Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Pope Francis And The Predatory Priest

Father Joseph Jeyapaul – ABC News
Sexual abuse case: US woman files lawsuit against Indian Bishop

You might think, with all the fanfare of publicity surrounding Pope Francis' 'reforms' of the Catholic Church in view of the tidal wave of child abuse scandals engulfing it, that something might have actually changed.

Well, that was what you were supposed to think, of course, but, as so often with the Catholic Church, what they actually do bears scant relationship to what they say they will do, or what they say others should do. For example, weren't we led to believe that predatory paedophile and rapist priests might actually be prevented in future from exercising the power and trusted access to vulnerable people that they exploited before? After all, what sort of reform is it that allows these predators to continue, just like they were allowed to continue under the Pope's predecessors, almost as though it was a perk of the job?

Yet, from India, we learn that a predatory priest, Joseph Jeyapaul, with a conviction for sexual abuse or a minor, and after consultation with the Vatican, has been reinstated as a priest in the Diocese of Ootacamund, India, under Bishop Amalraj.

The sexual abuse of the minor, now a twenty-six year-old woman, occurred when Jeyapaul was a priest working in Crookston, Minnesota, USA between 2004 and 2005. He fled to India when she complained but was arrested in 2012 and extradited back to the USA, where he was convicted.

It may be the most irresponsible Vatican move we’ve ever seen: Catholic officials in Rome have lifted the suspension of a recently convicted predator priest. We are stunned and saddened by such blatant recklessness and callousness.

Barbara Dorris, St Louis,
Outreach Director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)
After serving his sentence he was deported back to India. His suspension from the Catholic ministry was lifted with the permission of Pope Francis last January.

The woman he abused has now filed a federal lawsuit against Bishop Amalraj. The lawsuit will also be supported by a letter signed by over 500 people in India, as evidence of the public danger (nuisance) permitted by Bishop Amalraj and the Vatican.

In June, 2014, Pope Francis stunned the world by announcing that there were an estimated 8,000 paedophile priests (2% of all priests) and said he found the situation 'intolerable'. Last March, Pope Francis condemned paedophile priests as "unfaithful ministers who, instead of stripping themselves of their own vain ambitions, divest even the innocent of their dignity".

This was just a little over two months after he had given Bishop Amalraj permission to reinstate Father Joseph Jeyapaul, who once divested an innocent minor of her dignity, to a position in which he once again has trusted access to vulnerable people.

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