‘Reasonable Job’ Covering Up Monks Having Sex With Kids?

st_johns_monk_McDonaldDonald Trump has made some totally outrageous comments this year, as he (possibly sincerely) puts himself forth as a candidate for president of the United States. But his most outrageous remark – whatever it was, as this is written – pales in comparison to one by a spokesman for St. John’s Abbey, in Collegeville, MN, when he declared that the Abbey “did a reasonable job of managing . . . the problem” of a resident monk, “the Rev. Finian McDonald (pictured above), who told a psychologist that he had about 200 sexual encounters as a priest” – many of them with children, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

That paper/website also noted that “another [priest] recorded the names of dozens of boys he brought to a cabin, some of whom he sexually abused.”

Whether that individual was sanctioned, rebuked, ‘managed’, dismissed and/or reported to authorities wasn’t mentioned.

But the article did mention that “another abuser was paid $30,000 by St. John’s Abbey to support him as he left the clergy.”

This and a lot more came to light after the Abbey was court-ordered to release internal files on “priests credibly accused of child sex abuse as part of a lawsuit settled earlier this year,” the Minneapolis media outlet’s web site reported. Despite priests there having been accused of sex offenses since the 1960’s, the Abbey consistently refused, over the past two decades, to release to investigators any of its files of implicated priests until it was recently forced to do so.

Among the 200 or so sexual assaults committed by the Rev. Finian McDonald, his file revealed, were prostitutes in Thailand who were 13- or 14-years-old at the time. He also admitted to having had 18 victims in St. John’s dormitories, when he served as a prefect there – a role he played for roughly 29 years – and that he abused alcohol during most of his time at the Abbey.

The alcohol abuse, in his case and perhaps others, no doubt was in mind when Abbey spokesman Brother Aelred Senna prepared a statement regarding the files that included the following text:

“There are documents in each file which may be quoted and framed in a lurid context, but the huge majority of the documents in each of these files acknowledges the very real failures of some monks while showing each of the accused monks as a fallible, relatable person.”

He added that the files “show that the Abbey did not try to cover up allegations and did a reasonable job of managing the monk and the problem.”

He did not explain how a religious institution goes about “managing” matters that, aside from being illegal, represent a gross abuse of the rights of victims and, no less important, the trust placed in the institution by the victims and the parents or guardians who permitted and encouraged their attendance at St. John’s.

The Star-Tribune didn’t note if, or what kind of, charges might be brought against the victimizing priests or their employer, the Abbey.



What’s With The Increase In ‘Authorities’ Sexually Assaulting Their Charges?



Haeli Noelle Wey, seen here in a KEYE-TV screenshot, is among the latest teachers charged with having sex with students — two in her case, in Austin, where she was arrested on October 30. She’s among 48 similarly-charged teachers seen  in this CBS News rogues gallery.

A cop was convicted earlier this week of raping thirteen Black women in Oklahoma City, and another one, a New Orleans cop sentenced this week to life in prison for raping a seven-year-old child – a SEVEN-year-old!!: The Daily Beast reported earlier this week that, “Former prison chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has reportedly been charged with 50 counts of third-degree sexual assault for sex with inmates at the McPherson Women’s Unit in Newport, Arkansas.”

These are far from isolated incidents: Prostitutes often are made to perform sex acts with men with badges – men too down-and-out-stupid – to realize that, duh!, many such women have sexually-transmissible diseases. These types of acts are ‘reported’ often in movies, and as or more often, by cops who get hauled up on charges for ‘getting a charge’ from an unwilling victim or several of them. Not just prostitutes, either: As in the case of Daniel Holtzclaw in Oklahoma City, his victims may or may not have been randomly selected – but the fact that all were of a minority race says something – but all of them were placed by him in situations where they felt their lives were at risk. One victim, the first of two who appear in this video, described how she really feared he was going to shoot – perhaps kill – her.

Holtzclaw was convicted on 18 of 36 charges, and the jury recommended he serve 263 years in prison. Cost aside, it would be nice if he could be made to do so!

It’s true, of course, that there are female prisoner watchers – guards – who have all-too-frequent desires, and find opportunities to, have ‘sexual encounters’ with male prisoners. Or female ones. Either way: When a person is being paid, and given both responsibility and authority to oversee other people who are not free, the ‘not free’ person’s rights remain intact, under the Constitution, as a matter of law in every individual state.

It’s also true that teachers – like guards and ministers, people in positions of trust – far too often violate that trust and their students. This week’s paper in  a town near mine had a page one story about a 36-year-old male teacher who is accused of a pornographic interaction on the phone, via text messages and  on Facebook, with a teenaged male student, who apparently texted a nude photo of himself to the teacher. The article says there was no physical contact between the two, but the teacher is subject to a charge of pornography simply by possessing a revealing photo of the boy.

And the stories just keep on coming:

  • A Florida teacher, 26, has been placed on unpaid suspension after being accused of having sex with a 16-year old student;
  • A 35-year-old teacher in Utah whose sexual exploits with students “were a running joke” in the her high school has plead guilty to two second-degree sexual assault charges in exchange for having eleven similar charges dropped;
  • A 32-year-old English teacher in Louisiana – now a former teacher – has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old (male) student – and with having a threesome with a teen and another teacher;
  • An upstate New York teacher died in a supposed ‘hiking accident’ after being charged with child pornography, including spreading a close-up photo of a child’s genitals.

An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic, according to www.komonews.com in Seattle. That amounted to more than three assaults per school day, KOMO noted.

“Students in America’s schools are groped. They’re raped. They’re pursued, seduced and think they’re in love,” the TV report said, “in a system that is stacked against victims.”

The AP report, based on a seven-month investigation, found 2,570 educators “whose teaching credentials were revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned from 2001 through 2005 following allegations of sexual misconduct,” KOMO said. And sadly, that may represent only the tip of the iceberg where sexual assaults on students by teachers are concerned – because “most of the abuse never gets reported; those cases [that are] reported often end with no action; cases investigated sometimes can’t be proven, and many abusers have several victims.”

And many abusers have several victims.

There are 3 million public school teachers nationwide, most devoted to their work. Yet the number of abusive educators – nearly three for every school day – speaks to a much larger problem in a system that is stacked against victims.
And no one – not the schools, not the courts, not the state or federal governments – has found a surefire way to keep molesting teachers out of classrooms.
AP reporters sought disciplinary records in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The result is an unprecedented national look at the scope of sex offenses by educators – the very definition of breach of trust.
The study’s result are, no matter how you look at them, pretty scary. Just as the overall issue is scary, whether or not you have children in school.