Comment of the Day

Reader: If serial rapist's boss not liable, why blame Catholic Church for lay minister's abuse?

Melanie Asmar's post about Katia Birge, who claims to have been abused by a lay minister, kicked off a fiery debate about whether or not the Archdiocese of Denver, led by Archbishop Charles Chaput, bears any responsibility for this alleged crime. Among the most passionate items was penned in defense of the Catholic Church.

Charles K. Byrne writes:

Who employed the Capitol hill serial rapist? Who employed the rapist that was stalking the DU area not so long ago? Did anyone ever ask who their employers were, much less take the employers to court?

There are approximately 250,000 sexual assaults in the United States per year. How many of those were associated with the employer of the perpetrator? Something tells me if all the relevant data were sorted Boeing, GE, and the Federal Government would all have higher rates than the Catholic Church. Perhaps the numbers would be higher per employee as well. but we can't know those figures because unless it is a member of the Catholic Church, nobody cares.

Why? Perhaps (like me) some feel the Church should be held to a higher standard than GE, Boeing, or the government. That's fine. But my suspicion is there are many Anti-Catholics out there who enjoy seeing those papist abortion haters get their's on the front page. No, it's not paranoia. My grandfather, herre in Denver had a cross burned on his front lawn in the '20's because he was Catholic.

- For those who don't know your Denver and Colorado histories, the KKK was very powerful here in the 20's... even electing a KKK mayor and a Klansman governor. Their primary target in Colorado was not African Americans, but Catholics. -

Add to that the fact that SNAP sees beautiful dollar signs with every accusation (proven or not), and you have a perfectly nice motive to go after that terrible, hateful, evil, archaic Catholic Church. And since no one would DARE to stand up for the Church, she's an easy target. If you're lucky she might even settle out of court to avoid the publicity! And we all know the Church has deep pockets!

Look! There are plenty of us who were abused as children, and we don't live the rest of our lives saying "poor picked on pitiful me.... give me money or I'll take you to court!" We find grace, love, strength, and forgivenesss in (of all places) our Catholic faith. So if you want to condemn individuals for their horrid, evil, and inexcusable behavior, please do! Those individuals deserve to have certain parts of their anatomies permanently removed! But quit going after the church in persuit of a buck!

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts