After reading an article in the Washington Post dated August 13, 2006, "Diocese Ordered by Judge to Identify Sexual Abuse Victms", only one thought comes to mind, What Has Happened to Our Country's Judges?
Why would a Judge order a violation of a promise to keep the identity of victims confidential? This is not the responsibility of a Judge. Is this a political ruling or in the interests of justice? Absolutely not -- it is a ruling that protects the Judge's political connections -- nothing more.
When Judges allow political pressures to influence judicial decisions, victims of crimes, their families and other victims continue to suffer in shame and silence. Enough is enough. If Judges had ruled in accordance with the laws guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, the clergy sex abuse crisis would have never continued, without corrective action.
Is this Kentucky Judge ready to accept the retaliations that will occur after the names of victims are released? I speak from personal experiences during the past 5 years. When one chooses to exercise free speech, press, opinion and/or petition the government with a grievance relating to violations of the law committed by employees of rich, powerful and politically-connected religious institutions, life changes drastically.
Crime victims cannot fight Goliath forever -- while Judges protect their political connections and while political interferences continue, children are placed at further risk.
Freedom of religion never allowed for sex abuse crimes and failures to report crimes to law enforcement by employees of religious institutions. However, it has happened and we now have thousands of sex offenders that will never be required to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.
Are Judges and legislators ready to accept the responsibility for failing to strictly enforce the laws that protect children from danger and the U.S. Constitution?
If a Kentucky state judge believes that ordering the Kentucky Roman Catholic Diocese to release names of sex abuse victims is in the interests of justice -- think long and hard. Does this Judge realize that he will be throwing victims of crimes, who have petitioned the government with a grievance, to the political wolves in our society, without protections?
If criminal charges are warranted, the Judge should request a Grand Jury or District Attorney investigation. Judges do not have the authority to interfere with privacy rights of crime victims.
In my opinion, Judges have the duty to rule in the interests of justice and the protections of children -- not assisting religious institutions in minimizing damages by naming sex abuse victims who were promised confidentiality.
What Has Happened to Our Country's Judges?