Fr Gallagher broke his year-long silence over the affair to tell how the priest from India at the centre of the abuse scandal is a danger to children.
He says he has been unable to find out where the priest is now. [So even though convicted and sentenced to 6 months in prison and a year probation…..did he ever eve serve his time, or was he enabled to flee the country before a verdict was reached?]
He has written to bishops and cardinals in Ireland and America about the case – as well as Vatican officials – and has, so far, been unable to get a satisfactory response…..
…..The astonishing case began in January last year when Father Jose Palimattom – who had been at the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ Catholic Church in West Palm Beach for just four weeks – approached a 14-year-old boy after Mass.
He showed the teenager up to 40 images of naked boys.
Police believe he was in the first stages of grooming his victim.
Later that night, Palimattom sent the boy a message on Facebook which read: “Good night. Sweet dreams.” [Sick. This is the second report of perverse, unpriestly behavior by an Indian priest we’ve had in the last two months. This is just one of many problems with trying to deal with the priest shortage by importing foreign priests of dubious provenance]
However, the teenager told a friend who reported it to the church choirmaster, who immediately told Father Gallagher. [Everyone did their job. Good]
The priest says he was told that night by a church official in Florida: “We need to make him go away, put on a plane”.
In documents filed to the Vatican by a specialist Canon Lawyer on behalf of Fr Gallagher, the priest claimed he was instructed ‘do not keep written notes’ by the same church official. [Vicar general? Chancellor? Another report said the call came from the woman. So I would suspect the chancellor, Lorraine Sabatella. Are there any male chancellors, I ask only somewhat facetiously?] The legal document was sent to Cardinal Gerhard Muller, Prefect of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.
After the incident involving the boy, Fr Gallagher disregarded the instruction to put Fr Palimattom on a plane to Bangalore.
Instead, he interviewed Fr Palimattom along with a retired police officer, who was one of his parishioners.
The parishioner, who took notes at the meeting, said the Indian priest not only admitted showing nude pictures of boys to the local teenager, but also admitted he had sexually assaulted young boys in India before arriving in the States.
It was a confession he would repeat within hours to detectives assigned to the case from a specialist unit of the West Palm Beach Police.
Fr Gallagher said he immediately called the Sheriff’s Department of the West Palm Beach police, following rules set down by the American Church after hundreds of child sex abuse scandals…. [Poor Fr. Gallagher didn’t know – those rules are meant to be broken!]
…..”It was made clear to me that what I had done (co-operating with the police) wasn’t what I should have done,” he said.
“It was a very distressing time for me and the parish. But we had a special Mass and I told the congregation what had happened. I told them it was now in the hands of the rightful authorities, the police.
“Palimattom was on the local TV news as his arrest became public. I did the right thing.”
Church officials dealt with the boy and his family through lawyers and an out-of-court settlement was made.
In February, says Fr Gallagher, he learned of a bid to have him moved at a meeting attended by around 100 Hispanic Catholics, most of them from outside the parish.
He had brought in a Spanish priest to celebrate Spanish Masses and was unaware of any complaints.
In late April, he says, he was called to a meeting by the Bishop of Palm Beach, Gerald Barbarito. Three other officials were there. [Danger Will Robinson! I sure hope he didn’t go alone]
Fr Gallagher says he was due to be promoted, but instead was told to continue in his role for another year, when it would be reviewed again.
He says he wasn’t happy with the decision, but was completely unprepared for a phone call from Bishop Barbarito the next day.
“He told me I was being demoted,” said Father Gallagher.
“No reason was given. I asked if I could meet with him again and this was refused. He said if I didn’t wish to be demoted and moved to another parish, I should leave the priesthood.” [The goal is to get him out. He’s not a “team player.” If he stays, he will be put in a position where he can never “harm” the team again. Because it’s not about souls, is it, it’s about money and protecting a certain tight knit and incredibly influential cadre]
Less than four weeks later Fr Gallagher was rushed to hospital in an ambulance with a suspected heart attack after becoming unwell whilst hearing Confessions.
He says he felt aggrieved when Bishop Barbarito visited him in hospital but didn’t anoint him or bring Communion.
Six days later he asked Dominican nun Sister Ann Monahan to retrieve files on the Fr Palimattom scandal from his office at the Holy Name of Jesus Christ church.
She managed to do this, but when she returned later, she was stopped by church officials and the keys to the building taken off her.
“I was told to leave. When I protested, I was told ‘you’re fired’,” Sister Monahan (84) said.
“I’m a Dominican and our motto is ‘The Truth’ and that is all Father John ever did as a priest, tell the truth.
“I’ve been a nun for 67 years and I felt I was treated badly and Father John was treated very badly indeed. I find it hard to forgive them (the Church) for what happened.”
She has now been officially retired.
When Fr Gallagher got out of hospital he returned to his parochial house to find the locks changed. A new priest had been appointed. [The diocese disputes this]
He had been due to leave, under the bishop’s orders, a month later, in July.
“I was in shock,” said Fr Gallagher. “I had just suffered a suspected heart attack and wanted to return to my home to recover. Instead, I was homeless.”
A letter from the bishop to his priest suggested he needed ‘treatment’ for his mental health and an all-expenses paid trip was offered to a clinic in Pennsylvania.
Fr Gallagher refused to go and has been on paid leave since. [Disobedience! That’ll get you in trouble! Of course, that trip to the clinic would have seen him out of the priesthood, too, for all intents and purposes. At least in this country. Sort of a damned if you do, etc. situation.]
When police involved in the child porn scandal learned of his absence, they wrote to Church leaders including Cardinal Sean O’Malley in Boston, who heads a pontifical commission for the Protection of Minors set up by Pope Francis in 2014. [Several police officials wrote glowingly of Gallagher, saying he responded in model fashion and probably prevented the abuse of any number of boys. Even though they have written to several Church officials including Cardinal Sean O’Malley (one of Franky’s faves), there has been zero response]
…….Fr Gallagher has been living in a holiday home loaned to him by a parishioner since last July.
His Bishop only communicates with him via Fr Gallagher’s specialist Canon Lawyer.
He has written numerous letters to bishops and cardinals on both sides of the Atlantic.
Bishop Diarmuid Martin wrote back to him, and left a voice message, and Fr Gallagher believes that the church in Ireland can help “break the wall of silence over here (in Florida)”.
He went on: “Because of the structure of the church, each diocese is run separately from the other, so there is no broad church.
“This is now 2016 and this is what happens to whistleblowers in the Catholic Church.
“Pope Francis speaks of ridding our church of the crimes of sexual abuse and being open and honest about doing it. I haven’t seen that in Pope Francis’s Church yet.” [A lot of things Francis says exist only in his mind]
Both the parish where Father Gallagher served and his Diocesan headquarters, including the bishop, were asked to comment.
Despite numerous emails and phone calls to the Palm Beach Diocese, there was no response. [Nor was there any response to calls to many other Church officials charged with investigating boy rape]
Irish priest rolled by Florida Diocese for reporting abusive priest? January 27, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, manhood, persecution, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, the struggle for the Church, unbelievable BS.
That’s certainly the way it seems, in a link sent to me by reader UF. Fr. John Gallagher is a priest originally from Ireland who had been serving in the Diocese of West Palm Beach (site of the Fr. Euteneuer imbroglio). His parish was assigned a new priest from India. Very shortly after the Indian priest’s arrival, Fr. Gallagher received a report that the Indian priest had shown pornographic pictures of little boys to a 14 y/o parishioner. Fr. Gallagher interviewed the Indian priest about the matter, and after eliciting a confession, immediately contacted the police.
Was Fr. Gallagher hailed as a hero by the Diocese of West Palm Beach for his prompt action in defense of souls and his strict adherence to the nationwide “zero-tolerance” policy we hear so much about? No, he was not. In fact, he claims he has been ostracized and persecuted ever since, as the Diocese seems to have wanted this matter hushed up and the Indian priest quickly flown out of the country (safe from US law enforcement). If you thought the “Dallas policy,” safe environment training, and all the rest had led to an end to the kind of behavior that all but shattered the Church’s credibility in the 90s and 00s, you have another think coming. The men responsible for that disaster are still in power, and they haven’t learned a thing*:
So, there you go. While some priests get unfairly railroaded due to false accusations, those who report too quickly also get railroaded. It’s almost like there’s a conspiracy to drive good men from the priesthood. I don’t know anyone who thinks things have really changed in the Church. We can see the culture of cover up and the self-serving interest of life-long bureaucrats still predominates. Those who get in the way – children, faithful, priests – are simply crushed.
*- Except that it’s easier to apply one-size fits all, wholly ineffective measures like “safe environment,” whose sole purpose is to limit fiduciary liability on the part of dioceses in the case of current or future abuse. Make the saps in the laity bear the burden of the clergy’s sins by putting them through this silly training and putting all of them through background checks, because that, at least, will give us a strong legal argument that “we did everything we could” when the next round of cases come (and come they will, given the number of perverse men still in the priesthood), and will hopefully reduce liability by an order of magnitude or more.
That’s also why priests are so expendable in this policy, for even dubious allegations. It’s much quicker to throw an innocent priest under the bus and to reach a quick settlement than to go to trial and possibly get slapped with a large jury award should the priest turn out to actually be guilty (even if he’s not).
That’s certainly not to say abuse is not still on-going, as we see with the above. I would imagine that at least a good 70% or so of accused priests are indeed guilty and are not being railroaded. But justice is supposed to be predicated on truth, not convenience, and even one innocent priest getting railroaded is an obscenity. Unfortunately, most bishops would prefer to send a few innocent men to jail, or at least kick them out of the priesthood, than to have another multi-hundred dollar judgment. Because think of all they good they can do with that money: