Much ink has been spilled over the last two weeks, regarding the canonical trial of Anthony Apuron, our disgraced and disgraceful ( still in title) Archbishop.
The international Press made a lot of hay about the sending of Cardinal Burke, to our shores.
The rumor mill of the Vatican, went viral as to the reason of his pick for this sensitive mission.
It became obvious very fast, that this decision, while understandable, and justified, could have some lasting impact on our fight to rid ourselves of an hypocrite and disgusting pedophile, who used the power of his pulpit to advance, abet and shoulder many injustices, abuses and grossly heretical positions.
The reality that a weak case against Apuron, could lead to him getting off Scot-free, at his Roman trial, because of the lack of testimony by the victims, was no longer to be dismissed.
We, at Jungle Watch were bombarded by many opinions, and advises, from a concerned public.
These concerns were mostly justified and the anxiety felt by many people was fed by the many suppositions in the main stream media.
Our conversations led to Mrs Haselberger, a prominent Canon Lawyer from St Paul MN, who was involved in several public cases, who has been willing to answer questions from both the Press and some active participants, to clarify several issues at hand.
Her answers are plain and to the point.
Let me share with you some of the main points made.
While she strongly wished to not say anything critical about the victims or their Attorney, she points to several factors.
- It is a mistake not to participate in the process. Without the evidences provided by the victims, it is possible that the Tribunal will not have enough upon which to base an affirmative decision
- The Tribunal may consider that their refusal to participate reflects negatively on their claim.
- While the thought of appearing in front of the Tribunal, specially without legal counsel, might be intimidating, the victims should be encouraged to try and find an acceptable compromise. For instance, the tribunal might be willing to allow them to respond to questions in writing, as is often done in cases for declarations of nullity of marriage.
- It is also important for everyone to understand that the canonical process is a very different process that the adversarial, common law process of our civil courts. The victims, should they participate, would not be subject to cross examination by the attorney for the defense. The only people allowed to pose questions to the witnesses are the judges. The advocates can propose questions, but it is for the judges to determine if those questions are relevant, should be asked, and then to actually do the interviewing.
"While I do not agree with Cardinal Burke on every matter, I know him to have a true respect of the Law. He would not permit a matter in which he is involved to be manipulated in such a way as to cause harm to one who sought Justice. I also know that his personal sense of integrity is such that he would never countenance the sexual abuse of minor, and would punish such offense, should it be proven, to the full extent of the law. I am confident that he can be trusted in this matter, and I would encourage any victim to try and find a way to assist him in this important matter."
To me this last paragraph is very telling and important, for the four victims and their Attorney Mr Lujan to consider. In view of the personal track record of Mrs Haselberger and her great reputation, it is not to be taken lightly.
As Catholics we must all thrive to not only bring evil to Justice, but also to make sure that we fight evil within the confine of our Church.
I am fully aware, of the difficult and gut wrenching decision process the Victims are facing, and I pray very strongly that they shall find the discernment to do the right thing for their Church, as well as for themselves, not only as Victims, but as survivors who will be able to continue growing in their faith despite all the wrongs they experienced.