Because all five cases have been filed since early July, they have invited comparison. Father Eremito was removed from his duties in the Archdiocese of New York in 1992 after accusations of sexual abuse. But the career records of the four priests in the Tulsa, Oklahoma City, St. Louis and Cleveland dioceses show no allegations of sex abuse beyond the single accusations that the priests have contested, church officials said. Because of those otherwise unblemished records, all four priests have received at least private endorsement for their civil lawsuits from their bishops, church officials and the priests' lawyers said.
I hope truth comes out - that falsehood on any side is exposed as just that. However, the slight problem I have in this reporting, as well as in other similar types of reports, is the implication that because an alleged victim is a criminal or has had substance abuse problems, they are not credible. Some might see it that way - but I see it this way: Abuse can (although not necessarily does) lead to dysfunctional behavior on the part of the victim. Further, it is not unthinkable that an abuser would purposefully pick out victims who come from damaged backgrounds or are already engaging in questionable behavior as a way of protecting themselves against future accusations - "Look at me! Priest! Look at him! Drug addicted petty thief! Who are you going to believe?"