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Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

the man for the job

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Apr 01, 2008

The San Jose Mercury News has a story on clerical sex abuse in Oakland county focusing not on diocesan clergy but priests belonging to religious orders. The Salesians come in for some unflattering attention:

[Salesian Father Richard] Presenti admitted in a 2005 deposition to molesting the accuser and two other boys between 1970 and 1973, though he denied the 1962 molestation, Simons said.

When the victim from 1972 complained to another priest at the camp shortly after the abuse occurred, the Rev. Harry Rasmussen, a priest in the Salesian provincial office, was called in to investigate, court records show. Rasmussen visited the victim's family, who asked that Presenti be removed from Salesian High School, according to the records.

One year later, Presenti was transferred to St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower and promoted to school principal.

Rasmussen testified in a deposition that he didn't tell anyone in Bellflower about the complaint against Presenti and that no record explaining the reasons for the move was placed in his personnel file.

Not pretty, but the account above is more or less within the familiar story line of clerical cover-up: superiors bounce-passed the known offender to a new locale and kept mum about his mischief. Then comes this choice bit of uplift from the deposition Father Investigator gave under oath:

"I'm not sure I knew it was a crime," Rasmussen testified regarding the abuse.

Now there's a man with a future in his profession.

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  • Posted by: Ambrose - Oct. 19, 2009 2:24 PM ET USA

    The gushers also include Catholics, or at least nominal Catholics. According to an article titled Jesus Christ: Why the Word Became Flesh, by Stephen Doyle O.F.M. (recently sent to our parish director of religious education for use in catechesis by www.AmericanCatholic.org), "It is no coincidence that Francis [of Assisi] is the patron saint of ecology. He who preceived this world as Mother Earth recognized that it is the home of him whom he loved: Jesus Christ." posted by Ambrose

  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Oct. 15, 2009 12:22 PM ET USA

    Sir William - touche! I pray she returns to the Faith.

  • Posted by: Sir William - Oct. 14, 2009 6:55 PM ET USA

    My mother went through the "I worship the god of nature" kick for a while. She liked to be loud about it, too, until I pointed out that the 'god of nature' would eat her arthritic carcass for lunch since she couldn't run faster than a bear or a tornado. That warm fuzzy vaguely feel good 'god of nature' never looks too good when put in the context of fangs, claws, killer winds and survival of the fittest.