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millstones are forever

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 06, 2003

The South Bend Tribune recounts a now-familiar tale of betrayal, followed by betrayal, followed by betrayal.

In 1980, Salveson wrote a letter to Bishop John R. McGann, bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, reporting that when he was in high school Huneke had sexually molested him. He urged that the priest be removed from parish work. "The bishop ignored my letter and later acted like he never got it," Salveson said. Salveson then sent the letter by certified mail, and the bishop agreed to meet with him. Salveson said he described his ordeal and raised concerns about the possibility that Huneke was abusing others. McGann agreed to meet with Huneke to discuss the allegations. In a letter to Salveson, McGann described the meeting. "Father (Huneke) acknowledged his responsibility and assured me that he has been receiving counseling and spiritual direction and this matter has not been a problem for over a period of approximately two years," the bishop wrote in a letter dated Aug. 1, 1980. Salveson requested proof that Huneke had been treated. By this time, the priest was working in a parish in Florida. He asked the bishop whether he had relayed Salveson's concerns to the Florida diocese. McGann responded that there was no proof Huneke abused others.

The upshot?

Salveson, who has sought counseling at various stages of his life, is no longer Catholic. He belongs to a Presbyterian church but said he's not a very religious person. "My personal experience is that religion has hindered me from developing spiritually," he said.

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