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Lavender Mafia
Owsego Palladium Times
Syracuse NY June 13


 the Catholic Church's cover-ups of sexual abuse crimes is no different than tactics used by organized crime. "We're talking about wire fraud, extortion, bribery, intimidation, harassment, RICO lawsuits, and criminal charges." Someone recently wrote that "one is enough", when referring to the percentage of abusive priests. I cannot believe that many church officials still use numbers" to minimize these crimes.

 One IS too many, but guess what? Experts at the First National Clergy Abuse Conference held last May in NY City give a much HIGHER percentage. The numbers would be of epidemic proportions. We are only counting those who have "settled" lawsuits( on record) or those who fall within the statute of limitations and filed criminal charges (rare - takes most victims YEARS- if at all to come forward) Do you have any idea how many committed suicide, taking this to their grave? How many had their life or a family member's life threatened? How many told their Mothers and were slapped, disbelieved, or shunned for saying such a "filthy thing." How many doubted their sexuality and were too ashamed to ever admit what happened? How many were paid off "under the table" to keep silent? How many "good priests who knew" were shipped off as punishment for trying to help victims? How many parishioners stood and applauded for an abusive priest in the courtroom when a victim - still a child inside, but now a grown man on the stand, had his case thrown out for "lack of evidence?" ( How many of these priests gave their victims evidence of their abuse to keep as a souvenir?)

The Lavender Mafia had each isolated victim believing "they were the only one." I know there are THOUSANDS and this does not include the families, loved ones, and friends of the victims. They are all affected. Terrorism within our own Country.

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Joe O'Brien

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