August 11, 2010

Hush Money for Catholic School Boys

RELIGION - In 1998 Reverend Bill Irwin was sent as an emissary by the Roman Catholic Church and the Congregation of St. Basil to deliver a cheque to a former student of sex-offender Reverend William Hodgson “Hod” Marshall, who had been the student's math teacher and basketball coach during Grade 9 at St. Charles College, the local Catholic all-boys school. The student, Tod Holland, alleged the former priest had molested him three times in 1969 when he was 14. Holland had complained to Sudbury police about it 5 months earlier in 1998 and was surprised the order had sent a priest to speak to him face-to-face.

In 1969 Tod Holland told his father and the two went to the principal, Rev. Anthony Lococo, but Lococo merely brushed off the complaints by saying Holland had "a vivid imagination" and made out that it was the boy who was a bad person. The assaults stopped after the visit.

Years later and suffering from depression Holland eventually made a complaint to police, but didn't pursue the matter much beyond that. The Catholic order however got wind of the complaint and 5 months later decided to have Reverend Irwin deliver a cheque for $21,000 CDN. Holland refused it, saying he just wanted an apology from the priest who had molested him in the showers after basketball practice.

Reverend Irwin insisted he at least think about it and gave him the phone number of a Toronto legal firm if Holland changed his mind. The Reverend then called a taxi, asked for a glass of water, talked about the weather and left.

12 years later it is now revealed this is how the Congregation of St. Basil usually dealt with child molestation. The same priest, Reverend William Hodgson “Hod” Marshall, is now facing criminal charges for molesting another 4 boys in Windsor.

Its just one of many sex scandals and allegations of abuse that are coming out of woodwork of the Catholic Church, especially complaints aimed at Pope Benedict XVI who knew about the abuse and was an active participant in covering up the allegations of abuse.

In 1999 the Congregation of St. Basil increased their offer to Holland to $30,000, trying to buy silence once more. The Catholic Church knew Rev. Marshall was guilty and had even sent him for professional psychological treatment in the USA in 1996. Their offer of more money was nothing more than a clear bribe to keep Holland silent.

Holland finally accepted their offer and signed an agreement not to sue the Congregation of St. Basil in court.

According to the Congregation of St. Basil: “It was our normal response to any (sexual abuse) allegation, particularly involving the abuse of a minor, for Father Irwin to offer financial assistance to cover any cost of psychological counseling or therapy required for the healing of the victims,” says Rev. Thomas Rosica.

Bullshit. If it was just financial assistance then there would have been no requirement to sign an agreement covering their own asses in the event of a lawsuit.

88-years-old and retired Rev. Marshall now lives in downtown Toronto. His distinguished career includes 50 years of teaching and coaching basketball teams in Windsor, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Saskatoon and Houston, Texas... and leaving a trail of molested boys behind. The earliests allegations date back to 1955 where he is facing two charges of sexual abuse. Other men have come forward with complaints dating back to the 1960s through to the 1980s.

Earlier this year Marshall's lawyer, Andrew Bradie, negotiated a settlement for 44-year-old priest John Duarte for abusing adolescent boys at a Haitian mission. He was sentenced to a mere 18 months.

He also defended the priest Charles Sylvestre, who in 2006 pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 47 girls over a 40 year period in the London area.

Proof that lawyers and Catholic priests both belong in Hell.

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