BY KATHY KANE
Many people believe that the legislative battle in Pennsylvania right now is a matter of money. The belief that victims want civil suits for financial compensation and that the Church wants to protect its finances. What many do not realize is that victims/survivors often seek to bring civil suits for the truth that is revealed in the documents and records that are ordered to be disclosed. Along with the finances, the Church also wants to protect the evidence, but it makes for a more complicated sound bite.
The March 2016 Grand Jury report of clergy abuse in the Altoona Johnstown Diocese disclosed much previously unknown information. One thing I found in reading the document was a patient who was at the St John Vianney Treatment center in Sept /October 2012. The write up of this child predator priest, who actually was profiled by the FBI, was the complete opposite of my conversations with the Vianney staff in 2012 when I was making attempts to improve child safety after discovering one of their patients in a school parking lot. A C4C reader recently alerted me to the following video published in June 2013 which is an interview with Fr James Flavin who was the President of the facility at that time. This interview is pretty much verbatim to my conversations with Fr Flavin and other Vianney staff at the time. A total downplay of the fact that child predators stay at the facility. I heard instead about depressed nuns and overweight priests.
In the video Fr Flavin says pedophiles cannot be treated but instead it is a matter of containment and protection. Protection of whom exactly, the children or the predator? He also makes this startling claim about the facility ” we don’t really deal with the sexual issues, the serious sexual issues” . Well the internet, newspaper articles and GJ reports tell a different story and in the past we have highlighted some of the depraved men who have passed through those doors. What exactly is classified as serious or sexual if watching child pornography of 2 and 3 year old’s is not? Or molestation of childrens’ bodies..or child rape?
Please take some time to view the video. It will probably “disappear” from the internet soon. Take note of the conversation shortly after the 3 minute and 19 minute marks
Then compare to pages 12,66,67 and “C” section of pages 137, 138 of the GJ report.
One other interesting thing to note is that staff from Vianney have attended the annual Anglophone Conference on the Safeguarding of Children,Young People and Vulnerable Adults in past years. Supposedly some Vianney administrators are actually in Rome right now for the 2016 event. A bit confusing to say the least. You can read about the conference from the 2015 press release here:http://ccpblog.unigre.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/CCP_Press-release-Anglophone_ENG-2015-06-24-2.pd I don’t know what Vianney would have to offer in conversations about child protection …and if the facility doesn’t deal with sexual issues…..or do they? Maybe they do or don’t depending on the audience.To a concerned mother one story…to a gathering of Bishops and reps from other Diocese wondering where to send their troubled priests..maybe another.
Research shows that there are currently an estimated 37,000 Catholic priests,45,000 religious nuns and 4,00 religious brothers in the U.S. Where do they all go for help with addictions,mental health and sexual disorders? They can’t possibly all go to the very few remaining Catholic treatment centers. Instead they practice good stewardship and use their health care coverage which their parishioners are already paying for and they seek help at the same inpatient facilities and hospitals that are available to the general public. In the video, Fr. Flavin addresses the fact that the center is private pay, instead it should be called parishioner pay.
It is time to keep the child predators in their own Dioceses and assist the other clergy in need of addiction and mental health treatment through the same networks we all would use in a time of need. There is big money and big salaries in private pay facilities, and the internet like always is a treasure trove of information. More on that later. For now please take some time to watch the video which we were alerted to by a concerned C4C reader. Like always,most of our information comes from the pews and the people who value children above all. Thank You.