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Thu Jun 5, 2014, 11:44 AM

When is a priest not a priest? When he's molesting a child, diocese says in defense of lawsuit

Chris Naples says something snapped inside him that January day.

The Burlington County man sat in the gallery of the Delaware Supreme Court, watching as a lawyer for the Diocese of Trenton told the justices that the Rev. Terence McAlinden was not "on duty" — or serving in his capacity as a priest — when he allegedly molested Naples on trips to Delaware in the 1980s.

McAlinden, who once headed the diocese’s youth group, had introduced himself to Naples at a church-sponsored leadership retreat in Keyport. He’d heard his confession, included him in private Masses and discussed matters of spirituality with him.

Yet McAlinden wasn’t officially a priest when he took a teenage Naples to Delaware, the lawyer argued.

“How do we determine when a priest is and is not on duty?” one of the justices asked, according to a video of the session on the court’s website.

“Well,” replied the diocese lawyer, “you can determine a priest is not on duty when he is molesting a child, for example. ... A priest abusing a child is absolutely contrary to the pursuit of his master’s business, to the work of a diocese.”

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2014/06/when_is_a_priest_not_a_priest_when_hes_molesting_a_child_diocese_says_in_defense_of_lawsuit.html


Just when you thought the RCC could not sink any lower.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 11:47 AM

1. I see what they did there.

 

Nicely played.

If it wasn't the RCC doing this tactic, I'm sure all progressives would call this an asshole move.

And cue the "it's what they lawyer is saying and not the church" in 3..2..1..

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 12:50 PM

5. Wish I could say I was surprised by this bullshit.

Or the fact that there will be defenders of it here.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 11:51 AM

2. That's an amazing use of NTS.

Bravo!

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 12:03 PM

3. Well, this calls for a...



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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 12:45 PM

4. You should read up on Respondeat Superior.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 03:39 PM

6. I'll let the molested kids and their families read up on it instead.

I'm sure they will see the light and realize that the church has no responsibility to these children whatsoever.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 07:00 PM

11. I'm sure their lawyers have.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 03:59 PM

7. The lawyers have taken that fully into account in the complaint.

The District Court of Delaware reached a similar holding in Voe #2 v. The
Archdiocese of Milwaukee.33 In Voe #2, Plaintiff asserted an agency relationship
existed between moving defendants and Brother David Nickerson (“Nickerson”) and,
based on this relationship, moving defendants should be held accountable for
Nickerson’s alleged tortious conduct in Delaware.34 The Court held that Plaintiff
failed to assert facts to establish this relationship because he was not employed by
moving defendants.35 The Court continued its rational and held that even if an
employment relationship existed, Plaintiff failed to show how Nickerson’s conduct
related to his employment and failed to assert specific facts that moving defendants



McAlinden took Naples across state lines as part of his 'official business', so I think the defendants are cooked here. But we'll see. Usually an entity like a school in a similar situation with a student/teacher, would have to have done something, like ignored complaints, a pattern of complaints, etc, to be found liable.

Edit: Naples alleges they knew so... if true, bad times for the church.

""This has never been about the money," Naples said. "It’s about exposing him for the monster that he is, and it’s about transparency in the diocese. They knew about McAlinden. They could have done something about it. And they did what every other diocese did. They kept it hush-hush and paid behind-the-scenes settlements.""

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 07:02 PM

12. It would be malpractice if they hadn't. That's what this argument is about.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #12)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 07:35 PM

13. Do you have an opinion on the likely outcome?

I think it will completely hinge on whether they can prove the church was at some point notified of the claims of abuse, observations of suspicious behavior, etc.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 07:41 PM

14. Not really. I don't know enough about this case to say anything worthwhile about it.

 

I do think you're right, though, that it will likely be decided based on what his superiors knew, and when. If they can establish a nexus between the actions and their knowledge, then his superiors indeed will have to answer for the wrongs.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 04:11 PM

8. Oh wow, this is some vile shit.

"He called it "The Poor Box."

McAlinden kept the 28-foot Bayliner cabin cruiser in Toms River, and to 13-year-old Chris Naples, it seemed pretty cool.

McAlinden offered to take him out on the boat when they met at the weekend leadership retreat in the summer of 1985. The teen’s mother, divorced and deeply religious, readily agreed, believing a priest would be a positive influence on her son, Naples said.

Nothing sexual happened on that first boat ride, a day trip, Naples said. An overnight trip followed on the Fourth of July. Naples said that day marked the first of hundreds of sexual assaults.

He contends McAlinden abused him at Jeremiah House, on the boat, in the rectory at St. Theresa’s, at the home of the priest’s parents in Toms River and on trips Delaware, Connecticut, New York, Atlantic City and the Virgin Islands.

In one instance, a housekeeper who was employed by the church walked into a bedroom while the two had sex, the suit states. It’s not clear if she reported what she saw. Other priests knew about Naples’ frequent sleepovers but said nothing, according to the suit.

One of those priests, the Rev. Thomas Triggs, served as assistant director of the diocese’s youth group under McAlinden. He frequently witnessed the teen walking into McAlinden’s room to spend the night, the suit states. Triggs also accompanied them on some of their trips, Naples said.

Triggs would go on to lead his own parish, St. Mary’s in Colts Neck. Last year, Trenton Bishop David M. O’Connell removed him after The Star-Ledger reported he allowed the Rev. Michael Fugee to interact with the parish’s youth group.
"

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 04:13 PM

9. "Other priests knew about Naples’ frequent sleepovers but said nothing"

But even if they did say something, clearly nothing was done.

Ugh this is just so disgusting and sad.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 04:17 PM

10. I predict the re-filed NJ lawsuit will succeed, if they can prove any of that.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 09:14 PM

15. I see the usual defenders of this sort of vileness

 

are out in force. And others are conspicuously absent and silent.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #15)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 10:31 PM

16. I see the usual haters of the RCC are out in force.

 

As expected.

I suppose complaining about Pope photo ops gets stale after a while.

Uganda!

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