Reader: If serial rapist's boss not liable, why blame Catholic Church for lay minister's abuse?

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Melanie Asmar's post about Katia Birge, who claims to have been abused by a lay minister, kicked off a fiery debate about whether or not the Archdiocese of Denver, led by Archbishop Charles Chaput, bears any responsibility for this alleged crime. Among the most passionate items was penned in defense of the Catholic Church.

Charles K. Byrne writes:

Who employed the Capitol hill serial rapist? Who employed the rapist that was stalking the DU area not so long ago? Did anyone ever ask who their employers were, much less take the employers to court?

There are approximately 250,000 sexual assaults in the United States per year. How many of those were associated with the employer of the perpetrator? Something tells me if all the relevant data were sorted Boeing, GE, and the Federal Government would all have higher rates than the Catholic Church. Perhaps the numbers would be higher per employee as well. but we can't know those figures because unless it is a member of the Catholic Church, nobody cares.

Why? Perhaps (like me) some feel the Church should be held to a higher standard than GE, Boeing, or the government. That's fine. But my suspicion is there are many Anti-Catholics out there who enjoy seeing those papist abortion haters get their's on the front page. No, it's not paranoia. My grandfather, herre in Denver had a cross burned on his front lawn in the '20's because he was Catholic.

- For those who don't know your Denver and Colorado histories, the KKK was very powerful here in the 20's... even electing a KKK mayor and a Klansman governor. Their primary target in Colorado was not African Americans, but Catholics. -

Add to that the fact that SNAP sees beautiful dollar signs with every accusation (proven or not), and you have a perfectly nice motive to go after that terrible, hateful, evil, archaic Catholic Church. And since no one would DARE to stand up for the Church, she's an easy target. If you're lucky she might even settle out of court to avoid the publicity! And we all know the Church has deep pockets!

Look! There are plenty of us who were abused as children, and we don't live the rest of our lives saying "poor picked on pitiful me.... give me money or I'll take you to court!" We find grace, love, strength, and forgivenesss in (of all places) our Catholic faith. So if you want to condemn individuals for their horrid, evil, and inexcusable behavior, please do! Those individuals deserve to have certain parts of their anatomies permanently removed! But quit going after the church in persuit of a buck!

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Spoken like a true Catholic abuse apologist. I like how the writer brought up things that happened 90 years ago as if they are current and relevant, and how he tried to refer to abusers within the church as "individuals". Last time I checked, the Church was under investigation for their shielding and shuffling of these monsters. It wasn't a case of one bad apple, it was encouraged, fostered, and hidden. Your "wonderful" Church is the one who kept shuffling these molesters off and foisting them on unsuspecting family after family.

So, yes, if Chase Bank employed one rapist or even a few, it's still not the same. I'm pretty disgusted that you find them comparable, actually. Your attitude is why so many have left the church, because of the lies and blaming the innocent child victims.

Katia's Cousin
Katia's Cousin

Dear Mr. Byrne, While I am a big believer in free speech and exchange of ideas, I would like to remind you that this incident is not as far removed from the community and even from yourself as you would like to think. Our families have crossed paths many times in the Catholic community. What happened to my cousin could have easily happened to any female member of your family. Please be careful of what you say as this is not the Bill O'Reilly Show, this is real life with real people in your own community who have been brutalized.

May the Lord and his Blessed Mother guide you.


If the employer of the Capitol Hill rapist knew about the abuse, hid the abuse and transferred the abuser to a different location rather than turning them over the the authorities, Mr. Byrne might have a point.

And yes,if that were the case they would absolutely be liable if the offender they protected continued to victimize innocents. This isn't a case of anti-Catholic sentiment, whatsover. No pun intended here, but get off your effing cross.


The Catholic Church has a history of protecting and shielding these "employees" from law enforcement. That's why they catch blame in these cases. The rapists themselves are responsible for the rape, but the church is responsible for the coverups, moving priests to new locations to abuse new people in order to avoid prosecution, and for claiming special privilege for these employees not to be prosecuted -- "It's an internal matter to the church" is the typical response.

It's not anti-Catholic to point this out. The opposition is not to the church itself, but to church leaders who protect, aid, and abet abusers. If GE or Boeing were doing this, wouldn't you consider them liable? Most would.

The KKK have nothing to do with this, either. That's just a diversionary strawman argument. The KKK were awful and nobody here condones anti-Catholic bigotry.

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