No one is surprised anymore to read about a priest allegedly raping young boys. It seems to have become almost a given. Priests molest kids and when they get caught the church pays off the family and relocates the priest. Win, win situation, the family gets money to help cover the therapy, the church limit’s the bad publicity a trial would bring, and the priest gets access to fresh meat.
See how easy it is to laugh about it? Who hasn’t heard or even told a molesting priest joke? Now that Michael is dead, we all feel bad making pedo jokes, but the priest are still around. It’s easy to laugh, but it’s not quite as easy to remember that each joke represents a life ruined. It represents the institution that people look to for guidance and hope stealing the innocence of our children.
We look to the head of the church for a solution or at least for justice and we find nothing but weak words. If these molesters were not priests they would be in jail, but the church protects them, and worse at times seems to be aiding the pedophiles by relocating them, but still allowing them access to kids.
Does the priesthood draw pedophiles, or does the priesthood lead them down the road to sexual predator? Personally I lean to the latter. Priests are forbidden to marry or have sex. However while having sex with a woman is a sin which can see a priest removed from the pulpit, pedophilia is a sickness and needs counseling. In Christianity a sin is wrong, yet sickness is not a sin because it is beyond our control. Thus horny old men, locked in celibacy by their vows to God, may see their only release in the cherubic faces of young boys.
That is in no way meant to absolve those pedophile priests. There are plenty of other men of God who never walk down that path, or at least I hope there are plenty of them. These men are sick and they are criminals. They deserve to be in jail, just as the dirty old men who don’t have the protection of the Vatican are in jail. We don’t move them to a new neighborhood, we lock them up and even that seems too little, too late.
With the pedophile priests, we get no satisfaction. We get nothing but horror stories. Priest accused, priest denies, church denies, priest gets moved, new accusations arise, rinse and repeat. How long before the bubble bursts and people start taking the law into their own hands?
In California that has just happened. William Lynch was reportedly abused as a child three decades ago. On Friday he was arrested for viciously beat the priest accused of molesting him. The alleged molester, Rev. Jerold Lindner, was accused of molesting Lynch and his younger brother. He of course denies the accusations. The church had so much faith in his innocence that they paid Lynch and his brother 625,000 to settle in 1998.
There may be some who question a victim who takes a cash settlement. There have been times I have questioned why someone would drop the charges. Well half a million dollars is a lot of money. The alternative is a long drawn out trial, that may last for years.
Now consider that you were raped when you were seven years old, forced to have sex with your five year old brother. I’m betting your life has been pretty shitty, you can take the half million, try to salvage it, try to repress it or else go to trial, against the churches lawyers. You expose everything that happened and have the lawyers call you liars. All in the hopes of justice. A justice that would probably see him spend a very little amount of time behind bars. Hell, I’d probably take the damn money myself. It’s easy to judge them when you aren’t in their shoes.
Lynch took the money but apparently couldn’t forget about the past. Cash can’t buy back innocence apparently. So he took the matters into his own hands. This is the point where I should say that violence is not the answer. Two wrongs don’t make a right. What happened to Lynch doesn’t justify him beating an old man nearly to death. Well I am not going to say that.
What Lynch did to Lindner was no worse than what happened to him. If the allegations were true, than Lindner attacked a helpless child and scarred him for life. Yet he has never been charged or spent time in jail for it. Lynch attacked a helpless old man, beat him severely, but he is back at work.
His blood is on the church’s hands.
The blood of the innocents who suffered at the hands of Lindner also rest squarely on the church. They chose to look the other way, even when they knew they had repeat offenders. How can anyone have faith in a church that protects and possibly even breeds monsters. Monsters like Lindner, who belongs behind bars
Counting Lynch, Lindner was accused in three separate lawsuits for molesting children between 1973 and 1985. He was part of the over $600 million settlement struck between the church and over 500 accusers in 2007. He remained behind the pulpit till 2001, when he was assigned to the Los Gatos retirement home.