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"Connecting the Dots..."

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Message Debby Bodkin
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We have all read articles and opinions since the clergy sex abuse crisis erupted in 2002. As a Catholic wife and mother, it gets tougher to personally witness the serious patterns of denial and refusals to take responsibility for failures to protect children based on failures to report, as mandated by law.

As a society, we must begin "Connecting the Dots" especially because of the powerful influences of religion, government and politics and how it has contributed to our society's failures to protect children from sex and violent crimes. It is time to place the civil rights of children at the highest priority, free from conflicts.

It was recently revealed that a matter of inappropriate e-mails sent by Rep. Foley, R-Florida, which were obviously kept tightly under wraps with intent to protect a Republican member of the House, not to protect a child. Sound familiar?

In the clergy sex abuse crisis, how many Catholic and/or religious leaders and legal advisors also acted with intent to protect the image of the Church, not to protect a child?

Some dots to connect...

DOT 1:

Clergy sex abuse victims, their families, attorneys, journalists and supportive non-abused, made a life path choice to speak out about sex abuse crimes committed against children and vulnerable adults by employees of religious institutions. To remain silent was not an option. Silence would allow for future cover-ups of sex abuse crimes and more lives would be destroyed.

DOT 2:

Attorneys at law take an oath to uphold the laws of the U.S. Constitution, free from conflicts of interest and political influences. Attorneys hired by religious institutions choose to abuse the judicial process when shielding their politically-connected clients from moral, legal and financial accountability for crimes committed against children.

DOT 3:

Church attorneys are also hired to shield religious institutions from moral, legal and financial accountability each time a priest, nun, teacher, coach or member of the laity, faces employment termination or retaliation after making a sexual misconduct report or other safety violation of the law.

DOT 4:

In 2002, The National Charter for the Protection of Children and the "Zero" Tolerance policies were implemented with the assistance of attorneys hired by politically-connected institutions. If mandated reporters can be fired after reporting a violation of the law, no policy will effectively protect children and vulnerable adults from danger.

DOT 5:

In 2001, while he was a Cardinal, Pope Benedict issued a secret Vatican edict to Catholic bishops all over the world, instructing them to put the Church's interests ahead of child safety. The document recommended that rather than reporting sexual abuse to the relevant legal authorities, bishops should encourage the victim, witnesses and perpetrator not to talk about it. And, to keep victims quiet, it threatened that if they repeat the allegations they would be excommunicated.

DOT 6:

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As an amateur writer, mother, wife and legal secretary for the past 25 years, my passion for the courage of clergy sex abuse victims, their families and mandated reporters, who made a choice to protect children, before their own career security and (more...)
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