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Gene Gomulka
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While serving as the Marine Forces Pacific Chaplain based on Oahu from 1999 to 2002, I was told by a Navy Chaplain that a Catholic Chaplain whom I recruited years earlier was cohabitating with a male sailor in Honolulu. The alleged cohabitating Catholic chaplain was not serving with Marines, and was not one of the some 150 chaplains that I supervised. However, because he was a priest of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, U.S.A., I reported the matter in a letter dated May 6, 2002 to the Military Archbishop in Washington, D.C. I did not take any further action in this regard. The priest/chaplain in question did not work for me just as Jerry Sandusky did not work for Joe Paterno who was told that Sandusky appeared to be sexually involved with a boy in a locker room shower in 2002. Might the alleged cohabitating priest merely been offering a sailor a place to stay before he was able to secure more permanent quarters? Might the incident in the shower been inappropriate “horseplay” that was not a more serious long-term problem? I believed it was within the purview of the Military Archbishop to determine the seriousness of the allegations. I tend to think that Joe Paterno trusted that Tim Curley would likewise have investigated the allegations and taken appropriate action. In 2007, five years after I reported the matter involving the alleged cohabitation, the priest in question was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, indecent assault, fraternization, forcible and consensual sodomy, and conduct unbecoming an officer. Just as Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are accused of failing to take appropriate action involving alleged sexual abuse on the part of Jerry Sandusky, so too I believe the former Military Archbishop failed to investigate and take action in the case of the priest who was later convicted of engaging in sex with young Naval Academy midshipmen and Marines while he knowingly was HIV positive. In 1985, Father Tom Doyle, while working at the Vatican Embassy, wrote a report that was sent to the Vatican about a very serious sexual abuse problem involving priests and mainly teenaged boys. We all know now that the Vatican did not take appropriate action and thousands of young people continued to be abused. When the matter was exposed by the Boston Globe in 2002, the same year I wrote the Military Archbishop and the same year Joe Paterno reported alleged abuse to Tim Curley, should Tom Doyle have been accused of not taking appropriate action? Should he be defrocked because he trusted that the Vatican would handle the matter in a just manner? Because I was not in any position to tell the Military Archbishop in 2002 how to do his job and investigate the matter I brought to his attention; and because Tom Doyle was in no position to tell the Pope or Vatican Officials like Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger how to handle the growing abuse problem he documented in his report; it is my opinion that it is unfair to argue that Joe Paterno should have done far more in 2002 than report the Sandusky matter to Tim Curley whom he had no reason to believe would not take appropriate action.
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Nov 7, 2011