Bishop Thomas Daily of Brooklyn, once auxiliary in Boston, said in a lawsuit deposition that he recommended Fr. John Geoghan for a plum assignment in Rome because he thought he had been through a lot, what with being accused of child abuse and all.
The one-time supervisor of the Rev. John J. Geoghan followed up on an early child abuse allegation against the now-defrocked priest by sending him to a coveted three-month posting at the North American College in Rome, documents released yesterday indicate.
“I felt he had been through a traumatic experience because of the letters and the accusations, etc., and that it was needed for him,” Bishop Thomas V. Daily said during a deposition conducted by the law office of Mitchell Garabedian, who represents more than 80 Geoghan accusers.
Daily, now bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y., said he thought the trip would be “helpful” for Geoghan. “That was the idea. I guess I said euphemistically to get his spiritual act together.”
I guess it was all part of the “we didn’t know child abuse was that bad” mindset they claim to have had. What I don’t understand is why there was no revulsion at such a disgusting thing. How could they tolerate such evil in the priesthood? Perhaps priests become a little immune to disgust when they hear confessions day after day and see the very worst of sin. After you’ve heard it all in confession, do you become blase about it?
Still, it seems a rather strange response by Bishop Daily to send an accused child molester to Rome. What’s even stranger is that it seems his sympathy lay, not primarily with the victims, but with the molester. If Geoghan’s experience was bad, how much worse must it have been for the kids he abused?
If this were the sole case of Geoghan receiving solicitous and preferential treatment, it could be dismissed as an aberration, but he and Shanley and several dozen other perverts all received pats on the head and a tut-tut and a sympathetic voice from their episcopal superiors. It’s a very strange and disturbing pattern.