Judge Blasts SNAP In Ruling That It Cannot Intimidate and Harass Catholics Worshiping at Sunday Mass

SNAP Survivors Abuse protest : Barbara Blaine : David Clohessy

A federal judge says no to harassment and intimidation in Missouri:
SNAP's Barbara Blaine and David Clohessy (center)

For the past several years, a regular tactic of the anti-Catholic group SNAP has been to angrily accost and hassle prayerful Catholics as they attend Mass on Sunday.

While protesting various aspects of the Church's handling of the abuse scandals, SNAP members have provoked Sunday Mass goers to such an extent that judges have been forced to issue restraining orders and SNAP leaders have been subsequently arrested for violating such orders.

Protecting the rights of innocent Mass goers

SNAP members in the state of Missouri have also sought to disturb and disrupt the Mass, but they have been concerned about Missouri's House of Worship Protection Act, which protects worshipers from angry disruptions such as those instigated by SNAP.

The Act labels it a crime if a person "intentionally injures, intimidates, or interferes with any person exercising the right to religious freedom or who is seeking access to a house of worship." The first two offenses are misdemeanors, and the thirds and subsequent offenses are Class D felonies.

Afraid that it may not be able to assault Missouri Mass goers, SNAP sued leaders of the State of Missouri in 2012, claiming that Missouri's law was unconstitutional and violated the group's free speech rights.

But last week Senior United States District Judge E. Richard Webber ruled that SNAP's argument was baloney and that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the rights of its citizens to worship without fear of threats and intimidation. Judge Webber ruled that Missouri's House of Worship Protection Act is indeed constitutional, and SNAP members can expect punishment for willfully violating it. The judge dismissed SNAP's suit with prejudice, meaning the group's claims were unfounded, and SNAP is barred from filing such a suit ever again.

Kudos to a federal judge

TheMediaReport.com applauds Judge Webber for his ruling.

Sunday Mass is the pinnacle of life for many Catholics, and it is not a place for angry zealots like SNAP to bully law-abiding worshipers who only wish to practice their faith.

Catholics have a right to attend Mass without fear and intimidation by any group, no matter how strongly that group feels about its cause. Thankfully, Judge Webber's decision will now protect Catholics in the state of Missouri during the practice of their faith free from browbeating and intimidation by anti-Catholic groups like SNAP.

[HT: CatholicCulture.org]


  1. Publion says:

    Well, let me take a crack at the “hardest” question.


    A pre-note: we all recall that the Bishops refused to accept the Report’s recommendations.


    In the first place, the word “secrecy” is a word that doesn’t appear in the Report. That word is somebody else’s idea cooked up to put the worst possible, Watergate-y spin on things.


    There are many reasons why anybody and everybody who engages the services of attorneys are “legally shielded” in some sense by legal ‘privilege’. Among other reason, there is the desire to keep from unnecessary public view material that might be mis-interpreted or – without itself constituting evidence – might otherwise be used against them. This is as true for individuals as for organizations, and for the Church as for any other organization.


     (And as I’ve said before: I very much would like to see the shenanigans and skullduggery  – now covered by privilege – that I think went on between tort-attorneys and their allegant-Plaintiffs … but they can all give thanks that I can’t get access to that material directly. But can it justifiably be asserted that their confidentiality itself constitutes any sort of clear evidence of evil intent in the worst and Watergate-y sense of “secrecy”? No, it can’t. Which is why I don’t. )


    While I have no access to Doyle’s motivations or thoughts, and neither defending nor attacking Doyle here myself, I merely examine the text.


    There is specifically a section entitled “Public Relations Considerations” (Section 7, pages 164-5 of Sex, Priests and Secret Codes).  Nowhere does the word “secrecy” appear. If this were an organizational-confidential document then why wouldn’t he come right out and use the word? (And it wasn’t the Church that at some subsequent point in time made this document public.)


    Doyle’s reasons for urging “careful consideration of this aspect of the problems” are set forth. Point (a) is the recognize “the negative impact” of sexual and child abuse in public opinion (as it was developing in 1985). Media both secular and Catholic (he mentions the National Catholic Reporter) tend to focus on the subject with a great deal of negativity.


    For that reason, in point (b) his first priority is to “preserve the credibility of the Church”. This is both i) prescient and ii) common-sensical. Because we have seen since then a clear effort by various types and mentalities to claim that if the Church has somehow been involved in any such abuse at all, then its entire credibility and public stature is (according to these mentalities) eliminated. And (ii) goes to the skandalon type of scandal I discussed in a prior comment: no matter how large or small the Church’s involvement, negative media exposure would place a stumbling-block in the faith-lives of many Catholics. (I would add – and perhaps Doyle or Mouton also thought – that since not all media coverage is guaranteed to be accurate, then to create a media exposure is simply to make oneself – to use my own image – a piñata for the media.)


    Also, throughout this short section, I sense the presence of the attorney, Mouton, who – thinking as an attorney who might soon be retained by the Church (if the Report’s proposal were accepted) – has already started presenting his legal recommendations and strategic thoughts for defending against lawsuits. Mouton, we recall, was convinced that the changing sense of public opinion in the country as to matters of sexual-abuse would soon attract many tort-attorneys who would start expanding the possibilities for lawsuits in this new field.


    The third point (c) is to distance the Church from the activities of the accused or already formally-Defendant priest. This was prescient since we have seen how attorneys such as Jeff Anderson soon moved to apply Respondeat-Superior tort law to cases in order to tap the deep-pockets of the Church rather than of the accused-Defendant individual priest.


    The fourth point (d) is for the Church to “carefully monitor and control the tonal quality” of all the Church’s public statements that are made about the general matter or about particular cases. All “statements and legal pleadings” should be (I sense Mouton here) consistent and aligned with the image of the Church “in the minds of the general public, the Catholic community, jurors, judges, prosecutors, and plaintiffs”. This is not rocket-science; it is Legal Advice 101 type of stuff and there is nothing unique or “secret” about it.


    I will note here that all of this was rather compactly handled in Victimist modus operandi by establishing early in the public mind the idea (as I discussed above in my Wendy-Murphy comment) that skepticism and questioning cannot be allowed vis-à-vis victim claims and allegations because that would be to re-victimize them. Indeed, Murphy – as a prime practitioner of this thing – insists that victims should not even by referred to as “alleged victims”; rather, their claims should be accepted as presumptively true from the get-go. If Mouton’s suggestions were along the lines of old-fashioned lawyering under the rules of Western tradition, Murphy’s approach is the revolutionary/propagandistic approach of simply declaring the accuser to be truthy from the get-go.


    The fifth point (e) is that the Church “must remain open and avoid the appearance of being under siege”. This is a complex but insightful bit of lawyerly advice that also seems to have some of Doyle in it: remain “open” and try to discuss matters, while simultaneously not either being truculent or sounding weak. Coming across as ‘closed’ would lend an aura of guilt, while either going the in-your-face route or sounding-weak would simply get the tort-attorney sharks even more excited to have a go.


    The last point (f) urges coherent and general policies “in response to localized or regional publicity that may be adverse to the Church’s best interests”. Standard organizational practice here, as well as standard legal advice.


    That’s the end of the PR Considerations. Nothing out of the ordinary. But the main point, I think, is that underlying everything here is that Doyle or perhaps Mouton realize clearly that by this point (1985) the Church as an organization is most certainly going to face hefty lawsuits; and this is not – as best I can infer from Mouton’s thoughts here – necessarily because any or many or most of the accusations would be true, but simply because the Church as a “deep-pockets defendant” was simply tooooooo tempting for shoals of tort-attorneys not to have a go.


     (And this would only become increasingly the dynamic driving the Abuse Matter as eager media did indeed skew their ‘reporting’ and as eager-to-please legislators began to embrace the ‘revolutionary/victimist’ approach to law.)


    However, in regard to JR’s only real major theme – that the Report disregards “victims” – we need only go back a single page to Section 6 (pages 162-3 in the book): “Spiritual Considerations”.  Here, Doyle discusses the plight of victims and their families in points (a) through (e) and point (i) – which makes 6 points out of the 9 in this section.


    Beyond that, JR is going to have to take up the matter with the authors of the Report.

    • jim robertson says:

      Oh yea spiritual, always the cheapest way out when it comes to victims. Pray away the pain, If it works for you fine. If not: we showed you we care for you. We prayed for you. Next!

      It was Doyle who worried about secrecy when he wrote in section 3 pg 171 about keeping the Project secret.

      I have to say this: None of your pronouncements about me or my thoughts are ever proven by you to be what you say they are.

      You simply announce I'm this or that, and the fact that you say it or think to you makes it true. And then you announce these projections to the readership as true with No proof to back you up. really no analysis that proves anything, I read your stuff,( boy do I read your stuff) and there's nothing there but a few pronouncements and  a few insults, Oh and a few very lame excuses that you pronounce to be truth. The world according to P.

      No real anaylys just jam.

      I can't think of many grown-ups who think like that.

    • jim robertson says:

      You P, speak of "shark like" tort attorneys. If there was no sex abuse, you would have no victims and no "shark like" lawyers to work for those victims.

      This scandal isn't a feeding frenzy for greedy victims and lawyers. It's simply people ignored and shunned by the people that harmed us. And it was us victims who HAD to resort to tort attorneys because the Church did and is still doing nothing for victims unless it's forced to . They are doing absolutely nada.

      Never have we heard any plans for helping victims only plans for secret committees and secret funding for lawyers to hide evidence from victims and the press. We've heard the "Protect the Children" line from SNAP , protect the un-harmed. instead of help the injured, the already deeply harmed. Interesting tactic from the "oldest and largest victims group". Wouldn't you say?

      Especially when the Churh's more than immediate response was and is:" We do protect the children and here's how"….. Talk about a set up.

      And action for victims?

  2. Publion says:

    The paragraph numbered ‘3’ on page 171 does not contain the word “secrecy” in it. What Doyle said in this section is that the legal “base contract between the bishops and the lawyer”, would be “a document that by its very nature is private, privileged, and may not be discovered” (in the capital-D sense of legal Discovery, which has been the discussion throughout the section). Which is standard practice: the contract governing the relationship between the client and the attorney is not Discoverable. The Report is not the subject of the sentence – if that isn’t clear from a simple but competent grammatical reading of the text.


    Once again in this comment of May 6, 1151PM we see precisely the type of misreading (deliberate or through ignorance) that has driven so much of the Catholic Abuse Matter.


    I think the text I quoted and explained constitutes clear proof of the realities involved here.


    Hence, “the world according to JR”: I can think of many grown-ups who think like that, but further speculation down that road is not the proper subject of this site.

    • jim robertson says:

      And he finishes with an insult. You gotta love the guy.

      Why should evidence be kept from the Press?

      If the corporate Church was being open and transparent, ( as it claimed to be in it's initial reactions to the scandal in Los Angeles anyway.)

      What was to Hide?

      No folks the word secrecy wasn't used but somebody sure felt it was neccessary to hide stuff.

      You P may not call hiding stuff, secrecy; but the rest of the world does.

      Maybe you and the Church have been at sea a bit too long,

  3. jim robertson says:

    As far as Satanism is concerned.

    I have always felt in regards to the Corporate Church's sex abuse scandal that Satanism is used by the Church as a way of moving real sex abuse away from reality and off into McMartin school land.

    Make it outre, outlandish by connecting it to worship of the boogeyman and you've moved from reality into fantasy there by dismissing any intelligent analysis. All is "colored" by superstitious people's imaginings.and smart people walk away.

    And who benefits?  Not  an imaginary Satan but a very real corporate Church.

    And by having Satan mentioned over and over regarding sex abuse and the Church one can wonder off into cloud cuckoo turf exactly where the corporate Church would have us.

    My attitude is, regarding Satanism, if they sacrifice humans, babies usually according to myths, show me  teeth marks on bones then I might buy it. But they never do.

    Imaginary enemies are a smoke screen compared to the real, horrific actions of real human beings.

  4. Publion says:

    Apparently when JR tries it – however infelicitously – it is just ‘truth’. When anybody else achieves it, it is an ‘insult’. But have I called anybody “Fool!”?


    It has not yet been established that what was kept from the press – in Doyle’s plan – was “evidence”. Was the LA Times document cache as we examined it here really “evidence” of anything except witless or deliberate misreading and exaggeration and – to use the technical term - eisegesis?


    Again, why continue to ask anybody but Doyle what Doyle had in mind? Should JR not go and find Doyle on the Web and have at the gentleman? Why distract us here? Why piggyback on us?


    But while we’re on the subject, have we not on this very site seen how bizarrely and obstinately reality can be twisted in order for some folks to be able to keep their Cartoon going? Who would simply want to add fuel to such an omnivorous and – of course – irrational fire?


    “Hide” what “stuff”, exactly? And who wished to do it? Doyle and his crew? Because the Bishops rejected the Report and its Proposal. And no commenter on this site has come out in support of the Report or the Bishops. In fact it was JR who raised the Doyle Report to begin with. So why waste our time here?


    I am not for a moment about to accept JR’s assessment about what the rest of the world thinks. Who would, I wonder? Speaking purely for myself, I am not confident in JR’s thoughts about what he thinks, let alone what anybody else thinks.


    As I have said and said and said: at the core of so much of the Catholic Abuse Matter lie some form of irrationality and some form(s) of manipulation designed to avoid rationality and Stampede readers toward the preferred irrationality.


    Who can yield to it all? Especially in matters so vital and grave.


    • jim robertson says:

      Your paragraph before your last sentence above sums you up exactly

      As far as fool goes.You don't behave like one. I won't call you one. Easy.

      I called you that because you expected to see SNAP by name mentioned in a document created 7 years before SNAP was. I think they "occured in 92. Doyle's paper is '85 and you thought, if that's the right word, that a counter intelligence group would not cover itself but just put all it's plans on the table to boot.

      Some Bishops may have accepted the report, some Cardinals even but think about Doyle so competent in Canon law he's at the Vatican Embassy and this is what he offers to the Bishops as a plan of procedure?

      It reeks!

  5. Publion says:

    As Mouton – himself a tort-attorney – realized, there was going to be a rush, because it is the nature of the tort-attorney to find torts or whatever might be construed as torts or whatever might open up a new field of possible torts; and because of the deep-pockets nature of the presumptive Defendant (i.e. the Church).


    And as I further said, this would be true regardless of whether there were genuine victims or not. And when the Thing got going, the distinction between genuine victims and persons otherwise classifiable would dissolve.


    As I have said, had the Bishops not let the situation reach the point that it reached in 1985 then the history of all this would perhaps have turned out differently. But that is only one possibility; there were so many elements inside and outside of the Church in the US with their own agendas, all of which had in common a reduction in the Church’s public stature and in the Church’s strength. And the general embrace of the victimist approach by so many elements of society and government introduced a hugely adaptable and corrosive solvent.


    Nor have we seen any story or case history here (or, say, on the BigTrial site) that has stood up credibly to analysis. The Wendy-Murphy material assumes a clear relevance here: the Thing has to be framed and set-up so that questions are not asked and to somehow derail or distract-from any questions that do manage to get asked. And from what we have seen in material on this site, I would say that Murphy’s position is necessary  to cover the fact that a very substantial number of  stories will not stand up to evidentiary-grade analysis or even basic and general rational analysis.


    The fact that stories will not stand up to analysis does not conclusively prove that the stories are untrue. But it does mean that such stories could not gain traction in any Western concept of law. Which was precisely why any so-called ‘victim-friendly’ (and thus ‘tort-friendly’) changes (spun as ‘reforms’) had to adopt the ‘revolutionary’ approach to law: a) the crime is considered to be so vitally awful that b) it has to be presumed that any accusation is for all practical purposes true and cannot be questioned such that c) ‘traditional’ evidence is not of primary importance and d) the judicial system can simply create ‘show trials’ where the government can be publicly seen to strike the accused.


    Now as to the matter of the Church doing something for victims: it was JR himself who said in comments on this site that the Church “can do nothing for victims”. I have addressed this in comments before and won’t waste readers’ time repeating it all.


    But it’s a neat set-up: A) the Church can do nothing for victims (except, of course, for the checks) but then B) the Church is criticized for doing nothing for victims. Which is it going to be? Can’t have it both ways.


    How about suggesting a handy and effective checklist on how to distinguish a genuine victim from someone otherwise classifiable? That might move things along.

    • jim robertson says:

      "Can do nothing for victims" but compensate them. If I didn't say that, I should have but I'm just one amatuer here.

      And your "handy check list" all ready exists: all the studies that show the damage that happens in victims lives because of sexual abuse from authority figures. No damage. No abuse.

      . Those studies are the template for authenticity of claims. Simply juxtapose them to the claims and see what connects. Add to that times; places; access and witnesses and histories of the accused.

      All these things are all ready being done by the Church, it's insurors; psychiatric workers on both sides and lawyers on both sides as well. And according to the John Jay studies: over 80% of all claims are true.

      On the whole, the check list already in place seems to be working for everyone but you.

    • jim robertson says:

      How many checks have been sent out  to it's victims by the corporate Church, P?

  6. jim robertson says:

    Who cares if I call you a fool? That's unimportant. Hiding evidence and coyly preplanning to do so, now that's a fact and it's important.

    Could you explain to me how the guy that thought up" the project" should suddenly switch to being considered a living Saint in the victims movement? Based on that paper?

  7. jim robertson says:

    My cartoon cost your Church a bunch of money.

    Think of me as the Charles Shultz of cartoonists.

    • fran says:

      Well, it was obviously a waste of money, as it doesn't seem to have brought you any peace. For which, BTW, I am sorry as I do not wish you any ill.

  8. fran says:

    Ok,JR, so your message is what? That "the corporate church" has tried to protect itself by hiding documents and has done nothing for victims? OK – got your point. how many times do you think that you need to repeat it?

    BTW, no one – including myself – is denying that gross episodes of clergy sexual abuse of minors occurred. That is a given. What is being called into question is the actual number of victims and perpetrators, and also the manner in which the media reports the subject. Eg. in our local rag, if it is abuse concerning Catholic clergy it is invariably on the front page and a lot of space is devoted to it; if it concerns the boy scouts or the Salvation army or some other organisation, you will be lucky to find it buried in small print on page 8!

    And if SNAP is, as you insist, an instrument of the church, employed as a damage-control tool, then it ain't working and they ought to sack their advisors. And they really ought to just give up, if that is their best way of managing a crisis.  As I said, how anyone can imagine that SNAP is a creature of the church really beggars belief. But if you are proved to be right Jim, I will not hesitate to offer a sincere and fulsome apology.

    • jim robertson says:

      And you're posting here from Australia because you think the poor corporate Church is being railroaded. Oh right.

      SNAP is working, Fran, that's why it's sent all over the world. Like Ribbentrop for the Nazi's SNAP runs interference, decides what victims have to say and then says it and moves on always there but never doing anything for victims. Only little shows for the press. Your SNAP groups in Australia what ever they're called there will do the exact same thing since they've been trained by Doyle and Anderson and SNAP, They've been going there at least since 2006. Flying from the U.S. to "help". Right. Their idea of "help" looks exactly like control to real activists.

      Nice segue though from Doyle' recommending the Bishops hide evidence which is against the law, and a crime in itself. Discovery is about telling the truth not hiding it.

    • jim robertson says:

      [edited by moderator< ]

      Compensation wasn't intended to buy me anything in particular it was meant to compensate me for my injuries.

      Usually only very active Catholics run that "won't buy you peace" line. I never thought it would.

    • dennis ecker says:

      Fran, what you believe Jim is saying HAS NOT been said enough. It needs to be repeated over and over again, and it should be said enough times that it is never forgotten. 

      You may believe the rcc has done its best to answer to the crimes they have commited but if you believe that you are so wrong. Why does the rcc continue to fight against the changes to SOL laws ? Why to this day are they still conducting internal investigations on their clergy members behind closed doors away from the public or media ? They have proven time after time they are not capable to police themselves.

  9. Publion says:

    In the matter of what the Church can do for victims:  A) we are now – finally – told clearly that in JR’s vision it’s all about the money, i.e. the Church “can do nothing for victims but compensate them”. And I don’t agree: There is useful therapy (although I would insist on competent professional therapy and not i) various types of paraprofessional activity or ii) ‘victimist’ therapies grounded in the presumption that one must continually and permanently anchor the patient in his/her ‘rage’ or woundedness; both of these harm rather than help, by inflaming rather than addressing the core problems afflicting the patient).


    And B) there are no handy checklists that definitively establish the outcomes of any incident(s) of abuse, sexual or otherwise, for any individual patient or in any individual case. There are scads of such checklists (going back to the those late 70s self-checklists written by a creative-writing teacher to see if you as an adult were the victim of incest but don’t realize it) that suggest possible sequelae that might occur – but (again) they do not because they cannot predict definitively and with accuracy and specificity just what sequelae will follow from any particular instance of any particular kind of abuse for any particular individual.


    Which means that it still remains to be – and must be – established just what any individual patient is suffering from. This is an essential step in the process. It is essential clinically, i.e. you must make a clear and accurate diagnosis before you start treating the patient (especially if you are going to use any drug therapy). And it is essential legally, i.e. you must make a clear and accurate connection between the alleged tort and the allegant’s present condition which s/he claims was the result of the tort.


    Indeed – in this legal aspect – the problem has been precisely the shark-seducing failure of the general public (and hence jurors) precisely to ignore this vital step. Tort-attorneys presented with the prospect (in a so-called ‘victim-friendly' world of law and jurors and media) that you don’t actually have to establish that your plaintiff’s present condition is the result of the defendant’s alleged tort … well, that’s tossing blood and chum into the water for a tort-attorney (nor can one completely blame tort-attorneys for taking such advantage of such a legally fuzzy situation in order to pursue ever-greater settlements, fees, and public status and creds).


    Thus what JR has provided us with here is a classic example of this frakky thinking: since injuries might be caused by the alleged tort, then they were caused by the alleged tort.


    And – of course – what we also see (and we see this most clearly in the second Philly ‘Billy Doe’ matter currently being considered on the BigTrial site) is a vital secondary use of this frakky thinking: it gives a tort-attorney (or a prosecutor) a way to steer jurors around the various unsavory or even disturbing characteristics of the allegant. Thus the overall tort-attorney strategy is: Yes, my client is a disturbingly unpleasant character, but that’s all because of what the defendant did – (the assumption being: if it weren’t for the defendant’s action and tort my client would be a fine person today).


    Which – of course – quickly moves the jurors and media beyond two other perfectly rational possibilities: i) the allegant was rather unpleasantly disturbed or possessed rather unsavory characteristics before the alleged tort was committed; and/or ii) this unsavory and unpleasantly disturbed allegant-plaintiff is now demonstrating his/her characteristics by trying to get paid in a settlement by making these claims against the defendant.


    There is no way to know – simply through such a theoretical and conceptual framework as this – which of the three possibilities is the truth of the case in any particular allegation or claim, but that’s what a fair and impartial jury-trial is designed to try to figure out.


    But – of course – given the Stampede, the jurors (and the media and the applicable laws and perhaps even the judicial attitude) have already been pre-tainted or pre-influenced in a poisonous way precisely to skip these vital and very real complexities and by skipping these vital intermediate steps in reasoning simply go straight to outrage and guilty findings and huge damage awards.


    And I would further submit that in the Doyle material that tort-attorney – Mouton – saw all of these conceptual possibilities clearly and (acting in the paper as a possible attorney for the Church) sought to impress upon the Bishops just how shockingly dangerous a legal situation (almost like a perfect-storm or a classic monster wildfire) was shaping up in the world beyond the Bishops’ usual matters of concern.


    All of which – of course – brings us back to the possibility that all sorts of damaged and even unsavory characters might get themselves hefty paydays simply by finding a willing tort-attorney and going for the ‘compensation’ (possibly enhanced by ‘fraud’ or ‘reckless and negligent’ damage enhancements).


    And thus that we might very well wind up confronted by the prospect of such damaged or unsavory characters – perhaps damaged and even unsavory before they ever came into contact with the priest against whom they make their (so-often) long-past allegations – then coming back and claiming that their settlements constitute proof of the veracity and rationality of their allegations – which again requires skipping huge but necessary chunks of rational analysis and assessment.


    So “these studies” do indeed constitute “the template for authenticity of claims made”, but in the tort-law and tort-practice aspects of the Church Abuse Matter they do so in the same way a bank-robber’s hastily penciled diagram of the bank provide a “template” for the planned bank job.


    And in fact, in his “no damage/ no abuse” bit JR demonstrates (no doubt unwittingly) precisely the problem I have earlier mentioned: for the purposes of Western justice, the vast majority of this development could never have developed because of the evidence-problem; and therefore the principles of Western, evidence-based justice had to be gotten-around or weakened, which was precisely effected by embracing the principles and praxis of ‘revolutionary’ law, although this lethal treachery was effected under the baby-harp-seal masquerade of ‘victim-sensitive’ law ‘reforms’.


    The “80 percent figure” JR quotes from the first John Jay Report is highly dubious. It is one of the main reasons why I have always felt that the first Jay was too much a creature of its era (2004) by trying to go for any sort of factoids that would not make all of the foregoing developments (already well in place by that year) look too bad. (I include the link to the text of the first Jay Report at the end of this comment.)


    Section 5.3 of that Report has always givben me cause for reservations.


    First, the numbers didn’t seem to add up. There were 4,392 accused priests (says the Report on page 3); later, that there were 10667 allegations.


    But Sec.5.3 struck me because it yielded only 2314 priests (298 exonerated; 345 not-credible, and 1671 credible).


    Then – shifting somehow from ‘priests’ to ‘cases’ as the basis of calculation – there were 6696 cases (out of 9281 Victim Surveys) that were actually investigated. And it is out of these 6696 ‘cases’ that 4570 ‘cases’were substantiated (yielding that 80percent figure).


    Then, out of all that, only 27pct of accused priests had their ministry restricted (before, during, or after the investigation?) and that seems very low given the number of confirmed-positive or substantiated cases. Unless the allegated-offenses were so low-level that it was not considered necessary to restrict/remove their ministry.


    Second, I was not encouraged by the idea of “Victim Surveys” –specifically, what they were and how they were used (by investigators or by John Jay) as credible sources of information upon which to base a conclusion or a calculation.


    And upon what common method and criteria of investigative praxis were the investigations based? That is to say, I don’t think there was a Uniform Reporting Sheet or Uniform Guidelines for any diocesan-level investigation back in those days, so upon what reliable common-basis could either the diocesan investigations or the Jay calculations be made? And – of course – the possibility that a Victim-Survey was simply and merely what its title implied (i.e. an opportunity for an allegant to put down whatever ‘answers’ s/he wished) then I didn’t see where Jay was coming up with credible numbers because I didn’t see a credibly uniform and verifiable Process by which it could derive them.


    Third, the 80pct is thus not of the 4392 accused priests or the 10667 allegations but only of the somehow-derived 6696 ‘cases’(investigated variously by means of unguided diocesan staffers under pressure and/or Victim-Surveys – whatever they might be). And it appears – but I can’t be certain – that the 6696 cases were already the result of a prior culling, such that the most non-credible cases were already removed (which would have the effect of increasing the percentage of substantiated cases and perhaps intensifying the impact upon the reader).


    Those were my thoughts when I read the first Jay Report back then. There was a) too much variability and confusion in the terms-of-analysis, b) too much confusion in the numbers, c) too much vagueness and uncertainty as to the types of ‘evidence’ used to base the calculations, and thus I had reservations about the percentages therefrom derived.


    The second Jay Report seemed clearly to me to avoid going for the ‘impact on the reader’ and its numbers and usages and procedures were a bit more clear.


    So, No – the “checklists” are most certainly not “already in place” and they are actually only working to keep certain Cartoons in business.


    And thus also, the “checklists” do not help determine a genuine victim from one otherwise classifiable.


    JR reveals a clear bit about himself by claiming that calling anybody “fool!” on this site is “not important”.


    And since I – the apparent object of that “fool!” after all – have not been “hiding evidence” and “coyly pre-planning to do so” then the ground of his epithet is demonstrated to be pure mush, as is the rationality purporting to justify the epithet.


    And if JR is simply an “amateur” here, then perhaps he will want to think a bit more seriously about coming onto a varsity-field in a vital series with nothing but his cap on sideways and his sneakers. And then presume that if his play isn’t considered quite up to standards, it must be the result of everybody else being evil or dumb or a “fool”. And that image assumes that he has not also brought a Pop-Warner football to play a baseball game in the first place.


    Lastly, I have no definitive information as to why Doyle’s career went in the direction it did. But I did make some surmises – and presented as such – in prior comments here: frustrated and upset by the Bishops’ rejection, Doyle (and others) decided to take their work to another venue and put themselves at the service of, as it were, ‘the other side’.


    Which, I will state as a matter of personal opinion, was really regrettable. Because the 1985 Report was certainly prescient. And so, therefore, were its authors. But – as I have also said – those gentlemen and others like them allowed their frustrations to get the best of them, and subsequently gave free rein to allowing their frustrations to color their assessments and conclusions.


    The Bishops did not handle Doyle and his associates all that well in 1985. Although in saying this I am not joining a general pig-pile on the Bishops, because by 1985 the situation was already lethally and treacherously complex and dangerous along many broad axes of concern. In a way the Bishops in 1985 were in the position of the Western democracies in 1939: things had now gotten to so advanced a stage that probably no completely effective rational solution was possible. But I would also say that the Western democracies found themselves in 1939 to no small extent because of actions taken and not-taken throughout earlier years leading up to that year.


    And so we come to 2013. And – as stated about the Royal Navy long long ago – we must proceed “under the good Providence of God” to work with the situation as it now is.


    JJCCJ 1:         http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf

    • jim robertson says:

      And more pronouncements. if you're not patting yourself on the back for being elite or well at least above JR. You're making pronouncements. On history,  on victims on me on anyone you can lay your beady judgemental eyes on. But their your judgements, not mine; not history's but your choices as to what the truth is.

      The reason statutes of limitations are being lifted is there was another crime committed against us, it was hiding the evidence of other crimes committed. Hiding information from discovery. Something so egregious that all most entire legislatures as recently in Minnesota, have overwhelmingly voted for windows of opportunity for amelliaration of damages done to the corporate Church's victims.

  10. Publion says:

    And since the matter of Statutes of Limitations (SOLs) has been brought up, let me say what I said quite a while ago on this site: the SOLs are in Western law for a very real and vital purpose. They are principles established in recognition of the unhappy but undeniable fact that the human memory – never a solid and sure recorder of actual reality in even the best situations  – gets even worse as time passes (and even more so if or as the brain itself is adversely affected by various deranging experiences or dynamics). (And this presumes that one is trying to apply one’s memory to truthful recollection in the first place.)


    Hence, not only allegants’ memories but the memories of witnesses degrade naturally (or with the help of deranging experiences and dynamics) over time.


    Additionally, evidence degrades over time.


    Additionally, one era may look at matters differently from a prior era, especially if that prior era is separated from the present by a large number of developments, specific or general.


    These are realities which the SOLs were erected to deal with, so as to maintain the integrity and the legitimacy of the human legal system. Yes, in Divine Justice the Judge is Omniscient and none of these issues apply – but humans are not so grandly-equipped, and must make do with their own flickering capabilities.


    Of course, in ‘revolutionary’ justice – such as we saw in the Soviet state and other totalitarian regimes – this vast and deep problem is resolved verrrry simply: you will assume that the State is the ultimate source of justice, and you will assume that since the State has thus claimed the authority of the Divine then it will also have the competences of the Divine. And that since today’s crime du jour has been declared so utterly awful by the regime, then nothing – not piddling concerns about ‘evidence’ or ‘due process’ or ‘human rights’ or any other delays and distractions provided by “bourgeois rationality” (as the Bolsheviks liked to put it) – must be allowed to stand in the way of the regime through its courts striking the accused forthwith with no shilly-shally bullplop.


    You can see quickly how tort-attorneys (although not defense attorneys) and prosecutors would be so deliciously attracted to ‘revolutionary’ justice as opposed to Western justice.


    And I would also add this bit of larger analysis on my own: given a political situation where legislators and pols wished to pander to as many sub-groups or interests as possible, the regress to ‘revolutionary’ law – in which I include the weakening of SOLs – is indeed a huge efficient and benny-producing gambit: law-and-order types, ‘victimist’ activists, radical feminists, atheists, anti-Catholics, anti-Vatican or anti-hierarchy Catholics, script-hungry and drama-hungry media looking for simply and gripping ‘stories’, and – last but by no means least – the  very influential sub-group of tort-attorneys themselves … they are all part of the happy pandemonium here. They are all beneficiaries in this bit.


    To say nothing of a secularist government that would very much like people to think of it – rather than God – as the primary effective source of meaning and purpose in their lives.


    So reducing SOL protections is a vital element here. And a treacherously toxic one.

    • jim robertson says:

      All of the people you mentioned and listed above are just that people.

      Not catagories or "types" but people your equal if not your better.

      It's people who were harmed not just the Church's reputation.

      But as long as you catogorize your fellow human beings as having no conscience no morality. Or at least none to equal your own. You and yours, the people you katow to

      Will not be allowed  to simply run their list of enemies show again. They hid crimes and criminals and they are getting busted for it.

      As they should be.

  11. Publion says:

    May I also point out that – thinking in terms of Keeping the Ball Rolling – the SOL issue has a very specific strategic application: it may hopefully scare up more allegations from the Long-Ago.

  12. TheMediaReport.com says:

    Thank you for your comments, everyone!

    We are closing this thread.


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