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Priests Privacy and Right to Reputation Protection

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Pete Ferrara, Tresurer and Co-founder of Opus Bono, will talk today about the rights of priests as it pertains to the file and records at the diocese.  This is especially important when there are false accusations leveled against a priest.  Pete gave a recent interview to the Chicago Tribune regarding thier release of priest files.  You don't want to miss this show!


0:23 Dave Hathaway

Welcome to Opus Bono Radio. My name is Dave Hathaway. Today we have co-founder and treasurer of Opus Bono, here with us in the studios. We are going to have a very interesting topic that we're going to talk about. But today, this topic will be -- it might be kind of painful, but -- you know be interesting and I hope we get some callers in with this discussion. It is our practice at Opus Bono to pray the angelus at noon? It is a little afternoon today at the movement here in the trade area and Pete I was wondering if you could lead this in the Angelus.

1:11 Pete Ferrara

No! (Laughter) In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

1:17 Dave Hathaway


1:18 Pete Ferrara

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary

1:20 Dave Hathaway

And she conceived of the Holy Spirit

1:22 Pete Ferrara

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

1:29 Dave Hathaway

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

1:35 Pete Ferrara

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

1:37 Dave Hathaway

Be it done unto me according to Thy word.

1:40 Pete Ferrara

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

1:47 Dave Hathaway

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

1:53 Pete Ferrara

And the word became flesh.

1:54 Dave Hathaway

And dwelt among us.

1:55 Pete Ferrara

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

2:03 Dave Hathaway

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

2:08 Pete Ferrara

Pray for us, Oh Holy Mother of God.

2:09 Dave Hathaway

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

2:13 Pete Ferrara

Let us pray.

2:13 Dave Hathaway/Pete Ferrara

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

2:31 Dave Hathaway

Again, welcome to Opus Bono Radio. My name is Dave Hathaway. If you would like to call in we have a toll-free number. Our toll-free number is 888-588-4617. Again, its 888-588-4617 or you can send us your questions by Twitter at opus.bono.org. Again my guest today is Pete Ferrara, co-founder of Opus Bono -- not Opus Bono Radio, but Opus Bono and treasurer as well. Today, we were going to be talking about topic that was precipitated by an event in the diocese of Chicago. Apparently, the diocese through a settlement claim with victims of abuse. They agreed to release files, personal files...

3:33 Pete Ferrara


3:34 Dave Hathaway

Of cases that had happened most so, which were prior to 1988.

3:43 Pete Ferrara

Yes. Okay.

3:46 Dave Hathaway

So, we're going to talk about that because Pete also was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune.

3:53 Pete Ferrara


3:54 Dave Hathaway

Okay. Alright! So, Pete why don't you -- let's start up from the very beginning. You can...

4:00 Pete Ferrara

Well for us, how we got involved with this conversation we're having today I think it was Monday, this Monday maybe the last Friday, I don't recall, the phone rang and Joe was sick and I was the only one in the office at the time and the woman identified herself as a writer for Chicago Tribune and asked if there is someone in the office that she could speak to and I said "Why? I can speak to you." So, she starts by asking questions about the situation in Chicago and what our thoughts were. Opus Bono's thoughts were on the fact that because of a court order or an agreement. Now, let me backup and just say this, I am not an attorney.

4:48 Dave Hathaway


4:49 Pete Ferrara

I'm a former CPA so I get it but -- you know I am not an attorney so if anybody says I say something wrong, I am not an attorney. Okay.

4:59 Dave Hathaway


5:00 Pete Ferrara

But I am also not a mechanic, but I know the amount of gas and I know when there is oil leaking and -- you know that type of things. So, that being said she asked some questions, was asking questions about the situation what our thoughts were.

5:15 Dave Hathaway


5:16 Pete Ferrara

And I answered them candidly. Now as of to date, the comments that I made have not been used, that doesn't mean that won't use them or they won't, let's say seldom or let AP use them later or in future, but...

5:32 Dave Hathaway

Oh! That's what they do.

5:33 Pete Ferrara

I think so. According to our lustrous co-founder under Joe Maher, those type of things happen with that fashion. Again, I don't know so anyhow so the question she was asking I answered which is the topic that we have today and -- you know for example she asked just in general, is it a good idea to release the personnel file and the answer is absolutely not, by any means should anybody's personal file you release to the general public at all. So, what good is that going to do for anybody and on top of that, she told me that the agreement did not include the medical portion of the priest personnel file

6:22 Dave Hathaway

Okay. That she object to letter. What that she...

6:25 Pete Ferrara

No. No. She just asked questions. She just asked questions -- you know she is a reporter so she is asking questions in my thoughts and I'm sure she has her own personnel, but she certainly didn't interject them into how she was asking the questions. So, you are looking at a file -- the general publics looking at a file that's incomplete. So, what is in the file is a letter from John __06:49__ parishioner who said that "Father is really mean. He's really mean" his got his scar on his face all the time -- you know the last five years, he has just been very hard to talk to. We don't see him around a lot. There must be something in his life. He must be harboring when he goes back to the rectory and he doesn't come out. There must be something wrong with him. Okay, so let's flip over to the medical file which known as access to and you will find out that father has got three blown discs, he is living in pain and he is trying to continue his ministry as a priest and...

7:28 Dave Hathaway

So, you would expect him to be?

7:29 Pete Ferrara

Sure. Yeah. They not just one simple example of the possibilities. Now before anyone jumps on this conversation again, there have been priest with terrible things. We don't condone that by any means. But the terrible things that have been done are few and far between to the numbers that had been accused and now our priest to have been accused of things. They have nothing to do with hurting a child. Nothing, but the fact that they are included -- you know priest who has been accused, the brand that has already been set. They are a child abuser. Even if it has nothing to do with the child, so it is very dangerous for us as a society and for each and everyone of us, our souls to release this information and -- because we don't have all the information. We never will.

8:35 Dave Hathaway

Did you hear of this going on prior to getting the call from Chicago Tribune?

8:42 Pete Ferrara

We heard about Chicago. There has been other diocese because of bankruptcy proceedings and things of that nature were files had been released -- nine set up in Minnesota, same type of thing.

8:51 Dave Hathaway


8:52 Pete Ferrara

The files are being released.

8:57 Dave Hathaway

But did you know in this specific case for a Chicago before the Tribune?

9:00 Pete Ferrara

Oh! Yes absolutely. Yeah.

9:02 Dave Hathaway

So, was it a surprise when she called.

9:03 Pete Ferrara

No. No.

9:05 Dave Hathaway

Alright, so that she gives you any opinion at her side and that she prints it and names your comments in the Tribune at all?

9:11 Pete Ferrara

No. As I said as of today, she has not print any the comments. She headed it very professionally you know. But she also -- it is interesting when I did my first interview years ago, (laughs) Joe was -- he was in the room but he was in the other side of the room and -- you know I am a former CPA, you ask a question you get an answer, you write it down -- you know they must be telling the truth, if not then --you know it will go in the audit that type of thing. So, they were asking questions and I didn't know how to -- so they are answering the majority of the other room...

9:42 Dave Hathaway

No. No. No

9:43 Pete Ferrara

Its arms is waving you know (laughs), but I get it now. I understand now. Anyway, she was asking the question, I can get the sense that she was trying to get me to say things or to see if I would say things and then I was (crosstalk). Yes, but in a very professional way and that's her job.

10:01 Dave Hathaway


10:02 Pete Ferrara

I have to admit she has a very good job.

10:04 Dave Hathaway

Do you remember her name?

10:06 Pete Ferrara

Mania is her first name. She is a religion editor. I believe at Chicago Tribune and I apologize I do not remember her last name. But you know the struggle behind this is that we as a society, its hard to imagine. I equate this almost to like the temperament or temperance -- you know the back -- you know there is no alcohol in United States what the heck we're thinking I mean how you gonna stop that but that's the way we thought as a society. We looked that now when we go and that was crazy.

10:48 Dave Hathaway


10:49 Pete Ferrara

So, today's temperance or whatever it is, this term transparency.

10:59 Dave Hathaway

When you look at the politicians, what they have to go through I mean it's almost is the same -- well it is the same mentality, but its generated from the media if you really look at it for the most part, they don't really care except -- you know they want more juice to continue on with the story of what they are doing. Would you agree with that?

11:20 Pete Ferrara

Yes, to a degree. That our media, the formal media as the job their doing before the State you know. They have a job to do and there is many of them that do the job very well. They take it very professional that they have the job to report, but at the same time, it's a business -- you know the major networks don't just go on TV and spent money and they have to sell adds and if there is nobody watching their channels (laughs)...

11:55 Dave Hathaway


11:56 Pete Ferrara

So, I mean it's a business. So how do you get people to watch your channels...

12:01 Dave Hathaway


12:02 Pete Ferrara

If you are on the script of this editor you might -- you know, not put this in or put that in or -- you know maybe use a different word. You know, if anyone ever read the letter using let's say Microsoft word and you write a word and you want to look up -- I don't like the feel of that.

12:20 Dave Hathaway


12:21 Pete Ferrara

Yeah. You look up the source and got all different words that mean the same thing so you might take a different word that's wow. That's much stronger than the word I originally picked and it could actually change the tone of whatever you're writing.

12:38 Dave Hathaway


12:39 Pete Ferrara

And that's part of what our media does. Now I could sit and here go everything that I have mentioned to her was written about in that article. I said that there will be victim's group let's say that, that they did not really saw the files because there is all these other priests who have been accused publicly. So, the diocese is now hiding or holding information back and they are saying that -- you know because I think and say "Oh they are playing games with us." I don't know that I will give them the benefit of the doubt and again they might use those quotes later but it is.

13:25 Dave Hathaway

It gets to a point we talked about getting back to them to the media.

13:29 Pete Ferrara


13:30 Dave Hathaway

I also want to talk about -- you know there is the article that we printed off from Fox is on this, but when you are looking at reporting versus gossip.

13:44 Pete Ferrara


13:45 Dave Hathaway

I am pretty -- in my mind 80% of what we see in the news was gossip. There is difference between reporting something and some things just don't need to be reported. If it is not important, it becomes gossip.

14:06 Pete Ferrara


14:09 Dave Hathaway

What do you think of that?

14:10 Pete Ferrara

When I was in college, so I grew up in the metro Detroit area back in 70s and 80s you know there were millions people in South Eastern Michigan. So I go to college in a smaller town who has a state college but there were people from all over the States I had roommate from this town I had never heard of before and I think they had I don't know thousand people in their town. I had a thousand people on my block you know.

14:39 Dave Hathaway


14:40 Pete Ferrara

So, he would bring his local paper every once and awhile. Now we had the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News which are similar to New York Times but not that big, their bulky special in Sunday and he brings this paper that is just tiny and like "Oh its interesting let me flip through it" and I kid you not, they were articles and they are about Mrs Jones cowhead calf and things of that nature and I thought I come from Detroit, I don't even know if we know a cow are....

15:09 Dave Hathaway


15:10 Pete Ferrara

So the point behind that is that you know its sort of they want to report on something. They report on something. They have to put something out there. It is my job to come up with something.

15:20 Dave Hathaway


15:21 Pete Ferrara

To a degree it's the nature of the beast. If you are a reporter and you are not putting anything out, do you think your editors going to go just sit there, do nothing and wait for the good news.

15:36 Dave Hathaway

But is still the fact that is some things are immoral because it becomes gossip.

15:43 Pete Ferrara

Sure and that's where the -- in any industry whether you are working in the auto industry, insurance industry, news, media, you as an individual have to have good moral standing to do your job appropriately. If you don't, which a lot of people don't, then that's where these crazy articles come in and the opinions that you are talked about coming into the articles because you can read two different articles about the same topic. You can read two different articles about the priest who has been accused and walk away with boy he is accused, sounds kind of flimsy and one and the other one this guy is a monster and we need to lock him up.

16:29 Dave Hathaway


16:30 Pete Ferrara

And both them could be absolutely wrong, but it how it's presented. And that's why it is extremely important to be individual when they re-news about anything. Whether it is about brief case or you know general motors going bankrupt.

16:47 Dave Hathaway

Alright. We were going to take a break right now. Again, if you have any questions or comments in this regard, regarding the topics of releasing priest information, their files. Our toll-free number is 888-588-4617. We will be right back.

20:42 Dave Hathaway

Welcome back to Opus Bono Radio. My name is Dave Hathaway, our guest is Pete Ferrara. We're talking about releasing personal information, the personal files of priest in the diocese which was precipitated by the action in Chicago through an agreement in the lawsuits where they were going to release documents on -- these were specifically priests who have been found to be abusive, right? I mean this is not something who has just been accused to something but...

21:19 Pete Ferrara

I cannot speak to that because I don't know the level that they went through. That's an interesting area of discussion because -- you know we talked about imaging brand and that type of thing. There is the term credibly accused and that really just means that he is a priest. He is real person you know and he is a priest because anything above and beyond -- well, we have a legal system in this country that works very well. It is not perfect, but as far better than any other system ever in this world -- you know, it is as far as I can be okay and its like anything else, there is weakness in everyone out there but -- and people can hide you well the church is hiding, I do not care if the church is hiding. Okay. I'm singing it from my stand but I am a father with two children. If I felt that my child was abused and I went to the church and they did nothing I guarantee I'm going to get and kind go to police. That's my duty as a parent and then if nothing happens there, then my argument is with the church. My argument is with our civil laws if I feel that they didn't do something. So the same goes with the situation if you feel a crime was committed then you go. If you want to go the church, that's fine, there is nothing wrong with it. For people that say "Oh, don't go to the church". Not every disagreement is taken care of in the court. In fact, the court don't handle the minority of this agreement. Most are held outside of court and there is certain people and I proud to be one of them included let's solve this outside. Okay, so you solve it outside. There is nothing wrong with that. It's absolutely moral. It is absolutely just and that is how our society works in bend working. Okay. But if you feel that there was crime committed and you go to the church and they do not do anything. Heck yeah go to the police call me up I drive you to the police but that's how our system works.

23:39 Dave Hathaway


23:40 Pete Ferrara

So if a priest is "credibly accused", then we either go through the process whether it's the church laws or the civil laws and if there is either no evidence or the evidence suggest that nothing to a place, then he is cleared you put in back in simple as that. That's how our system works.

24:03 Dave Hathaway

Okay. Alright, we got a comment on Facebook or is it Twitter through Facebook, I believe how it works why don't you read the...

24:11 Pete Ferrara

Sure. The question is "Why should priest seek protection regarding their reputation? Shouldn't they trust fully in their protection from God?" And that's a very good question. We are spiritual beings, but we are physical beings as well and we actually have a duty to -- we can't just go to God and say take care of everything. He certainly expects from us. Now, if you feel that is you are calling if you feel that, that is the particular grace that you have received to not do anything and see what comes from that, well that's fine, but that's a particular grace and it probably happens -- you know very minimal in the history of mankind in Christianity. But we have a duty to be in this world we have a duty to do what we can appropriately in this world. Was it Benedict, does he pray and work? I know there are a lot of people who "Oh we need to pray harder, we need to pray harder." We need to pray and you look at prayer and you say -- you know you bum having the prayers and if you ask God enough you know you let him know I really praying for this, but you can't just pray. We have a duty to do something more physical -- you know, we don't just pray "Oh Lord you know allow me to survive out of the Eucharist" it would be wonderful if that happened but in general, God does not work that way -- you know you have to do something, go to the store, buy food.

25:57 Dave Hathaway

So what you're saying is this kind of extreme example of -- I hate using the word extreme (crosstalk)

26:05 Pete Ferrara

It is good question. If the person asking the question is right, we have to trust in God, but we have to do what we can do, so what I would suggest what I would add to this is not that we fully trust in God in a sense that we don't do anything. We have to do what we can do and leave the rest up to God because that's part of this is -- you know these things happens in God -- you know what you going to do? You going to sit there and cry or you are going to pick up your cross and do something with it. So, a lot of these guys who are depending themselves of trying to clear to their name and whatnot. It's not a bad thing or whatsoever. Its just things because in the process, we are all strength -- you know there is discussion out there that you know for priest is accused don't do anything because you going to hurt other victims, that's a bunch of baloney.

27:03 Dave Hathaway


27:04 Pete Ferrara

Absolutely a bunch of baloney. If you and I'm pointing my finger at anyone listening, if you were accused to something, are you just going to sit back and go -- you know I don't want to hurt anybody who has been hurt. Hey listen, I'd been abused. Okay, I have done when I was younger. I note people that had been abused. Alright!

27:23 Dave Hathaway

Right. Right.

27:24 Pete Ferrara

My neighbor across the street when I was in high school they try to there is a horrible thing is going to continue to happen its humanity that doesn't mean we don't sit back and not do anything, but we have to get up and move. We are humans that is who we are, we move, we don't just sits still. If we sit still, we rot.

27:47 Dave Hathaway


27:48 Pete Ferrara

And we have to move. Okay. Let's go on to some of the questions that the woman at the Tribune.

27:51 Dave Hathaway

Okay. What was the first question she went through?

27:58 Pete Ferrara

Well, she asked -- you know what do you think about releasing the files would that help? And my response was nothing good will come of it. Nothing good will come of it because number one, you are going to release partial files so now the persons who will read these things and go "Wow this guy is an animal." He is not an animal maybe he has had back problems. They going to read letters from parishioners -- you know the father zone and so as mean and there that -- you know "Oh he is an animal. He is an animal." And that's very dangerous -- you know, God gave us one prayer the Our Father. Okay.

28:45 Dave Hathaway


28:46 Pete Ferrara

I encouraged people to slowly go through that prayer and you get to the point where it says "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespasses against us" so that means if you are not forgiving people that are trespassing against you, that's not going to...

29:02 Dave Hathaway


29:03 Pete Ferrara

You know is a very -- it's very powerful, very, very powerful. So, you know it spreads gossip, it spreads talk that is in just in those types of things.

29:16 Dave Hathaway


29:17 Pete Ferrara

Priest that are active, I talk to you what? They are not go to the diocese now if they have a problem. If father tell us he has got a drinking problem or you think he has got drinking problems. Do you think he is going to go to the diocese that information is going to on his personal file. I am not going to call them, I want it in my personal file because who knows what will happen. Georgia is going to be here forever __29:35__ that you know, hey do you want to be betrayed by their diocese.

29:40 Dave Hathaway

Sure. Sure.

29:42 Pete Ferrara

And then you know people will make judgments that "Oh my God look at this files, there must be hundreds of men who are abusive out there." The church must be -- it must be an institution full of abusers.

29:54 Dave Hathaway


29:55 Pete Ferrara

You know it is horrible. The only one is going to help is those attorneys who are excellent businessman. That is the reason why they want it.

30:04 Dave Hathaway


30:05 Pete Ferrara

There is any reason.

30:08 Dave Hathaway

You're fanning the flames, you're adding fuel to the flames. You may not get any from that file, but that does not mean something else is going to happen.

30:13 Pete Ferrara


30:14 Dave Hathaway

So very dangerous. So they're going to find out what the diocese -- it will probably give them more father like you said to try to figure out how to assume some more.

30:28 Pete Ferrara

Sure. One of the questions, one of the responses I said was, "we are going to release __30:35__ around a number of 30 files. I guarantee you that there will be people out there going that's not all of them, what about so and so? He abused me. In a diocese, we know nothing of that accusation. So there are already people out there going, "Oh no, there is not 30 files, there is a 150". How do they know? Once a priest is accused and it is made public, he is done because his name is on the internet forever until the world ends or whatever.

31:11 Dave Hathaway

Okay. We're going to take a break right now. Again, if you would like to call in and make a comment on this topic or asked Pete, a question, our toll free number is 888-588-4617 or you can send us questions by twitter @opusbono.org. We will be right back.

34:24 Dave Hathaway

Welcome back to Opus Bono Radio. My name is Dave Hathaway. We are talking about the releasing of personnel files of priests which was prompted from the Archdiocese of Chicago which I think yesterday, they since released these files as part of the settlement with victims. Before we go to some of these questions from Facebook, we have point online article "Priests' Privacy and Reputation Need Protection" by Brother Michael P. Orsi and that generated some discussions and Pete's going to address some of the comments and talk about some of the comments. Because there are very good comments and questions that were part of the responses, but I got to Fox News press release. They said that many of the accused priests are dead and the document will only include 30 of 65 priests for whom archdiocese has credible allegations of abuse. Okay so 30 of 65 and credible. You cannot really talk about credible, what is really credible or not. I am really not sure. I do not understand why the diocese is even doing this?

35:59 Pete Ferrara

Okay, two things, two answers to that. The first thing is why is the diocese doing this? Well first of all, it was the court. I am not fully immersed into this "why" and the background behind it. I just know that it was a part of a court order, an agreement, a plea agreement or something along those lines with an attorney. So they went to court and they agreed to it. Their attorneys agreed to the diocese. The attorneys agreed to it for whatever reason. Now, why part? Part of that reason why, I would encourage people to go back to our blog talk. I do not know exactly the date. But listen to the conversation with one of our advisers and the insurance and how insurance works with institutions. Dave Shaneyfelt is the attorney and he was one of our advisors. It is fantastic and it takes hours to take the mystery out, but there is an enormous amount of bureaucracy if I can call it like that. And in this, that it does not matter what Christ said. You know it is. We live in this world. Give to Caesar, which Caesar's. These are the laws. This is how things these things work. So it is horrible but this is how they work. Have you ever gone one of those rides where you spin like crazy? If you get off and do not feel well, hey that is how the thing works. Do not go on that ride. But the other side is, this was the attorney. This attorney is an excellent businessman. He probably get to court of confession, but he is an excellent businessman.

37:54 Dave Hathaway

Alright, now there are three others quotes in here that I would like you to address. This is from Attorney Marc Pearlman who represented about 200 victims. He said, until there is a public disclosure and transparency, there is no way people can learn about it and make sure it does not happen again. Now in the context, what do you think of that statement?

38:20 Pete Ferrara

Two things. One, do they bring back the stocks? Put them in a public square? Do we do it with the priest on stocks and people can throw stuffs at him, so that would solve everything. It does not work. Number one.

38:35 Dave Hathaway

And just releasing the files, this discussion of will it be transparent that will solve everything. No, it will not. I will not. I do not want to see your dirty laundry. I have got my own that I have to deal with. As my mother used to say, hey you worry about yourself first. You do not worry about them. You do not know the struggles they have. You do not know what they have had to endure in their life. You do not know what good they have done. You do not what they had done. All you see is a little glimpse, releasing that file. You might release a personal file of a priest who is 80 years old and let us say there are a hundred pages in that file. My gosh, a hundred pages. He is 80 years old and you are going to say you can sum up his life in a 100 pages. There is no way in God's green earth that you are going to get even a snippet of who this person is in a hundred pages. And now let me be very clear again, if somebody has not done something illegal and they have abused somebody, you go, you take him to court and so on and so forth. The files are none of our business. If a priest was accused and he spent time in jail, it is still none of our business.

40:01 Pete Ferrara

At what level do we need to know everything?

40:04 Dave Hathaway

We do not.

40:06 Pete Ferrara

Now this next quote is from Cardinal George. He released a letter to parishioners Sunday, in which he apologized for the abuse and said releasing the records raises transparency to a new level. He also stressed that much of the abuse that occurred decades ago before he became archbishop. He also goes on and says, "I apologize to all those who have been harmed by these crimes in the scandal, the victims themselves most certainly, but also rank and file Catholics who have been shamed by the actions of some priests and bishops." Is he just trying to put the best spin on this as he can?

40:48 Dave Hathaway

You know I often wonder who is advising. Who are the attorneys? Who are the professionals advising sometimes when it comes to topics like this, because they are horrible. They are horrible. The church has already apologized, okay. You get in a car accident. You know you are wrong. You get out of the car and you say I am sorry. Let us call the police, the insurance, it's horrible and you move on. You do not stand there 10 years later calling that person up and saying I am sorry. You made your apology and you have to move on. Again, this whole transparency discussion. Number one, it flies in the face of the churches teachings. And let me go even further, it flies in the face of our Lord's teachings. The woman who is going to be stoned. You without sin cast the first stone. They all walked away. It is none of our business. How about all of the teachers? How about all of the people in the military? How about all the people that work at major corporations who have done terrible things? I must know because they might be my neighbor.

41:54 Pete Ferrara

So it gets back to gossip.

41:58 Dave Hathaway


41:59 Pete Ferrara

At what point?

42:00 Dave Hathaway

The last quote we have is, he is from a victim. He is 62 years old and he was abused by a priest and he said, "For me, it is going to empower me again and hopefully it will help others out there struggling to come forward and get help." Well, first of all, I will let you addressed. There are two points he made. One, it is going to empower me again. And two, it is going to hopefully bring others out. Let us start with the first one. Do you think how will this empower him? He was a victim 50 years ago.

42:39 Pete Ferrara

It cannot empower. There is absolutely no way that releasing the files even of the priest that abused him is going to empower him. He empowers himself. It is the same thing that get, "Oh you make me so angry." No, you allow yourself to get angry. There is nothing Dave that you can do that can turn the switch on inside me that makes me angry. It is inside of me. You might be being a fool in front of me and doing things that is trying to antagonize me, but it is what is inside of me that allows that to get angered so on and so forth. You empower yourself. Now there is an enormous amount of disagreement in the therapeutic world, psychologicals what realm and how to treat people and help them get better and not every case is the same. But you can empower somebody their whole life to be a victim. You certainly can. You certainly can empower them. In language like this, it is being transparent. It allows others to come forward. You know, it will not. I will not allow others to come forward.

43:47 Dave Hathaway

Now you are saying, okay... Does it not happen when somebody reports the first, somebody get used (Crosstalk). The other ones will start coming forward because it will now, I am not the only one.

44:01 Pete Ferrara

That will happen, right?

44:03 Dave Hathaway

It will happen, but the question is, why did not the first one come forward?

44:11 Pete Ferrara

Now, yes, there is horrible (crosstalk)

44:12 Dave Hathaway

Well in this case, I can understand that.

44:14 Pete Ferrara

There is horrible stories of people being threatened and things that __44:17__ are these horrible, horrible, horrible stories of that. But in general, we have a victim mentality in this country right now and in the world right now. You empower yourself. If something has been done wrong to you, then you will have to do something about that. Now I fully respect that there are people right there that are not as strong as others for whatever reason. They could be psychological, they could be physiological, whatever. I fully understand that. But how is you pulling a drawer on a file cabinet and allowing me to read those files going to make me empowered. Because if you read in there that he was accused and nothing was done or whatever the case may be or you come to some conclusion that nothing was done. You are going to be discouraged.

45:17 Dave Hathaway

See, to me these poor souls have already been empowered. He has already come forward. He has been an activist in this whole thing. So I do not see empowering and now so you can take/do something to help, to help yourself. I think he is already empowered. But helping somebody else?

45:41 Pete Ferrara

How is the releasing of the file...? If that is the case then let us let everybody keep a personal file up in the internet and we will see what happens.

45:52 Dave Hathaway

Alright. We are going to get back to... after our break. We are going to get to some comments and questions on our Facebook page. We will be right back in a few seconds.

49:37 Dave Hathaway

Welcome back to Opus Bono Radio. Discussion today is talking about the releasing of personal files of our priests. We are going to go and Pete is going to read some comments and questions from our Facebook page. Most of these are from yesterday?

49:53 Pete Ferrara


49:56 Dave Hathaway

(Crosstalk) What is the first comment you want to address or... about the comment. I am just going to pick some, because there are a lot of comments. And you know I understand and I want to be very cautious and states here that the written word can be misunderstood very easily and I mean no ill will towards anybody if it comes across that way. But all I have are the words that are on the comments. There is one here that talks about the purity of the priest's heart and God knows it and if they have failed then they should remove themselves from their duties. I understand that mindset. I understand that, but I strongly disagree with it because each and everyone of us fail. And we go to confession and we get back up and we do what we do. I want to be very clear. I am not saying somebody who had horribly abused somebody just go to confession and goes back in the ministry, by no means should they. Okay?

50:59 Pete Ferrara

No. They should be removed. They should be because they have a problem. If someone abuses somebody else, they have a problem that needs to be addressed. I do not care if it is sexual abuse, financial abuse, whatever the case may be. They have a problem that needs to be addressed and until it is addressed. But we all fail. Every priests commits a mortal sin, every human being commits a mortal sin. We cannot remove ourselves. That is why we have confession because if we all remove ourselves nothing would get done in this world. And somebody who, like a priest who is an alcoholic, should he remove himself? Or should he get treatment and come back be an even better person. I know hundreds of priests who are recovering alcoholics and they are the most compassionate men in the world because they have struggled with something. And they have literally saved millions of souls because of what they went through. What God allowed them to go through. So these struggles are important in us as people, as Christians, because we must help each other get back up when we fall.

52:16 Dave Hathaway

Okay, next question or comment. Here is one, they talk about, I think priest should be an open book. You never saw anyone telling Jesus not to do this or that. He never did anything but good. You are absolutely right. Christ was perfect. He is our Lord. And actually people did tell Jesus what to do. And he just did not do it. But people also spoke ill of Jesus. He is sitting the sinners. He according to the Jewish customs and laws was wrong. So should he have been removed? Sorry! Salvation is not going to happen now. We are going to start all over again. That is not how it works. In priests, nobody is an open book. I do not have the right to know your heart. Only God knows our hearts. That is wrong thinking. And if you think that way, you are stuck. That is not how God wants us to be

53:22 Pete Ferrara

Yeah you cannot judge the heart. Because we do not know everything.

53:26 Dave Hathaway


53:27 Pete Ferrara

I even judge actions.

53:28 Dave Hathaway

I have met some priest through this mission that I ran across. You know like in our local diocese that I ran across beforehand and I thought they were the biggest jerks in the world. I mean just their personality. And then we get to know through this for whatever reason. You know I went to lunch with him whatever. And I understand him better to a point where I like that guy is a very compassionate individual. For whatever reason that's his personality plus I was on the fringe. It did not notice me. I was on a fringe and I was making a judgment of his personality. (crosstalk) treated you.

54:06 Pete Ferrara


54:09 Dave Hathaway

Not how treat me, how he acted and how I felt I was treated. You are walking on the street and someone gives you a bad look. That does not mean they mad at you. They might just have had indigestion or something. So I mean it is a dangerous thing. And you know with kids, with teenagers as I have, we tried to talk to our kids about this, just because someone said something like that or they tweeted something that does not mean that is what they meant. That does not mean that they are angry at you, that type of thing. So, you know you put my glasses on. This one is very important and I agree to it to a degree but the individual is talking about a priest who is accused they should investigate it right away and those types of things. I will stop there and it will come back to the rest of it. There are bishops and there are priests who did not handle problems. We understand that it happens everywhere. It happens in organizations, public schools, major corporations, okay and people get caught all the time and run, you know those types of things. But the majority of these cases when something like this took place, they were handled. We had a cardinal here who is retired now and he came and brought up a case that we worked on. He said I already solved that case. I worked with the family and they did not want to go to court. We already resolved everything. I do not know why they are bringing it up again.

55:45 Pete Ferrara


55:46 Dave Hathaway

Yeah, sure. That happens all the time. And this ends with, there is evidence, there is __55:54__. Ladies and gentlemen, the majority of the cases have nothing to do with something that dangerous.

56:11 Pete Ferrara

Okay. I have a question. It just came to my mind when you mentioned this cardinal. Most of these abuse cases that occurred. I mean it is not like somebody just ignored them. Do you know how they handled these cases back then? Now they talk about they moved them from parish to parish, but did the bishops do anything to help these people at one point? Or did they just move them from parish to parish?

56:45 Dave Hathaway

Some of that did go on. But if a priest had a problem, whatever it was, they went to professionals to try to solve it. Some of these professionals said that this person is okay to go back in the ministry. Okay. (Crosstalk)

57:09 Pete Ferrara

As much as they knew at that point in time. Very interesting, when we first started this or got involved with who got started it, we met with an organization that deals with men and women religious who suffered with alcohol and it was started around the same time that AAA was started and the individual running the organization at the time said, you know when this was started, people thought he was crazy, the man who started this organization was crazy because those men and women those alcoholics were not worth it. Look at how we look at alcoholics now, recovering alcoholics who had been sober for years and what not. We look at that as wow, they have overcome something horrible and they have moved on. How many times that somebody sat in a pew and saw visiting priest when he stands.

58:07 Dave Hathaway

Alright, we have two minutes left. Is there another comment you want to get to before we finish up with our prayer for priest.

58:16 Pete Ferrara

Well you know, I guess the last one, it says keep the files to open. If there is nothing to hide then there is nothing to worry about. It is not our business. It is none of our business. Then open your file.

58:30 Dave Hathaway

I want to ask that individual. Do you want your file just give __58:31__. Do want everybody to read your personal files from work?

58:34 Pete Ferrara

I would love to and I will make it public. I will. I will be happy to do that for you.

58:37 Dave Hathaway

Thanks. So if there is nothing in there? What is wrong?

58:39 Pete Ferrara

It is not how we work. If I do not go to confession, I will leave the door open. I shut the door and the priest would tell you if the door is not shut, he is not available for confession.

58:48 Dave Hathaway

Okay, well thank you for being in our show. And thank you to our lovely producers, Dave Schuster and Mary Rose Maher. Is she still there? Oh, she is hiding. Alright. Could you lead us in the prayer for priests?

59:03 Pete Ferrara


59:05 Dave Hathaway

Since you are not a priest, I am not going to ask you for your blessing. I am not sure what that would do to us if we got our blessing

59:13 Pete Ferrara

Okay. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit Amen. O Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest and exemplar of priestly holiness and dignity, we are grateful to You for having chosen certain men for the ministerial priesthood by which You continue to instruct, admonish, forgive, nourish and strengthen Your Church. We are sorely aware of the great need of priests in our time to be confirmed in their sacred calling so that they may continue confidently in their ministry of mediating Your graces to men and of representing them before Your august majesty. Relying on the intercession of Holy Mary, Mother of priests, and of Saint Joseph, Her beloved spouse, we beg Your help for the priests who are the most troubled, tempted, discouraged, and suffering. May the noble and sacred office of the priesthood, which is too often has been reviled and scorned, regain its admirable stature in the sight of all men for Your greater honor and glory and for the sanctification and salvation of Your people. Amen.

1:00:07 Dave Hathaway

Amen. And thank you for listening. Please come back next Thursday at 12 o'clock for our next edition of Opus Bono Radio. God bless you all.