The VigilanceVoice
Monday-- March 18, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 188

Terrorism & Child Molestation
Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

        GROUND ZERO, New York City, Mar. 18--Cardinal Egan,  head of the Roman Catholic Church in New York City, represents a Sentinel of Vigilance for millions of Catholics.   But his Shield of Vigilance--Courage, Conviction and Action--is full of holes, battle scars from the resistance to sweep clean the issue of child molestation within his flock.
        Recently, New York Newsday revealed  the  cardinal had allowed several priests facing multiple accusations of sexual abuse to continue working for years.
       Prior to being appointed the shepherd of the New York flock of Catholics, Egan was head of the Bridgeport Diocese in Connecticut. .  His predecessor, Bishop Walter Curtis, testified the diocese deliberately shuffled pedophile priests among perishes to give them a "fresh star," and admitted destroying records of complaints against some priests. 
        Information from secret documents recently revealed, the diocese settled complaints against six priests for $12 to $15 million.   In fairness, Egan inherited the scandal in the Bridgeport Diocese when he was appointed Bishop there from 1998 to 2000.  However , he fought each allegation until the settlement last March, which ended all of the litigation.
       Egan's plight to suffocate the issue of child molestation by priests is symbolic of a state of Terroristic Complacency--that process of trying to "sweep a vital issue of children's security" under the rug, or at least, mask it in hopes it will go away.
      He has forgotten what Winston Churchill once said:  "Appeasement is feeding an alligator in hopes it will eat you last."
      Child molestation is not limited to the Catholic Church.  Recently, a well-known Rabbi was arrested for child molestation from one of the wealthiest synagogues in New York.   More at issue, is the mother or father or uncle or aunt, or cousin or grandparent who abuses a child sexually.
       In 79% of reported cases, according to the Survivors of Incest Statistical Studies, children are afraid, reluctant, hesitating about reporting their abuse for fear of violating the "trust" the child predator exercises with the child by telling him or her to keep the abuse a "secret."

    Over the years I have met and interviewed many who have been abused sexually by a relative, a mother, a father or grandparent.   Each has suffered the Terror of their "dark secret" on a daily basis, and unless they receive some treatment, find their lives disheveled by emotional pains that twist their outlook on life.
      One man I interviewed on the radio a few years ago was molested nightly by his grandfather from age six to fourteen.  Another was a lovely woman whose father molested her six of the seven days of the week from age six until her early teens.
      It seems to me and to many others that any act in defense of child molestation, especially the payment of civil lawsuits, is an indictment against those who offer compensation for Terrorism--a sort of paying for the "sins" and offers no resolution.  
      If Terrorism is composed of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, and if Vigilance is made of Courage, Conviction and Action, then the lack of the courage to admit the flaw in the Church, the lack of Conviction to spell out a plan of action, and, the lack of terminating those who are proven to be "highly suspect" or "pedophiles," represents a horrible message to society at large.  That message is "We Condone Terrorism."
     As a Catholic, and a father and grandfather, and a Sentinel of Vigilance, I find it loathsome that one of the Catholic Church's most powerful Voice in America remains mute on this issue.  
     The World Trade Center attack was a mere drop in the bucket compared to the Terrorism affecting children by child molesters, whether they be priests dressed in the cloth of faith, or parents and relatives of a child who puts unrequited faith in them as their "Sentinels of Vigilance."
      While we march heroes of Nine Eleven about saluting them for their Courage, Conviction and Action, we turn our heads to those Terrorists who commit far worse crimes afflicting the psyche of young men and women, children of innocence, who are molested by those duty-bound to protect them.
     I urge Cardinal Egan to take a Vigilant stand against molestation.   Perhaps his leadership in this area can move the rock away from the dark cave in which molester's feel safe.
    Protecting the lambs of the flock of humanity from the wolves seems far more important than to try and protect the reputation of the Terrorists.


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