The Church isn’t Above the Law

The Los Angeles Times reports today that the LAPD has arrested a school official who covered up reports that a teacher was sexually molesting students.

The dean of students at a South Los Angeles school was arrested
Thursday for allegedly concealing evidence that one of his colleagues,
former Assistant Principal Steve Thomas Rooney, had a sexual
relationship with a student.

Alan Hubbard, 49, was charged with two felony counts of being an
accessory after the fact to a crime and dissuading a witness, according
to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. After
surrendering to Los Angeles police, he was being held in lieu of
$120,000 bail late Thursday and was scheduled to be arraigned today.

What infuriates me is that the police don't arrest Church officials who cover up sexual abuse by priests. The law applies to Church officials as much as it does to educators. What the Church did by protecting child molesters is every bit as reprehensible…and illegal.

6 thoughts on “The Church isn’t Above the Law”

  1. I agree with you 100%, why is that the church gets away with so much. I think they’d get away with murder to be honest, amazing what people will let slide when religion is involved.

  2. I don’t think that most of the cases aren’t pursued because the church thinks it’s ‘above the law’, but because of the statute of limitation. (And most of the people who are now coming out and saying that priests have abused them have waited years if not decades to make these allegations.) Personally, as someone who survived abuse, I am angered that people can get away with it. I think the new sex-abuse battlefield is the classroom, however. Remember Mary Kay Letourneau, and (then) 13 year old Vili.

  3. Cardinal Mahoney and others in the church knew who the molesters were. Instead of notifying the authorities, and helping the victims, they covered up the crimes and transferred the abusers to new parishes where they could harm even more children. It’s not enough that the church is being sued for hundreds of millions of dollars…the people who hid these monsters and ruined so many lives should go to jail…or, at the very least, be drummed out the church. But no, they are still in power in Los Angeles, still doing whatever they can to create obstacles for law enforcement, with-holding files, hiding evidence, etc. It’s disgusting and infuriating.
    For example:
    Mahoney still hasn’t provided the files.

  4. You are correct, sir. I do believe that anyone who covers up for the molesters should be taken out of those positions and convicted, just as I belive that parents who abuse their own children, and their spouses who don’t report it, should be convicted. They should have the children in their care taken away and the community alerted that they have open CPS cases against them – to keep them from harming other children. Absolutely.

  5. At the risk of being flamed, no, SassyDevil, church members are *not* tolerant of child molesters or the people who cover up for them. I say so as a lifelong Catholic who has refused to donate any resources to the LA church because of the problems Lee describes. I have written dozens of letters of protest. I belong to a group of people who are actively organizing within the church. Don’t paint everybody with the same brush.
    There are a lot of reasons for the coverup that people do not put together. For one thing, there is a strong tradition of grace and confession in the church that does not necessarily entail taking care of the victim or engaging with secular law enforcement (iow, there are those who believe that yes, people are above secular law and what counts is God’s law.) More prosaically, members of the priesthood have become a scarce resource for the church. The institution (priesthood) dwindles, and the organization has gone to some pretty far lengths to get and keep people in the priesthood–including looking the other way at criminal behavior. (And so yeah, I’m all for getting women into the priesthood because it is way more sustainable than recruiting from the far corners of the earth, lavishing priests with nonmonetary compensation, and getting the daylights sued out of you because you are covering for people you are desperate to retain.)


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