Monday, April 20, 2009

Catholic Abuse: Any Surprise Here?

I just read an article in the Los Angeles Times about yet another Catholic Priest abusing his authority over the parishioner. And of course, the victim has finally come out about it much later than when the incident took place. Only this time, the victim himself had joined the service as a priest, even working for his abuser. Read the story here

The account is pretty horrendous, albeit short.

In a lawsuit filed in Santa Ana Superior Court, Ben Rodriguez, 45, said he was molested numerous times between the ages of 15 and 18 in the priest’s church apartment. On some occasions, the priest gave him muscle relaxants and sleeping pills before the abuse, Rodriguez alleged.

Rodriguez was given muscle relaxants and sleeping pills? The priest was obviously sure of what he was doing. And no “attack of the devil” excuses here, that's hogwash. 

Rodriguez alleges that Pillon, then an assistant pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in La Habra and Rodriguez’s spiritual advisor, took advantage of him while his parents were going through a divorce, eventually persuading him to sever his ties to his family and enter the seminary. Several years later, the two wound up working together at churches in Illinois, during which time Rodriguez served as an assistant pastor to Pillon.

Of course, another example of a religious leader taking advantage of a person in a poor position. Not that this sort of thing isn’t to be expected. That makes me sick.

Pillon said he was removed from active ministry by the bishop in Peoria while Rodriguez’ allegations were investigated by Catholic officials. That investigation is ongoing, said Pillon, who is now a part-time college professor in Prague.

Catholic officials are doing the investigation. How damning. At the very least, he was removed from ministry.  Now he's a part time college professor.  Which, in my opinion, is actually a better job title.

Rodriguez said that in response to his report on Pillon, the Illinois diocese gave him six days to leave his parish and the state. He said he was ordered to report to a treatment center in Pennsylvania to undergo therapy.

The Illinois diocese gave him six days to leave his parish and the state? Now, if they told him to leave the parish, it’s on them. I suppose if it’s their club, it’s their rules. But they can’t ask him to leave the state, can they? How horrendous, them believing they have that sort of power and authority. Please, somebody tell me they don’t!

One final quote from Rodriguez struck me as a bit chilling.

"When I gave the report, I knew this would be the end of my ministry," Rodriguez said. "I told friends, ‘I am denouncing a priest and I will probably have to leave the priesthood as a result.’ The priesthood is a fraternity. If you go against it, you are in trouble."

The devil’s water isn’t so sweet.


  1. If you've never seen the documentary "Deliver us from Evil" I highly recommend it. It very powerfully documents some prominent cases of abuse against a priest named Oliver O'Grady in California during the 70s and 80s. There are lots of interviews with the family, the victims, church officials and investigators that really paint a picture of just how serious, long-standing and wide-spread this problem is. It's also really good because the filmmakers never speak on camera. All you ever see is the subjects themselves talking. It's very heart-wrenching though, so be careful.

  2. Sparrowhawk,
    I'll be sure to check it out. Thank you.


  3. That cartoon is great. What I don't understand is how these people thing they are going to get away it with. Oh wait, reason and well thought out plans are not something the church hangs it's hat on. I will check out that movie too Sparrowhawk. Thanks.

  4. The New Atheist,
    I seriously hope these people get called out on their bullshit as soon as it happens instead of waiting for years to past before these victims react.