Seventy new cases were filed against the Archdiocese of Boston yesterday alleging abuse. (Boston Herald) (Boston Globe)They come out of the office of Mitchell Garabedian, a man who joins Johnny Cochrane in his profession’s hall of shame for his outrageous declarations and assertions as he tries his case in the court of public opinion.
Once again, I am sad to report that I know at least one of the accused priests and perhaps two. Fr. Ed Keohan was parish administrator at St. Mary’s church in Salem before it was closed earlier this month. Not only do the people of that parish have to deal with losing their parish, now they have to deal with this. I pray the Holy Spirit grants them even more strength of faith to deal with this double-blow.
The other priest I think I knew is identified as Leon Beauvais, who is deceased. When I first moved to Salem there was a priest with a very similar name on medical leave who stayed occasionally at our parish rectory when he was in town. I think he was from Salem. He died not long after, from diabetes or something. That brings to at least four or five the number of priests with Salem connections accused of abuse.
An interesting reaction from another priest when a reporter asked him about the accusation:
- One plaintiff allegedly molested by two priests is a Norfolk woman who was fondled by the Rev. John H. Flynn at Wellesley’s St. Paul parish in 1978 when she was 6 and raped by the Rev. Roger Jacques four years later, according to her suit. ... Flynn, now retired, vehemently denied the accusation. “It’s a bunch of lies, what they’re putting in the papers,” he said from his residence at the Regina Cleri priest retirement home. “I deny every damn thing. I’m a priest in good standing in the archdiocese and to hell with all of you.” He then hung up.
Another case involves a 71-year-old woman who accuses a now-dead priest of molesting her in 1941. How do you prove that? What possible evidence could there be?
The archdiocese said it has not suspended the three active priests among the 12 newly named priests (eight of whom are dead) until the credibility of the accusations is assessed. At least they’re not engaged in knee-jerk reactions to lawsuits. A lawsuit is only an accusation and not any more credible for it.
I also find it interesting the eight of the accused priests are now dead. How does you defend yourself if you’re dead? How does one sue someone if the person is dead? Of course, what you really do is go after someone with big pockets who is desperate to settle.