Meanwhile, the priest is facing criminal charges for the abuse of two boys four decades ago, in 1971 and 1972. Although Fr. Schook was removed permanently from ministry in 2010 based on "credible" accusations, he proclaims his innocence in the charges against him.
The prosecutor was originally skeptical of Schook's claim of illness, saying it "raised red flags," so he hired a state medical examiner to look into the priest's condition. But the examiner confirmed the cleric's severe and aggressive cancer and concluded that the priest has "a statistically determined life expectancy of less than one year." He also added that Schook's "chemotherapeutic regimen which he is receiving would be at least problematic if he were to be incarcerated."
The prosecutor has delayed Schook's trial, and this has predictably upset the hysterics at SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests).
Cal Pfeiffer is a member of the anti-Catholic group, and upon hearing the news of the postponement, Pfeiffer reportedly said:
"I'm certainly sorry for Jim [Schook] that he's going through this cancer … But where's the justice for victims? They've never had their day in court. To me it's just a stalling tactic."
Stage IV cancer is a "stalling tactic"?
Indeed, as we have asserted before, justice demands first and foremost that priests who misused the trust placed in them and abused innocent children be incarcerated and severely punished.
However, SNAP's statement that stage IV melanoma is a "stalling tactic" reinforces the mean-spirited nature of the organization and once again underscores that SNAP's real mission is simply to bludgeon the Catholic Church, no matter how irrational and mean-spirited the attacks are. It is warped to believe that a priest with only months to live is somehow fit to defend himself on charges of events alleged from some four decades ago.
Not the first time
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that a SNAP member has attacked a cleric with a grave illness.
Earlier this year, SNAP National Director David Clohessy suggested that Philadelphia's Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua was faking painful cancer and dementia to avoid testifying at a trial. Less than 36 hours after making his heartless remarks, the ailing cleric passed away in his sleep.
Importantly, Clohessy never apologized for his mean-spirited and paranoid statement.
We all must demand justice and compassion for victims of clergy abuse, but neither justice nor compassion serves to justify hatred.