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Somebody “Got It”

August 8, 2009

UPDATE: This problem of the abuser being on the priestly ministry staff of a parish in Berlin — after he was banned from priestly ministry — was handled by the parish after I wrote to them, not by Prov. #3 of the Missouri province.  I didn’t know at the time what made them take action.  I learned the province would have let it continue, violating the agreement.

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One of the things that’s been bewildering and made me furious is how dense the Missouri Jesuits are.   So the abuser is banned from priestly ministry and has no priestly faculties, but it’s okay for him to be on the clergy staff of a parish in Berlin?   Since April, when I found out, the Missouri Jesuits were actually saying that’s okay — even though he was banned from ministry six years ago.

It’s not okay anymore.  I had contacted the parish in Berlin too, and I don’t know what made the final difference.  The parish eliminated all mention of O’Connell, and it looks to be 100%.   They didn’t even leave him on the list of past clergy.  (He’s had ties there since 1982.)

I had been wondering why the Missouri Jesuits were so dense about this.  They were trying to say he’s not there much, so who cares?  But it was too much — and it was a farce.   He violated the agreement with a 50th anniversary mass at the Berlin parish in June 2008, and when he went back to Berlin he always stayed at the parish for weeks at a time — even though he is banned from priestly ministry.  And the farce?   It looks to all the world like he is a priest in good standing, with his name and picture and priestly ministry highlighted by the parish.   A farce, a con, whatever you want to call it.   He was banned six years ago.

Maybe prov. #3 grasps things better than prov. #2 could.   Maybe he is not a liar.  Who knows.

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