Geoghan killed in prison

Geoghan killed in prison

I’m not back from vacation yet (tomorrow I finally get home), but I had to comment on this news: John Geoghan, the laicized priest, has been killed in prison. Geoghan, who was convicted last year of fondling a 10-year-old boy, was the central case in Boston that broke open the Scandal in the secular media last year.

It was the court filings in the Geoghan case that resulted in the records involving dozens of other priests in Boston being publicized and everyone finding out that it was a common occurrence for pervert priests to be shuttled from one assignment to another. And then the Scandal in Boston broke the Scandal nationwide.

I wonder how Geoghan’s death will play in the media? I’m sure some people will reamrk gleefully and viciously on his death. Others will express regret he didn’t receive more punishment that he got. For my part, my prayers are with his family and his victims who still suffer. And for him—I don’t wish hell on anybody. I hope he had his chance to repent and receive absolution.

  • Actually, Dom, others have already expressed regret that he didn’t receive more punishment that he got. From the link you provided:

    Attorney Mitchell Garabedian:

    “My clients would rather have seen John Geoghan be punished in a way seen fit by society,” he said. “They would have rather seen him endure the rigors of two more trials and endure the pain of more prison sentences.”

    I deeply regret that Mister Garabedean regrets the death of John Geoghan on the grounds that he should have endured more pain here on earth. I wish Mister Garabedean regretted the death of a human being, period.

    Please pray for the repose of the soul of John Geoghan. And please pray for his sister, Kathy, and for the one who murdered this man.

    And for all of us, that we might have OUR chance to repent and receive absolution.

  • As I suspected (and you emailed me earlier today, Kelly), the reactions from some people have been less than charitable. The Garabedian quote is just civil enough for him to get away with it in polite company, but mean enough not to look soft enough in front of potential jurors. I get the feeling he’s sorry about is that he won’t be able to reap more attorney fees from suing Geoghan.

    And the Voice of the Faithful quote you sent me, Kelly, was bad, too.

    [I]Luise Dittrich, communications director of Voice of the Faithful, a support group of lay Catholics for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy, said Geoghan’s death will not make life easier for his victims.

    “It’s a very sordid end to a very sordid story,” Dittrich said. “It’s our feeling that a violent act like this does a lot of negative things to the psyche of survivors who are trying to heal and trying to come to peace with what has happened to them. Any kind of violence like this will just stir up pain all over again.”

    She added, “It’s just hideous all around.”

    For one thing, VOTF is not a support group for survivors, and that identification was something victims were afraid of from the beginning. They were wary of VOTF becoming the face of those affected by the Scandal, rather than the victims themselves.

    But Dittrich’s comment is weird too: No thought for the sad end to the life of Geoghan, no forgiveness, no sense of anything aside from the inability to continue to take vengeance on the hide of Geoghan.

  • Jim Post’s statement of August 24 includes the following statement:

    “John J. Geoghan was the catalyst for actions to bring new standards of episcopal accountability to the Catholic Church.“

    He continues:
    “Murder is wrong, and John Geoghan should not have died at the hand of another human being. The pain his family now bears, and the pain that thousands of survivors of clergy sexual abuse endure, are the saddest aspect of John Geoghan’s legacy. We ask all persons of good will to pray for an end to violence in prisons and for an end to the scourge of sexual abuse.”

    Perhaps the VOTF should be praying also for the soul of Geoghan, as well as a return to the OLD STANDARD ESPICOPAL accountability, those that EARNED the BLOOD RED VESTMENTS our cardinal’s wear today.