First Things is Opus Dei's mouthpiece in America and this is how they attack Marci Hamilton the advocate of victims of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army.
We have featured Marci Hamilton many times here in the John Paul II Millstone.
Opus Dei has two American mouthpieces - First Things and John Allen of NCR......
Notice the snake's strategy on how Opus Dei attack her - without grounds and without substance - that is why Opus Dei are the Fathers of Lies cohorts of Satan the Father of Lies burning in Hell with the Opus Dei Holy Father St. Josemaria Escriva.
The full articles are printed in full for your discernment - in the power of words Opus Dei use in their greed for WORLD DOMINATION.
...Why the Grand Jury Probe on Mahony Should Be Welcomed, Not Criticized
LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Federal Investigation into the Catholic Church's Los Angeles Archdiocese Based on Allegations of a Coverup of Child Sex Abuse: Why the Grand Jury Probe Should Be Welcomed, Not Criticized
By MARCI A. HAMILTON
Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009
Recently, it was announced that Los Angeles United States Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien was starting a grand jury investigation into allegations of a child sex abuse coverup by the Catholic Church's Los Angeles Archdiocese. The announcement was met with consternation and defensive cries from various Catholic quarters. Before they drown out the larger public good, however it is worthwhile to spend some time with the facts – which, I will argue, show that a grand jury investigation is exactly what should be occurring now.
Professor Kmiec's Argument: The Claims of Abuse Were "Well-Litigated"
Pepperdine law professor Douglas Kmiec (who has also been a guest columnist on this site) quickly posted a lengthy critique on Catholic Online, arguing that "wading into this already well-litigated matter gives every appearance of 'piling on.'" In support of his claim, he pointed to the fact that the Archdiocese settled civil claims with over 500 victims for a total of $660 million. The fact, though, is that the claims never were "well-litigated." Kmiec is right about one thing: The end result was a settlement, not hundreds of trials, which would have released mountains of information to the public.
The apparent reasons behind the settlement are very pertinent: First, early on, the church hierarchy succeeded in getting many claims consolidated together, so as to avoid individual litigation. Many survivors wanted their day in court and opposed consolidation, but this procedural move by the hierarchy meant that large collections of cases were treated as though they were single cases with judges overseeing many at one time. That way, the hierarchy could argue to reduce per-person claims, because the size of the total award would be large no matter what and the hierarchy could more effectively and efficiently control what information about the coverup would be released.
Second, the Archdiocese settled essentially on the eve of trial, when it appeared that the Cardinal would have to testify regarding his obvious knowledge of a great deal of abuse. In other words, the settlement was a tactic to keep a further lid on damaging information. Thus, despite the settlement, relatively little information, especially given the amount that is still under the sole control of the Archdiocese, has reached the public.
Kmiec still claims, however, that the public has enough information. He writes: "What's more, the hypothetical prosecution cannot really be said to promote greater disclosure, as the Cardinal already issued a 2004 report giving individualized detail of priests accused of abuse." Yet that report is better described as a mere outline. Moreover, and more importantly, as part of the Los Angeles settlement, Cardinal Mahony promised to release millions of pages of files on the abusers, the abuse, and the coverup. Survivors insisted on it as a necessary element of the settlement.
These promises have not yet been worth the paper they were printed on. Mahony's lawyers, on behalf of their client, have been in court ever since the agreement was signed, to oppose release of each of the papers, one by one. As Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley has said, "Three years ago, I urged Cardinal Mahony to provide the fullest possible disclosure of evidence of sexual abuse by clergy. Despite two court rulings ordering full disclosure, Cardinal Mahony continues to claim 'confidentiality privileges' that no court has recognized." Few citizens know that the Archdiocese's lawyers still continue to drag the plaintiffs' lawyers to court on a regular basis to evade Mahony's promise to reveal all of the relevant secrets. It is not over, and the reason it is not over is because of the continuing tactics of truth-evasion practiced by Mahony.
The Church's Claims of a New "Zero Tolerance" Policy Are Belied by the Evidence
Kmiec goes on to claim that "under Rome's supervision, which the Holy Father personally reasserted just months ago in his visit to America, abusers have been defrocked and a 'zero-tolerance' policy is in place." But Kmiec is simply too smart to make such hollow claims. If zero-tolerance is the policy, then the Cardinal has made a mockery of it.
The facts speak for themselves. In 2006, Los Angeles police questioned church and school officials about Daniel Murphy Catholic High School's Dean of Students, John Malburg, against whom current child sex abuse allegations were being asserted. (Malburg comes from a prominent Los Angeles family.) Yet, despite receiving clear notice from authorities that there were claims of abuse asserted against Malburg, the Archdiocese did not suspend him and kept the information secret. When Malburg was arrested and charged six months later, and parents complained that they had not been timely alerted about the allegations, the Archdiocese blamed the police, saying that they had asked that the information be kept secret. The LAPD, in the Los Angeles Times, said it had never made such a request.
And Malburg is far from the only example demonstrating the Los Angeles Archdiocese's and sadly the larger Church's continuing tolerance – and, indeed, protection – of alleged child abusers. Fr. Nicholas Aguilar Rivera allegedly abused at least 26 boys in Los Angeles in a mere nine months. In August 2007, church records about Aguilar were released to the public. The records indicated that then-Msgr. Thomas Curry notified Aguilar about the release of the records, leading Aguilar to escape to Mexico to avoid prosecution, where there are credible allegations that he went on to molest more children. The upshot? Far from being demoted for violating the "zero-tolerance" rule, Curry was promoted to be one of Mahony's auxiliary bishops, and was never disciplined for putting more children within reach of a priest whom evidence strongly suggests is a serial pedophile.
Then there is Franciscan monk Gerald Chumik -- an admitted child molester who has been a fugitive from his native Canada for fourteen years. Until 2005, Mahony had permitted Chumik to live in the Los Angeles Archdiocese; Chumik left only because the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and others demanded that he be turned over to the authorities. Even in the face of these reasonable demands, Mahony did not go to the authorities; instead, he let Chumik move to Missouri.
This is not remotely zero-tolerance. Rather, it is just plain tolerance of pedophiles. Mahony has not made a clean break from the internal culture and rules requiring coverup and secrecy, and his actions and omissions have obviously created danger for children in other states and countries. According to Kmiec, though, "this is not the equivalent of a federal public or corporate corruption offense meriting 20 years in the federal pen." Explain that to the kids evidence strongly suggests were abused by Malburg, the Mexican kids believed to have been abused by Rivera, or to Chumik's acknowledged victims, wherever they may be. Explain that to the parents at Malburg's school who surely trusted in all of the public assurances from the Pope on down about zero-tolerance, whose children attended school with a credibly accused pedophile and were told nothing about it until the authorities were involved.
Other Arguments Against the Grand Jury Investigation Are Also Completely Unconvincing
Others came to Mahony's defense as well, including Professor G. Robert Blakey of Notre Dame Law School, who said the investigation was "outrageous" because the alleged conduct at issue is unrelated to the federal government. That is a mistake, though. It is a fact that predator priests often have been sent across state or national boundaries (see above). The national and international movement of pedophiles makes the task of a full investigation by any local district attorney impossible. Moreover, many of the perpetrators have taken their victims across state lines, frequently for "vacations" or camping trips. The United States should have been involved long ago, and one can only speculate what took the Department of Justice so long to consider investigating what are obviously federal crimes.
Professor Nicholas P. Cafardi, of Duquesne University School of Law, called the inquiry "an intrusion into the church's First Amendment rights." For him, "It's time for this to be over. L.A. has settled with all of their claimants." Yet it is crucial to recall that one of the very reasons the victims participated in the civil settlement was to obtain the release of the Archdiocese's records on abusers – and recall that they continue to wait as the Archdiocese balks, claiming non-existent privileges. The First Amendment is no dispensation from the law or decency.
Moreover, since when do crime victims have to choose between civil and criminal justice? Those molested deserve compensation from those responsible, those at risk deserve protection, and the rest of us deserve real justice in criminal court.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Archdiocese issued a statement referring to picketing abuse survivors as "an angry mob" and asserting that "there is no priest currently in the ministry in the archdiocese who had been found to have abused a minor." Yet the latter point offers no comfort: As I explained above, there were virtually no trials and no "findings" in the settlement involving hundreds of victims, likely because the Archdiocese did not want its sins, omissions, and crimes spelled out.
Religious Rules Against Airing "Scandal" Cannot and Should Not Be Enforced in Our Secular Justice System
Finally, it is most telling that the Archdiocese's defenders would become so worked up over the start of a grand jury investigation. They are opposing the gathering of information and evidence. Why do they care so much, if all the information to be released is out, as they claim? And why do they care so little about children that Mahony's recent, appalling record regarding credible child-abuse allegations does not give them pause?
The answer likely lies in culture and theology. There is an internal rule within the Church against "scandal." That is, believers are not supposed to bring shame to the Church by airing its dirty laundry in public. The same principle can be found in Orthodox Judaism, in which it is known as chilul hashem. The phrase literally means "desecration of God's name," but is used to prohibit giving the community a bad name. The parallel is notable, for certain Orthodox Jewish organizations have become the latest religious groups whose secret coverup of child sex abuse is being exposed to the public. Despite their very different religious beliefs, the two religious groups' organizational operations with respect to child sex abuse within their community are strikingly similar. Each has something to learn from the other.
The Orthodox can learn that internal control of sex abuse never works and the Catholics can get over the destructive tendency to cling to notions of persecution when in fact they are simply on the wrong side of the law.
If U.S. Attorney O'Brien has hit upon a "novel" legal strategy, as has been alleged, so be it. We have an epidemic of child sexual abuse, which is attributable in part to a lack of imagination and sometimes political will on the part of prosecutors and courts. O'Brien should be applauded for joining the small group of federal prosecutors who are now taking a stand for children who suffer abuse in religious settings. Let's hope that, in the Obama Administration, more U.S. Attorneys will take the same courageous stance. Making children a top priority would be a true change in federal policy.
Marci Hamilton is the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and author of Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge 2008). A review of Justice Denied appeared on this site on June 25, 2008. Her previous book is God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press 2005), now available in paperback.
First Things is Opus Dei's mouthpiece in America and this is how they attack Marci Hamilton the advocate of victims of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army.
Notice the snake's strategy on how they attack her - without grounds and without substance - that is Opus Dei are the Fathers of Lies cohorts of Satan the Father of Lies burning in Hell with the Opus Dei Holy Father St. Josemaria Escriva.
By L. Martin Nussbaum and Melissa Musick Nussbaum
Thursday, February 5, 2009, 8:58 AM
Welcome to MarciWorld, where legislation can stop the sexual abuse of children. Marci Hamilton, a Yeshiva University law professor, describes her book, Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children, as “a how-to book on stopping child abuse, empowering survivors, and helping society identify child predators.”
The answer, Hamilton claims, “is straightforward and attainable: eliminate SOLs”—statutes of limitation, in other words, both for criminal prosecution of sexual perpetrators and for civil damage suits against them and their employers.
In Child Maltreatment 2006, a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we’re told that around 66 percent of those who sexually abuse children are parents, other relatives, unmarried partners of parents, friends, or neighbors, and that only 0.5 percent are “professionals.” And clergy are a subset of “professionals,” and Catholic priests are a subset of clergy. Neither Child Maltreatment 2006 nor any other study identifies clergy (much less Catholic priests) as a statistically significant class of perpetrators. Statistically insignificant and taken from years and decades past, cases of abuse involving Catholic clergy—though profoundly troubling—are nonetheless few compared to the cases involving, for example, public-school teachers.
Thus, for example, in both actual numbers and percentages, sexual abuse of children by teachers, coaches, and employees in public schools exceeds anything that occurred in Catholic institutions. Furthermore, in contrast to Catholic institutions, sexual abuse of children in public schools is still occurring in significant numbers. Prof. Carol Shakeshaft, an expert cited by Hamilton, told Education Week, “So we think the Catholic Church has a problem? . . . The physical sexual abuse of students in [public] schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”
The difference between the problem in the Catholic Church and the continuing problem in public schools is likely greater than that. The 2007 Annual Report prepared by the Catholic bishops identifies fifteen allegations of childhood sexual abuse in the American Catholic Church from 2000 to 2007—an average of less than two per year. The 2007 Associated Press investigation identifies 2,570 public school teachers who, from 2001 through 2005, had their teaching licenses “taken away, denied, surrendered voluntarily, or restricted” as a result of sexual misconduct with minors—an average of 514 per year.
The comparison is based on different criteria, but the differences hardly help the public schools. The bishops’ study is based on an outside audit. It counts possible victims based on unproved allegations. The AP report is based on public records. It counts only perpetrators when the allegations are sufficiently proved to warrant the restriction or loss of a license. Assuming only one victim per disciplined public school teacher, the ratio of abuse in public schools to that in the Catholic Church could run as high as 275 to 1.
If Hamilton’s goal is to stop child abuse through the repeal of statutes of limitation in every state, and if child abuse is a more pervasive problem in public institutions than in private ones, why does Hamilton concentrate on private institutions and, in particular, the Catholic Church? For a book claiming to consider the problem of childhood sexual abuse everywhere it occurs, Justice Denied expends most of its effort on the place where even Hamilton notes “only a small fraction of sexual abuse” took place. Seventy-one of the 113 pages in her book mention Catholic clergy and institutions.
But there’s a reason she wants to concentrate on the Catholic Church. In 2002, a coalition—consisting of Hamilton, other plaintiff attorneys, and the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests—persuaded the California State Assembly to enact the first window bill concerning private, not public, entity defendants. (“Window” legislation retroactively revives time-barred claims and, for future claims, eliminates the statute of limitation altogether.) As a result, over a thousand previously time-barred claims were filed against Catholic institutions. Some alleged abuse from the 1930s, and a significant percentage alleged abuse by over a hundred priests long dead.
While Hamilton claims that Catholic “dioceses were not targeted” by this legislation, John Burton, president pro tem of the California Senate and chief sponsor of the bill, told the Los Angeles Times, that his “bill was a direct response to the widening national scandal over sex-abuse by Catholic priests” and was aimed at “deep pocket” defendants such as the Catholic Church. When these claims are all resolved, the California window bill will generate over one-half billion dollars in legal fees for plaintiffs’ counsel including the $700 per hour that Hamilton charged the Diocese of San Diego when she represented the creditors committee in its resulting bankruptcy.
When Hamilton and her coalition came to Colorado in 2006 to lobby for window legislation, the Colorado Catholic Conference, led by Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, asked only that legislation in question satisfy two principles: fairness and prevention. In fairness, the conference asked that the general assembly protect the welfare and safety of children in public institutions under the same rules and with the same real penalties applied to private institutions. How could Hamilton object to such a reasonable goal?
Hamilton calls the Colorado Catholic Conference’s argument for fairness and prevention “an insidious strategy” and writes that “there is not a more vile strategy out there.” But given that she knows the Catholic Church “is responsible for only a small fraction of the total number of child sex abuse survivors,” she seems oddly unwilling to admit that “stopping child abuse” by eliminating statues of limitation must include public institutions. Calling for childhood sexual abuse legislation that treats public and private entities alike is only insidious if one’s real goal is to burden only private institutions.
Hamilton scolds Catholic leaders, accusing them of “orchestrating” the sexual abuse of children. She describes Catholic Church representatives and their allies as “sleazy” and “vile,” while those who align with her are “visionary” and on “the side of the angels.” This may explain why the Findlaw website lists twenty-seven commentaries Hamilton has written about the Catholic sexual-abuse scandal and none about the public-school sexual-abuse scandal.
In a section of her book entitled “State Reform in the Private Sphere,” she calls both for abolishing “statutes of limitation going forward” and for retroactively reviving time-barred claims. But when she turns to public entities, Hamilton goes curiously vague. She notes that public entities are often protected by sovereign immunity, a doctrine that “protects a state’s treasury from private lawsuits in order to shield a state from onerous interference with the performance of governmental duties and to preserve its control over state property and funds that might otherwise be endangered.” She shows no such concern for soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and schools endangered by private lawsuits against the Catholic community. Indeed, she claims that the Catholic institutions and their insurers were able to pay in settlement over two billion dollars to date without affecting the Church’s “charitable public works.” In MarciWorld, settlements paid by public schools “onerously interfere” with their mission, while settlements paid by Catholic ministries miraculously do not.
She suggests ever so politely that legislators “have an obligation to investigate the financial and legal ramifications of eliminating” statutes of limitation “for childhood sexual abuse by state employees” and says that hearings should be “held and public discussion fostered,” but she never expressly calls for abolishing “statutes of limitation going forward” for public entities as she does for private entities. The Catholic community in California should be made to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for suits brought against dead priests while suits against the public school institutions in which living, and still active, sexual predators stalk their victims should be “discussed.” Or, rather, public discussion should be “fostered.” Where’s the call for withholding federal dollars?
Hamilton blames Republicans for fighting her efforts in the statehouse, arguing, “Republicans tend to be more beholden to religious interests than others.”
The others are Democrats, of course, who tend to be more beholden than Republicans to the interests of the public-school teachers’ lobby and the plaintiff lawyers’ lobby. Hamilton advises her readers to “follow the money.” Do so, and one will likely find the reason she is loathe to treat public and private institutions alike.
Hamilton calls statutes of limitation “arbitrary,” “technical,” “artificial,” and “unjust.” She offers only one sentence stating the purpose of such laws: “They encourage litigants to get to court before evidence is lost or stale.” She then tries to confine this purpose to “contract and property disputes” and concludes, “there is no good reason [for statutes of limitation] to barricade the courts against victims of sexual abuse.”
In fact, there are many good reasons that statutes of limitation exist, and getting to court before “evidence is lost or stale” is surely one. Because sexual abuse is an act of darkness and secrecy, it often occurs hidden from sight. Such acts are hard to prove or disprove. Reliable evidence is crucial to uncovering, stopping, and punishing child abusers. The more institutions and individuals are encouraged to act promptly to report abuse, the greater the chance the abuser will be apprehended and convicted. Nearly every child-abuse-reporting statute mandates immediate reporting because prompt reporting leads to persuasive evidence, arrests, and prison sentences.
Furthermore, statutes of limitation protect the falsely accused. In his 2004 sworn declaration filed in the Melanie H. case, Msgr. Craig A. Cox, vicar for clergy for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, testified that Hamilton’s “window bill” enacted by the 2002 California State Assembly resulted in 760 individuals suing the archdiocese. Many of these claims allegedly involved one of the sixty-eight priests who had died before the claims were brought.
Msgr. Cox describes in detail twelve exemplar claims for conduct alleged to have occurred from 1931 to 1968. In each of the cases, not only is the priest long dead but so is any one who knew or supervised him. Bishops, seminary professors, fellow priests, school principals, housekeepers—all dead. There are no witnesses, either to confirm or deny the man’s alleged guilt. Prompt reporting makes a just outcome more likely. In MarciWorld, a person can be tried and found guilty on the testimony of one person, the one person who stands to gain financially from his or her testimony.
Statutes of limitation protect innocent future generations. When window legislation is proposed for either public or private institutions, the liability—the cost—falls on someone other than the abuser. In the case of public schools, the financial impact falls not on the molesting teacher but on the later students who suffer budget cuts and citizens who pay higher taxes. In the case of churches, the financial impact falls not on the priest perpetrator, often long dead, but on churchgoers who must tithe, not to support ministry, but to support the plaintiff lawyers’ forty-percent cut.
What of the small child who is abused and, afraid to tell, keeps her terrible secret? Is she barred from bringing a claim against her accuser when she finds the strength to do so? Current statutes of limitation already protect her right to bring a delayed claim through minority tolling provisions.
Hamilton not only ignores the purpose but the facts of statutes of limitation when she writes, “It was not uncommon twenty years ago for states to impose a mere two-year [statutes of limitation] on legal actions concerning childhood sexual abuse, which meant that a child abused at age seven would have to get to court by age nine or else lose the right to sue.”
That’s simply wrong. Such statutes were uncommon twenty years ago. Hamilton is also wrong regarding the current situation when she alleges, “over the years, some states have started counting from the age of eighteen, instead of the date of the abuse, and some have added two, five, fifteen, and even twenty-five years to the original” statutes of limitation.
Hamilton leaves the impression that, in most states, seven-year-old victims must engage legal counsel and file suit by age nine or forfeit their claims. This is false, and Hamilton knows it. According to the study she cites, “Nearly every state has a basic suspension of the statute of limitation (‘tolling’) . . . while a person is a minor.” In fact, all fifty states and the District of Columbia suspend the running of the statute of limitation until a child victim turns eighteen. So Hamilton’s seven-year-old victim would have eleven years to reach majority plus, depending on the state, up to twenty-five more years before the statute bars the claim. Hamilton’s straw man may fill pages, but it does not help the child victims or child targets of molestation, and it does not help inform public policy.
Marci Hamilton’s Justice Denied is a sloppy piece of work, poorly researched and poorly written. It is a diatribe against the Catholic Church disguised as a solution to child sexual abuse. Hamilton’s clients and ours—all of us—deserve better.
L. Martin Nussbaum is legal counsel for the Colorado Catholic Conference and other religious institutions. Melissa Musick Nussbaum is the author of six books and numerous articles. Her work has appeared in Commonweal, the Notre Dame Magazine, and National Catholic Reporter.
Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children by Marci A. Hamilton (Cambridge University Press, 2008)