. Scahill went on to say, "The spirit in the parish was good so I just went with that."

Note to Father Scahill: if you're going to throw stones, you'd better check first to see if your own house is not chiefly composed of a manufactured form of silicon dioxide.


Maureen said...

Seems he forgot the plank in his own eye before speaking. Perhaps he has great shame over his prior conduct. You would think it would lead to him being more charitable to our Pope and humble in his speech.

chimakuni said...

Cheeky bugger, Rev Scachill...