Mallon's Media Watch

Mallon's Media Watch

Friday, August 09, 2002
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Thursday, August 08, 2002

Michael Novak has been knocking them out of the park with everything he's done on the Troubles.

Michael Novak on The Courage to be Catholic by George Weigel on National Review Online
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Fr. Neuhaus on Zero Tolerance

Scandal Time III

What a scandal. Bishops defending the faith—and admitting to it... (Am I getting cynical?)


What a hassle this must be for the Jesuits, especially when they have real problem priests to deal with, like Fr. Fessio.

Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Priests

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Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Monday, August 05, 2002

This ain't no party. This ain't no disco.

From the Tulsa World:

Brief visit by bishop raises anger
By ZIVA BRANSTETTER World Projects Editor

Parishioners say they expected answers about an abuse allegation.

PRYOR -- Members of St. Mark's Catholic Church, including a 16-year-old Pryor girl who claims she was molested three years ago by a priest, angrily confronted Bishop Edward Slattery during a meeting Sunday night at the church.

The exchange happened after Slattery made a surprise appearance at a church potluck supper and answered only a few questions about how the case was handled.

"People said, `Why did you come here if you can't tell us anything?' " the teenager said.

After Slattery assured the parishioners that he would investigate the matter and come back with an explanation, she confronted him, she said.

"I stood up in front of everyone and said, `Well, why didn't you do an investigation in the first place?' and I ran out of the room and knocked a chair over."

Slattery refused to allow a Tulsa World reporter to attend the meeting and declined to comment afterward.

"We have a right to privacy, you know, and you're a reporter. Leave those people alone," Slattery said as he left the church. Becoming visibly angry, he asked the reporter to leave the church's parking lot.

Slattery was accompanied by the Rev. Peter Phung, the parish's new pastor.

The girl said parish members had been told that a representative of the diocese would explain the handling of the case to them Sunday. She said the 50 to 60 parishioners at the meeting were surprised when Slattery appeared.

After being asked why he couldn't share much information, Slattery said, "Just wait for the Eastern Oklahoma Catholic, and it will all be in there."

In a statement read Sunday to all churches in the Tulsa Diocese, Slattery promised that a detailed explanation of the church's handling of child sexual abuse allegations would appear in the Eastern Oklahoma Catholic, the diocese's newspaper.

The Pryor girl maintains that her former parish priest, the Rev. John Jangam, molested her on several occasions in 1999 when she was 13. The diocese withdrew its sponsorship of Jangam, a foreign priest, and he was returned to India.

The case was not reported to authorities. Diocese officials said the girl told them initially only that Jangam had tried to hug and kiss her, and that her family did not want the matter reported to police.

Slattery's office said earlier that Jangam had been excommunicated because he revealed what the girl said to him during confession. Jangam maintains that he has not been excommunicated and that he is running an orphanage in India.

He denied the girl's allegations but did acknowledge that she was in his bedroom once to watch television.

The girl said Sunday that a parish member at the meeting asked Slattery to explain whether Jangam had been excommunicated. Slattery replied that Jangam had, but he refused to elaborate when a parish member asked him to explain the process, she said.

Slattery "got upset when people started asking questions. Everyone was mad," the girl said.

Several parishioners came over to comfort her, she said.

As Slattery left the church, the girl said, a woman standing next to her confronted him.

"This lady said, `Don't you think you owe her an explanation?' and he just walked out."

Another parish member, who asked that her name not be used, attended the meeting and said "many of us were outraged."

"We have been told this week that someone was coming to talk to us, to listen to us and answer our questions," the woman said. "We wanted to know what happened with Father John."

She said "everyone was surprised" when Slattery appeared.

"The bishop spoke less than five minutes. He said he read the details of what happened in the paper, just like we did," she said.

Slattery promised that he would come back to tell parishioners the results of the diocese investigation, and then said he had another appointment and had to leave, she said.

"We were all just sitting there looking at each other like, `You've got to be kidding me.' . . . The bishop was getting nervous."

The woman said she told Slattery, "I was under the impression that we were going to get some answers tonight."

"He said, `I'm sorry you had that impression.' "

The woman said several parishioners walked out of the meeting.

The meeting took place in a church banquet room, and was initially a potluck supper welcoming the new priest. A long banquet table was loaded with homemade dishes, and purple candles sat in the middle of round dining tables.

The girl said Slattery kept reminding members that "this is supposed to be a party."

Ziva Branstetter, World projects editor, can be reached at 581-8378 or via e-mail at .


Copyright © 2002, World Publishing Co. All rights reserved.


Sunday, August 04, 2002

The Famous Bishops' Secret Letter via Deal Hudson

Crisis Magazine