The Church’s Abuse of the Law
The issue of religion in the United States has always been one the Supreme Court has been quick to avoid. We can hardly blame them; it’s perhaps the most contentious political topic this nation faces. However, it cannot continually be avoided, and so here in Wisconsin is a case involving a man named Gary Kazmarek. Gary was a Catholic school teacher who abused children in the 1960s, and because of this the Church quietly transferred him. This was despite the promise to the children’s parents that Kazmarek would receive treatment and never have contact with children again. The parents trusted the Church, but after all that he taught at a grade school in Kentucky abusing children in 1968-1973.Now, five men who were victimized in Kentucky tried and failed to sue the Milwaukee diocese for failing to inform the grade school in Kentucky about the earlier abuse. The Wisconsin Supreme Court was split 3-3 and the tie went to the dismissal. Their reasons: the statute of limitations had run out and employers can’t be required to warn all possible future employers of their sexually deviant employee. The Milwaukee diocese is to blame because it deliberately lied to the parents of the sexually abused children in order to save face by quietly removing their problem. This way there would be no charges pressed or recorded. But why would the parents agree to such things? Perhaps it is because it was the Church, the one organization that many still trust implicitly, an organization that is abusing that trust. The statute of limitations running out could be attributed to the simple fear and anxiety to stand against such a traditional and well founded organization until you have enough resolve, facts and friends. And not informing future employers? The least a Church should be required to do is inform other dioceses with Catholic schools about sexual liabilities. Even if it’s just to avoid more questionable activities within the Church, why keep covering up a problem you can start ending? But, at the very least, the Supreme Court should not be helping the Church to hide its own mess anymore. This is supposed to be a country of religious freedom, not a country where religion is free from the reach of the laws.