Reverend Gil Gustafson
One thing you can't fault with the Catholic Church, they take care of their own -- even their own pedophiles. Don't believe me? Look at these clips from an article in The Raw Story:
According to an article in the Star Tribune, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis continued to pay the salary and health insurance premiums — as well as provide living expenses — for a pedophile priest who was convicted on child sex abuse charges over 30 years ago.
Join me in a head scratch over this one. Maybe with a little more factual information, I'll grasp this situation better.
In 1983, the Reverend Gil Gustafson admitted to a Ramsey County District Court that he molested Brian Herrity for five years, beginning when the boy was 10 years old. He was fined $40 and sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years on probation. The vicar general in charge of clergy abuse cases, Rev. Kevin McDonough, believes that Gustafson abused between four and fifteen victims, including Herrity.
Wow. A self-confessed child sex offender who molested a child for five years, starting when the boy was 10 years old, is given a $40 dollar fine and half a year in jail. "Houston, we have a problem -- and it's in Minneapolis."
With such a light sentence, the message seems to be loud and clear -- to the courts in Minnesota and the Roman Catholic church -- pedophilia isn't a serious crime. Think I'm being smart-alecky? Remember I said the Rev was given a six month sentence?
After four-and-a-half months in jail, he was released into the care of the Church, and the archbishop at the time, John Roach, lobbied to have Gustafson reinstated.
“I want him back in a parish,” [arch-bishop] Roach wrote in 1990. “He has received and complied with far more treatment than anyone else, and it seems to me he has done it well.”
The Arch Bishop wants this criminal back? Why? Was he procuring boys for the prelate? Imagine, four months treatment and this predator was cured. That must be some great program they have there for sex offenders.
Well, that's the past and we must think of the present. We're taught to forgive and sometimes its hard, but okay. Maybe Reverend Gustafson's made his penance. Then again, maybe not. It seems no church wanted the disgraced clergyman, so get this:
According to the Star Tribune, in addition to the salary, insurance and living expenses given to him by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Gustafson also receives disability.
Salary, insurance, living expenses AND disability? This is astounding. It almost pays -- no, it does pay -- to become a priest and molest a child. You'll be taken care of for life.
The father of the boy rape victim put it perfectly:
Brian Herrity asked the paper, “since when is a crime a disability? If that’s the case, everyone in prison should be disabled.”
And that, fellow readers, is the state of the Catholic Church in Minnesota today. Proud?