Operation Restore Trust, continued.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has initiated a program called Safeguard the Children, coordinated by Msgr. Richard A. Loomis.
"This is a call to parish staff and parents to become involved in this effort on the grassroots level," said Msgr. Loomis. He hopes that as a result of parish initiatives, "there's an awareness on every level that child abuse is a societal problem, and we all need to be vigilant and work to keep children safe."
Great. Let's examine the concern for potential victims evident in Monsignor Loomis's March 19, 2002 e-mail to attorneys Sr. Judy Murphy and John McNicholas:
A complicating fact: I believe that Father Peter Liuzzi is being assigned to Crespi Carmelite HS as a faculty member. A representative of the "Lay Catholic Mission" has approached a Carmelite priest who occasionally helps here at Saint Charles to question "the wisdom of assigning Father Liuzzi to an all-boy school." On top of that, Father Liuzzi and Father Savino have lived in the same community house for as long as I have worked at the ACC -- not quite seven years. They are close friends. I am not sure how many people know these facts and I would not want to tip my hand. Everything in this "complicating fact" paragraph would be tracked right back to me. I would not want it made public if it can be avoided. But my thought is that one issue might ignite the other in the press, both secular and retro-Catholic.
Got that? "Grassroots" awareness and involvement is marvelous unless initiated by those who ask certain awkward questions, such as why a notoriously gay priest is assigned to an all-boy school. Note too that a second awkward fact -- the gay priest in question was the housemate and "close friend" of an accused sex-abuser -- is one Loomis does not want to become public.
All-in-all this is a fine specimen of U.S. pastoral crowd-management. The trick is to dazzle the proles with the illusion of participatory democracy while maintaining absolute control of information flow. The process is rigged so that it always comes up with what you engineer it to come up with, even while you "involve" ordinary folks and pretend to listen to them.
"We all need to be vigilant," insists Msgr. Loomis. Fine. It may or may not be relevant to the well-being of your 15-year-old that his guidance counselor is a dissenting gay priest rooming with another gay priest who has a boy-problem. But shouldn't you, Mr. & Mrs. Grassroots, have the call as to whether or not the facts are pertinent? And will you learn the facts from the LA Archdiocese's Safeguard the Children Program?
P.S. if you still don't feel safe, you may be a retro-Catholic. We recommend out-patient therapy.
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