The right guy for the job

The Vatican. Again.

A group representing victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests has blasted the San Diego Catholic Diocese for appointing a priest who admitted to destroying documents detailing sexual assaults to oversee their sex abuse hotline.

The San Diego Catholic Diocese appointed a priest who destroyed documents detailing sexual assaults to oversee their sex abuse hotline. A priest who covered up sexual assaults will be overseeing a sex abuse hotline. A fox who dines on chicken every night will be guarding the hen house.

[Father Steven] Callahan is listed as the Victims’ Assistance Coordinator on the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego website — with a phone number to call the priest as well as an email address.

In a court deposition in 2007, after approximately 150 men and women filed suit against the San Diego diocese over sexual abuse claims, Callahan admitted to destroying documents in the early 90’s implicating a fellow priest.

According to attorney Irwin Zalkin, who was representing about third of the victims, Callahan admitted under oath that he destroyed personnel files in the early 1990s, with Zalkin calling it evidence of a cover-up.

“He claims he was following Canon Law, but no one in the diocese destroyed these records till he came along,” Zalkin claimed before adding, “They came in and destroyed priests’ confidential files, they destroyed important seminary records and engaged in a cover-up that precluded people trying to prove up their claims.”

Also? Besides? Fuck Canon Law. Priests are subject to the law-law, just like everyone else. Priests don’t get to protect rapists just because they’re priests.

“When nuns or priests are assigned to these hotlines, we believe church officials are using them to keep abuse reports quiet,” said Tim Lennon of SNAP in an emailed statement.”If they sincerely want victims to call and get help, bishops would have lay social workers—not ordained clerics or lawyers—respond to these deeply wounded and mistrustful individuals.”

It’s almost as if the church is using victims to tell them which priests they need to protect or send to a distant parish.

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