It's getting Interesting - RCC sued under RICO re. Abuse cover-up

SF Chronicle Article

So, does/should RICO be invoked:

against the Dioceses named?

the RCC USA? (US courts have no jurisdiction over anything outside the US, or do they?)

Personally, I think the RCC is extremely vulnerable in a case like this. Particularly since this is a civil proceding, so I would assume the jury will not need unanimity to reach a verdict.

I will look for some additional cites, related stories about a purge within the Catholic priesthood. Presumably, they are using either investigative files or “institutional memory” to ID the abusive priests. Who, by and large, are being allowed to resign and go away quietly. So the Church is very likely CONTINUING to withhold criminal evidence from relevant civil authorities.

Wow. RICO is turning out to be one of the most powerful laws in the land. The lawsuit is very creatively crafted. The Pope’s remarks is virtually irrefutable evidence.

Of what?

some cites about continuing coverup:
Here, from CTnow. The Orlando Sentinal refers to a poll where nearly 10% of Catholic “have personal knowledge” of child abuse by a priest.
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, about the church continuing to withhold information.
The opinion piece in The Washington Post is pretty devastating, and speaks directly to the church’s vulnerability to RICO.

This has got to be the most fitting legal twist I have ever seen. The horror that has been done in the name of the catholic church since it’s inception is mind blowing. These guys have been making the world a worse to live in for a long damn time.

The catholic church being put up there with the mob as far as the negative effect they have on society - now that’s Justice!!! Those damn money grubbing, racist, pedophilia promoting, women degrading, over disciplining bastards.

Can you tell I went to catholic school for 8 years? I’m not bitter, even though I do have this strange fear of rulers.

DaLovin’ Dj

Those damn money grubbing, racist, pedophilia promoting…
I’m not Catholic. Some have said I’m not even Christian. But I don’t want the good harmed by the bad.

I was in a jury on a civil case. The results still bother me. One member of the jury was flat prejudiced against the plaintif and I didn’t realize it until months later. The fact that a 9-3 will carry a civil case stinks.

Wow! Powerful Washington Post article. I guess the prosecutors must craft the best offense possible, so why not RICO?

As an aside, were there any female victims? Sounds like just young boys.

Check this out from this morning’s Daily Herald(a
Suburban Chicago paper):

" Former White Sox player and announcer Tom
Paciorek says he and three of his brothers were molested when they were children by a priest who was removed this week from another Michigan church."

sigh … I wonder if there would be fewer incidences of priest pedophilia if priests were allowed the psychological outlet of masturbating.

Something tells me if a priest aint afraid to hump a little boy, he sure won’t hold back on the wackin’ off. Just a guess I’ve never been a priest. Could you tell?

DaLovin’ Dj

Problem is, both molesting a little boy and masturbation are seen as a sin in the eyes of the Church. I guess the priest figures if he’s going to sin, he might as well sin big-time.

Oh – and what I meant was this:

If masturbation weren’t considered a sin in the eyes of the Church, then the priests would have a regular outlet for their sexual urges, and it might not get to the point of having desires for little boys. Or at least, it might not get to that point as often.

I see your point. I think Monty Python handled this philosophy best. 'Every Sperm is Sacred . . ."

DaLovin’ Dj

Sure they can. I doubt it could or would happen in this case though. Interestingly, since the Vatican is a state, I suppose many church officials in Rome would be immune from suit.


Think the Holy See will attempt to invoke Diplomatic Immunity for the creeps?


Since MD’s are (generally) required to report suspected child abuse to police, why the exception for penitent/confessor? It that not, in fact, the state reinforcing the beliefs of religion? Can you say ‘Establishment Clause’?

hh: No. The priests charged (at the moment) are not those with diplomatic positions. These are those who have been working in their parishes for years.

And, just for the heck of it, let’s not forget the McMartin (sp?) Pre-school incident.

Of the coverups occuring in the Catholic Churhes, of course. The Pope was telling them to cut it out.

I don’t think anyone doubted that there had been a systemic pattern of coverups in some dioceses when a priest was accused of molestation. That became quite obvious during the Boston trial recently, and has been well-documented in other dioceses as well.

It doesn’t go to show that every diocese is so afflicted, of course.

The reason I asked the question was that, even before the Pontiff’s remarks, there was “practically irrefutable evidence”. So I guess I’d characterize the Pope’s words as evidence merely cummulative and corroborative.

  • Rick

Just a factual point - RICO has both criminal liability and civil liability components. The lawsuit discussed in the SF Chronicle link is a civil case, for money damages, so prosecutors are not involved.

What really burns me up about this whole mess is that this is absolutely nothing new. A similar wave of stories of molestation by priests and cover-ups by the Church came out in the early 90s - and the RCC apparently didn’t change its ways.
It is times like these that I’m very happy I’m a lawyer. I’d love to get involved in one of these cases and tear these sanctimonious bastards a new one.