Monday, April 26, 2010

Colombia Cardinal is not just despicable, he's also technically wrong

From the Washington Post:

A senior cardinal defended the Roman Catholic Church's practice of frequently not reporting sexual abusive priests to the police, saying Thursday it would have been like testifying against a family member at trial... "The law in nations with a well-developed judiciary does not force anyone to testify against a child, a father, against other people close to the suspect," Castrillon told RCN radio.

Um... Castrillon is 80 years old, so he probably is not familiar with the internet abbreivation, IANAL. But he should be. Because this statement was not just despicable, it was profoundly stupid.

There is a nugget of truth in this when there is no prospect for the crime to be repeated, i.e. a person would typically not be prosecuted for failing to report a past crime of their spouse after finding out about it. But if you know another crime is imminent, you are not off the hook, even if it is a family member. That's called "conspiracy".

And family members I am pretty sure can be compelled to testify. I mean, if a father rapes one of his children, and the mother was an eyewitness, do you honestly think she would be excused from testifying? Please.

1 comment:

  1. Wow comment #1, you must be lost.

    Anyway, I like how cardinals and bishops alike are essentially saying, (over and over) "No, we aren't supposed to be held to the same standard as everyone else. And, No -- not a higher standard."