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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Patricia Gibson and Monsignor Rohlfs

Patricia Gibson and Monsignor Rohlfs

In January, 2002, we left for Haiti again and worked in a hospital on the southern coast for about a month. We brought back some kids for cardiac surgery at OSF at the end of the month. As detailed in another post, 2002 was Haitian Hearts best year raising money for Children's Hospital of Illinois ($445,000).

I felt bad that I had been fired by the hospital that I loved, but we were pressing forward with the work in Haiti.

I attempted many times to get an appointment with Bishop Jenky but was unsuccessful.

I met with a Monsignor in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria who described the “corporate malaise” at OSF. (This Monsignor was never allowed to meet with me again.) I decided to follow the Catholic Canon Law and consider filing a tribunal law suit against OSF for multiple reasons that will be outlined in further posts. (A Catholic tribunal court is a “church-court” that does not seek a financial settlement; it searches for the truth and tries to correct the problem). This type of court is described in the Bible. I discussed this with Patricia Gibson in mid-2002. Gibson is a civil lawyer and canon law lawyer who left her practice to become Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.

I presented my “case” to her complete with papers, articles, etc. describing the OSF debacle. She agreed completely, and would shake her head in disgust at the history I was giving her. She stated that it would be nice if this could be solved “administratively”. (The Diocese would sit down with OSF and try and figure this out around a table and see what could be done to protect the Sister’s mission and philosophy.) So for months, I met with her and other people to try and solve this “administratively”. On one occasion when Gibson and Monsignor Rohlfs (the Vicar General of the Diocese) met with the Sisters, Gibson related that Rohlfs was very disturbed about what he heard about OSF and that “Haitian Hearts is a minor problem” (compared to the others). I aked Gibson if she could be my canon law lawyer in a tribunal, if it occurred, against OSF. She declined immediately stating that “would be conflict of interest”. I didn’t completely understand this after I had poured out my heart and many specific details to her for many months regarding the problems at OSF. I thought she understood the corporate malaise as well as anyone. I was in for an education again.

I was encouraged that the Diocese would be pro active like this and when my brother and I met with Gibson and Rohlfs in Rohlfs office on December 2,2002 they helped us draft a letter of petition to the Sisters to discuss important issues to try and avoid a Church tribunal against OSF. (Four months later, both Rohlfs and Gibson told me that if I even “petitoned” the Sisters for a tribunal court, the Diocese would pull any support from Haitian Hearts in the media. Haitian kids suffering heart defects would be held hostage to not embarrassing the hospital with a tribunal court.)

During our meeting Monsignor Rohlfs looked up at my brother and me and asked us if the Diocese could be of any help to us regarding Haitian Hearts. We hadn’t come in that day (December 2, 2002) to discuss Haitian Hearts so that caught us off guard. I was headed back to Haiti in early January. We told him everything was going as well as possible, even with my firing from OSF the previous December, and OSF pulling all financial support from Haitian Hearts in July, 02. Haitian Hearts had raised more money for CHOI in 2002 than any other year as mentioned above.

Then I received a certified letter in the mail at home and understood why Monsignor Rohlfs may have been asking if we needed any help with Haitian Hearts…..

September 4, 2006:

Yesterday, someone sent me the following article. It is not complementary to the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. Monsignor Rohlfs had many problems on his hands in Peoria and unfortunately Haitian kids were low on his priority list.

Monsignor Rohlfs left Peoria a couple of years ago and is Director of a seminary close to Archbishop Myers.

The following article was NOT reported in Peoria:

Newark bishop off abuse panel

Myers left a 'mess' in Peoria, insider says

Thursday, September 19, 2002

By The Associated Press

CHICAGO - The archbishop of Newark is leaving a panel formed to implement the church's new sex abuse rules, a newspaper reported yesterday.

Newark Archbishop John J. Myers, formerly bishop of Peoria, is the latest member to leave the Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Assault, which drafted a policy to punish and expel abusers, the Chicago Tribune reported. It was previously announced that Auxiliary Bishop A. James Quinn of Cleveland and Bishop John McCormack of Manchester, N.H., would leave the panel.

Myers' successor in Peoria, Bishop Daniel Jenky, removed seven priests for alleged abuse last May, and some parishioners said Myers had left the problem for Jenky. Cleveland and New Hampshire also have undergone extensive investigations of sex abuse.

"We're not saying these are bad men," the Rev. Richard McBrien, a University of Notre Dame theology professor, told the Tribune. "But when we're in the kind of crisis we're in, you have to bend over backwards to make sure that everybody who is representing the church - and in this case the bishops - is carrying no baggage whatsoever.

"John Myers left a very messy situation in Peoria," McBrien added.

David Clohessy, national director for the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests, said it was wise to remove the bishops.

"It's simply a smart PR move when you have scores and scores of bishops from which to choose to take men like McCormack and Quinn and Myers out of the spotlight on the sexual abuse issue," Clohessy said. "Given what's come to light about (Myers') tenure in Peoria, I think it would be embarrassing were he to be reappointed."

Myers' spokesman, Jim Goodness, said Myers was not asked to leave the committee.

"The real reason was just that he had a specific purpose for being on the committee at the time - to help draft the (policy) document," Goodness said. "Now that that is drafted, it's time for the committee to move on. It naturally would occur that some others would move onto the committee."

Bill Ryan, spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, agreed with Goodness.

"It wasn't anything based on any criticism that any of these individuals had received," he said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i think you have put yourself up against a goliath the federal government wasnt even capable of giving out the punishment these pedophile priests deserved much less the ones that aided and abetted the corruption runs deep through the catholic church it has for centuries thats what brought people to america all that religous persecution they considered it bad enough to keep the catholics out of america the irish eventually got them over here im sure you dont need a history lesson but it just goes to show history does repeat itself differnt time and place but its still the same ol thing as centuries ago only instead of being poisened by the borgias they just fire you LOL This is the kind of stuff that sours people on religion many people have never even met a "real" or a "devout" catholicjust some watered down version of one so sad god will hold these men accountable "where much is known much is expected" they are pulling people away from god with these corrupt and or perverted actions little do they realize how shortlived their power here on earth really is.God has told us it is a sin to stand in the way of a mans salvation these actions by the priests and church has thrown a stumbling block in the road for many who are seeking god they should know their souls are truly in danger the whole church needs to wake up their ignorance wont save them they are bringing judgement down on themselves with this apathy keep fighting the good fight and keep your slingshot loaded

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