Written by Bridgette P. LaVictoire at lezgetreal.com Picture: Ron Johnson
Senator Russ Feingold may be the luckiest man in politics right now. While one may think that Chris Coons is lucky because he is facing Christine O’Donnell who believes that evolution is a myth, there are a lot of people in the US who feel that it is. It might be easy to think that Scott McAdams is lucky because he is facing Joe Miller who feels that it is time to get rid of unemployment insurance. There are people who believe just like Miller does. It is, however, hard to find people who will support the right of the Roman Catholic Church to move priests around in order to protect them and it from lawsuit over child sexual abuse. Unfortunately for Ron Johnson, he did just that earlier this year in front of the Wisconsin Legislature.
This is, of course, Wisconsin where Father Lawrence C. Murphy is alleged to have raped and molested some two hundred deaf boys at the St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Johnson testified earlier this year to the state’s Senate at the behest of the Green Bay Diocese Finance Council in opposition of the Child Victims bill which would have made it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to get justice. Currently, the law has a statute of limitations which makes it harder for children to come forward since many are reluctant to do so until after the limit has expired.
It is not surprising that the Green Bay Diocese Finance Council would oppose this legislation given that it is the one who has the ultimate authority to decide what cases are settled and which ones are not, and can override the diocese’s bishop if they so choose. The would obviously oppose the law because it would mean more lawsuits for them should it change.
Johnson’s testimony is unusual, but it could also be very damaging since within it he asks things like “I think its a valid question to ask if the employer of the perpetrator should also be severely damaged, possibly destroyed, in a legitimate desire for justice?” Actually, that only happens if the employer of the perpetrator is stupid enough to transfer the perpetrator away from the scene of the crime. That is collusion after the fact and in a normal setting of two humans engaging in this kind of behavior, the other person would be arrested. In this case, yes, the Church is getting hit because they transferred the priest instead of calling the cops.
Politically this is bad news for Johnson who has, up until now, enjoyed a wide lead in this contest, but that may be changing now with this revelation.