In a recent article sparse on reason and logic, Lilly Fowler of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch promotes the novel idea that the Catholic Church is now somehow responsible for hunting down and shadowing every past employee accused of abuse, and then constantly publicizing their whereabouts, no matter how long ago the alleged abuse occurred.
There is no doubt that former priest Gary P. Wolken committed disgraceful crimes and was a shame to the priesthood. Yet it was Church officials who first discovered the abuse and immediately reported it to the police. Police arrested and charged Wolken, and after Wolken pleaded guilty to his crime and went to jail, the Church expelled him from the priesthood.
No good deed goes unpunishedYet Fowler completely fails to report that it was Church officials who put a quick stop to Wolken's crimes.
Instead, Fowler trumpets the claim that the Church should still somehow "do more" to "protect the public."
And Fowler completely ignores several obvious questions we have asked before: Exactly what other organization tracks down and then publicizes the current addresses and phone numbers of its former employees accused of abuse? St. Louis Public Schools? The Boy Scouts? Some Hollywood studio? The St. Louis Post-Dispatch? Fowler doesn't say.
Fowler could have easily found someone who could have raised these questions. But she didn't.
Instead, Fowler sought out a parade of predictable malcontents and cranks who think the Catholic Church should risk criminal and civil liability and track the exact whereabouts of its former employees and then hold regular press conferences to announce the results of its monitoring.
Fowler turns to former disgruntled Church employee Jennifer Haselberger, angry ex-priest Patrick Wall, and the perpetually angry National Director of the anti-Catholic group SNAP, David Clohessy (whom we suspect to be the source of Fowler's wobbly piece).
Irony of ironies: The log in Clohessy's own eye
Ironically, the hysterical Clohessy never reported to police back in the 1990s that his own brother Kevin, a Catholic priest, was sexually molesting innocent young boys.
And to this day, neither Clohessy nor SNAP has ever once publicly reported the current whereabouts of Kevin. Yet that does not not stop David from boldly claiming to Fowler that Catholic officials "do nothing" to protect children and the public.
SNAP lists its headquarters in Chicago, but Clohessy and SNAP do the bulk of its operations out of St. Louis. And even though SNAP functions right in her own backyard, Fowler has never even bothered to examine the background of SNAP and the leaders who run it before providing them with unlimited, free, and un-fact-checked quotes.
Make no mistake about it, folks. Fowler's article has absolutely nothing to do with the so-called "protection of children" and enlightening the public about institutional failures. Fowler's article is simply another bow to the professional hysterics at SNAP in their everlasting crusade to bludgeon the Catholic Church.