The Diocese of Jefferson City

A Case Study of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Childproof 41: Church Militant — American Bishops, U.S. Generals Agree Victims Cause Sexual Assault

Page 41


Dear Bishop Gaydos:

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
is the ideal candidate to
investigate the culture of
rape in the U.S. military. 
As Jackson County district
attorney, McCaskill
prosecuted pedophile
priests employed by the
Diocese of Kansas City-
St. Joseph and directed
Bishop Raymond J. Boland
to craft a sexual misconduct
policy to protect children
and vulnerable adults from
sexual predators.  Boland
escaped prosecution
despite the evidence that
the Roman Catholic Church
protected pedophile priests
for at least four decades.
Happenstance it may be, but the current media cycle focusing on the military sexual assault crisis and the victims of Ariel Castro coincides with the first anniversary of the Death of Anthony J. O’Connell on May 4. 

Survivors of the clergy sexual abuse are not so far removed from this violence.  The experience of the three youngsters in Cleveland, Ohio, kidnapped more than a decade ago, is a grim reminder of what can happen to children. 

The follow-up commentary of courageous survivors like Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard offers a momentary morale boost: a sense of satisfaction as we move forward to confront the day-to-day realities of life.  The tough talk of the parents of Adam Walsh and Polly Klaas allows us to pause and remember the tenderness of one’s lost childhood.

The military sexual assault quagmire is an even darker window to peer in to as we marvel at the predator mentality that has crippled the justice system of the United States armed forces.  This culture of indifference is best represented by Gen. David Petraeus, whose attitude toward duty allows commanding officers to continue protect rapists with impunity.

Similarly, the arrest of Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, the officer in charge of the U.S. Air Force Sexual Prevention and Response program, offers another peek inside the military’s culture of sexual abuse.  Krusinski was charged May 7 with sexual battery:  he allegedly assaulted a female civilian in a suburban Virginia parking lot.  The victim fought back, and Krusinski’s scratched and bloodied face in his mug shot has become fodder for cable television news. 

The Air Force removed Krusinski from duty, but not before Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Chief of Staff of United States Air Force at the Department of Defense, attempted to minimize the violence, labeling the attack as drunk and disorderly conduct.

Patriot or Priest:  The leverage of the Roman Catholic Bishops to skirt the
American courts is troubling.  Although the Rev. Gary Wolken (top, left) of
St. Louis eventually was convicted and incarcerated; and the Rev. Shawn
Ratigan (top, right) of Kansas City was apprehended, Timothy Cardinal Dolan
and Bishop Robert W. Finn two St. Louis cronies protected these pedophiles
and their crimes against children for many years.  But the Rev. Michael F.
Freymuth (top, second from left) of St. Louis and the Rev. David G. Buescher
(top, third from left) of Jefferson City were never brought to justice because
Dolan and Bishop John R. Gaydos, who also is part of the St. Louis network,
sheltered these child predators from the police and the courts.
Lt. Col. James Wilkerson (bottom, left) was convicted of aggravated sexual
assault by a military court and sentenced to one year in jail, forfeiture of all
pay, and dismissal from the service.  But Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, commander
of the 3rd Air Force, overruled the verdict and reinstated Wilkerson.  At the
time, Wilkerson served
as the 80th Fighter Squadron commander at Kunsan
Air Base, South Korea. 
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski (bottom, second from left),
an Air Force officer who led the branch's Sexual Assault Prevention and
Response unit, was arrested 6 May 2013 and charged with sexual assault
while the U.S. Senate held hearings documenting sexual abuse in military.
Krusinski, 41, is scheduled to stand trial July 18. 
Air Force Academy cadet
Jamil Cooks, was convicted 27 April 2013 by a court martial panel on a charge
of abusive sexual contact and to unlawful entry to women’s dorm rooms at
the Colorado Springs, Colo., campus. 
Cooks was a linebacker with a bright
future on the academy’s football team. 
A Fort Hood Court  Martial Board
sentenced 20 March 2013 Army Sgt. Timothy Chad Bailey to 10 years in a
military prison after finding him guilty of five counts of sexual assault of a
child.  Bailey received a dishonorable discharge and will be confined at a
military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Seizing tactics employed by the United States Roman Catholic bishops, Gen. Welsh further testified May 7 before a subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee that the condition of the military is directly related to the so-called “hook-up culture” of 21st Century social mores.  This member of President’s Joint Chiefs of Staff then minimized the issue and blamed the victims, citing a statistic that 20 percent of female recruits have reported they were assaulted before they enlisted.

Krusinski’s arrest couldn’t be more embarrassing to the military, given both the nature of his alleged crime and its timing — just days before the Pentagon released its survey showing a 6 percent rise in sexual assaults from 3,192 incidents reported in fiscal year 2011 to 3,374 reported in fiscal year 2012.  But that’s only part of the story. The real number is believed to be 26,000, up from 19,000 in 2011, with only a small percentage—238 of the 3,192 reported incidents—resulting in a conviction.

The military morass forces us, once again, to remark on the window dressing that the American hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church continues to use to obscure their own inaction and neglect of the pedophile priest scandal.  For example, you, Bishop Gaydos, you have never mentioned formally or publicly the death of O’Connell; you honored the Rev. David G. Buescher with a funeral in the sanctuary of the Cathedral of St. Joseph; and you have failed to address the ongoing legal ramifications of the Rev. Gerald Howard (aka Carmine Sita) now awaiting trial in the Cole County jail.  It appears that your 15-year tenure as the bishop of Diocese of Jefferson City is little more than a sand castle of deception and prevarication.

Canon Law vs. The Uniform Code:  The difference between the management
policy of the United States military and the United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops is negligible at best.  Gen. Mark A. Welsh III (top,
third from

left), Air Force Chief of Staff,  had no problem blaming the victims when he
testified before Senate Armed Services Committee  on 7 May 2013.  Lt. Col.
Jeffrey Krusinski (top, second from left).  Krusinski, who led the Air Force
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response unit has been charged with the crime
he investigates. 
Victims’ advocates also have demanded the firing of Lt. Gen.
Craig A. Franklin (top, left), commander of the Third Air Force in Europe,
after he tossed out the sexual assault conviction of a star fighter pilot in
Lt. General Susan J. Helms, an astronaut and a crew member
of the space shuttle Endeavour became the first U.S. military woman to
travel in space in 1993
, reversed a jury's verdict to convict Air Force Capt.
Matthew Herrera
for sexually assaulting Tech. Sgt. Jennifer J. Robinson.
In March, the White House nominated Helms to become vice commander
of the Air Force Space Command, a promotion that now has been delayed.

Another example of misuse of power is Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, commander
of the 3rd Air Force, who in April threw out the sexual assault conviction of
Lt. Col. James Wilkerson and reinstated Wilkerson into the Air Force. 

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), a member of the Armed Services Committee,
wants to examine Helms’s previously unpublicized decision to overturn the
conviction, on charges of aggravated sexual assault, of a captain at
Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. 
Even though the UCMJ, no one —
not even Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel or President Barack Obama —
has the authority to overturn Franklin’s decision. 
The military leadership
has ignored the recommendations of their legal advisers and overruled a
jury’s findings —
without publicly revealing why.  The generals, who are
not judges and did not observe the trials, intervened to grant clemency
before the convictions could be heard by an appeals court. 

The Roman Catholic bishops of Missouri, on the other hand, continue to see
no need to comply with the law:
Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis,
Bishop John R. Gaydos of Jefferson City, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, a former
St. Louis auxiliary bishop, and Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City. 
military remains fortunate in that the public and elected officials are not
afraid to take command and enforce the code of civil and military justices
for sex crime victims.  After all, the United States is a republic, and not a
military dictatorship or theocratic regime governed by mullahs.

And just like Gen. Welsh, you, Bishop Gaydos, and the leadership of the U.S. Catholic Conference Bishops continue to be comfortable with placing blame for the pedophile priest scandal on the Secularism, Socialism, Humanism, Neo-Paganism, Transcendentalism, Modernism, EST, and other metaphysical mindsets.  A brief retrospective illustrates the ease of the embedded child predator mentality of the Roman Catholic hierarchy to impugn social decay for this degrading villainy:  Jazz, Gin, and the 19th Amendment in the 20’s; Crooning, dope, and Margaret Sanger in the 30’s; Swing, Facism, and Alfred Kinsey in the 40’s; Elvis Presley, reefers, and “Peyton Place” in the 50’s; the Beatles, LSD, and the Black Panthers (or, perhaps, anti-Establishment ideals of the hippie movement intertwined with Jet Set values) in the 60’s; disco, cocaine, and Masters and Johnson in the 70’s; Madonna, ecstasy, and feminism in the 80’s; and Nirvana, crack, and Environmentalism in the 90’s; and with the Millennium, Hip-Hop, meth, and same-sex marriage are the impetus for the new wave of crimes against children. 

To combat the bishops’ well-documented criminal neglect of children and the vulnerable, we turn to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), perhaps the best advocate and litigator at the national level to understand the plight of abuse victims in the shadow of the powerful, whether church or state.  McCaskill attempted to instruct the leadership of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in these matters, but the current and previous bishop failed to learn the lesson.

In 1994, McCaskill charged Bishop Raymond J. Boland to devise a sexual misconduct policy that complied with the laws of the United States and the State of Missouri in the wake of pedophile priest scandal involving the Rev. Michael Brewer, the Rev. John Tulipana and the Rev. Thomas Ward.  Boland’s successor, the current bishop, Robert W. Finn, pleaded guilty to child endangerment in 2012.  Finn resumed the Church’s policy to protect child molesters:  in this case the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, the Rev. Michael Tierney and the Rev. Thomas Cronin.

Congress is able to edit, expand, and enforce dictates of the Uniform of Military Justice, unlike recalcitrant bishops such as Boland and Finn.  Congress is able to punish those in the military chain of command who usurp the power granted by virtue of their status.  And so, we advise you, Bishop Gaydos, and your colleagues to cooperate with the simple mandates of a civil society. 

But we look forward to the day when our politicians and legal authorities will finally acknowledge the fact that Canon Law is not exempt from oversight and that this code has no more authority in civil society than the by-laws of a country club.

Until then, we will rely on Michael McDowell, the former Minister of Justice of Ireland, and a grandson of Irish revolutionary Eoin MacNeill.  In 2002, McDowell told the Catholic Church that canon law has the same status in jurisprudence as that of a golf club and does not have superior rights to the civil law of the land.

In a strongly worded statement setting out Ireland’s stance on the issue of which law takes precedence, McDowell said civil law is the only consideration in legal matters.   

Canon law, he said, is not superior to the law of the land.  Canon law is merely a set of internal rules with the same relevance as a golf club's regulations. McDowell noted further that no professional and amateur sporting organization maintains any by-law that excuses “criminal behavior” and the same applies to church law. 

Simply put, bishops cannot claim religious privilege due to their allegiance to the Vatican, a foreign power:

“The fact is that we live in a Republic and
there is only one law to which all of us
are subject.

“The canon law of the Roman Catholic
 is viewed by the civil law of this
state as equivalent to the laws of say,
the Presbyterian Church, or the internal
rules of a sporting organization.

“It is not something which is on a higher
plateau than other rules of private
unincorporated bodies.

“In some circumstances it could be relied
on in the courts by one member against
another, but as far as the criminal law of
the state is concerned canon law per se
has no particular status.”

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