Here’s a story you won’t hear in the mainstream media: a priest who was falsely accused of sexual abuse has been vindicated. Check it out:
Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput announced Tuesday that a deceased priest was vindicated of allegations of sexual abuse, said to have occurred decades ago, after a thorough diocesan investigation.
Monsignor William Higgins, a priest who served in the archdiocese for over five decades and who died in 1967, was accused of sexual abuse in 2009 by a woman identified as “Jane Doe.”
However, Chaput said that in the course of litigation and investigation into the allegations, the archdiocese determined that “the plaintiff’s complaint was not credible and the charges made against Msgr. Higgins were groundless.”
He added that “Jane Doe” then freely dismissed her claims against the priest.
“If Msgr. Higgins were alive today, he would be in good standing and able to minister in the archdiocese,” said Chaput. “False charges do inexcusable harm to a priest’s good name, his reputation earned over years of service to others, and to the lay Catholic faithful and other dedicated priests.”
I’ve long suspected that some accusations of abuse were bogus. In this case, notice how the plaintiff freely dismissed the charges once it became clear they had caught her in a lie. This is a disgrace. What a horrible sin to defame an innocent man’s good name. If it wasn’t for the fact that the accused priest is dead, a libel suit may have been in order.
What are the odds that you’ll read about this one in the New York Times?