Hypocrisy: February 2005 Archives

February 15, 2005

The-rapists at it again.

United States: A former Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to 12-15 years in prison for child rape by a Boston court. Nothing odd about that--the scandal has been a major news story for a few years now. But the case is not as clean cut as usual because it seems the only evidence against Paul Shanley comes from the 'recovered' memories of his purported victim.

The case hinged on the reliability of the victim's memories of the abuse, which he said he recovered several years ago as the clergy sex abuse scandal unfolded in the media...

...He was arrested in California in May 2002, and brought back to Massachusetts in handcuffs -- charged with raping four boys at St. Jean's. All four claimed they recovered memories of the abuse after the scandal broke.

But the case ran into numerous problems. In July, prosecutors dropped two accusers in what they said was a move to strengthen their case. Then, on the day jury selection began, they dropped a third accuser because he disappeared after a traumatic experience on the witness stand at a pretrial hearing last fall.

One of the accusers dropped from the case was Gregory Ford, a prominent victim in the clergy sex abuse scandal and among those who have settled lawsuits with the Boston Archdiocese. Ford was a friend of the victim left in the criminal case against Shanley, and the former priest's attorney contended the man's recovered memories were made up to match Ford's accusations -- and to profit financially in a lawsuit.

Defrocked priest sentenced to 12 to 15 years for child rape - Boston Globe, 15th February 2005.

Deaf Group Refused Communicator at Pagan Event

Note: This matter has now been resolved, to the satisfaction of SignPagan.

England: The following arrived in my inbox, and was originally scheduled for publication somewhere with a much bigger readership then here. In light of the note above, this has become unnecessary.

On the 5th March, a group who claim to promote an ethical approach to Wicca in the UK are holding a national event at Fairfield Halls in Corydon. It is expected to attract hundreds of people with talks, workshops and a huge collection of market stalls. The event is due to finish with a ball until one in the morning.

Crystal Rose, a Deaf Witch from Derby wanted to go to this event with some friends but was concerned that she would not be able to make the most of it without a BSL communicator. She is also a founding member of the SignPagan project which aims to increase Deaf access to alternative-faiths and events across the country.

When SignPagan contacted Children of Artemis, the group responsible for this event, they were unresponsive. Eventually they claimed that Fairfield Halls would be too small to accommodate a BSL communicator, despite the event attracting hundreds of people. Children of Artemis then explained that the only way that the group would be allowed to bring a communicator or interpreter would be if they bought them a ticket. Even after receiving all of the information regarding the Disability Discrimination Act, they still refused to make any allowances and eventually stopped responding.

SignPagan contacted Fairfield Halls to ask for their opinion as the venue provider. An official at Fairfield explained that according to their disability access policy, a person in a wheelchair must pay for a ticket but their attendant does not have to pay because they are viewed as a service and not a consumer, they did not see why this should be any different for a Deaf person with a communicator.

(Contact details supplied)

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This page is an archive of entries in the Hypocrisy category from February 2005.

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