Christians forgive, don't fight back, don't retaliate. In this world, in short, they are easy victims, be it of Isis and other violent Muslims in Asia and Africa or of people who try to milk the Church by way of false accusations in our part of the world.
But at least one priest is pushing back.
Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang, a 31-year-old Chinese priest who had faced religious persecution in China for his faith, went to America and experienced something similar, albeit presented in a different way.
Not once but twice the St. Louis priest was falsely accused and cleared. He says that the police officers who arrested him didn't investigate the claims, otherwise they wouldn't have arrested him.
In the first case, involving a girl, Judge Chris Kunza Mennemeyer dismissed the charge of "child endangerment" in November 2013 because Father Jiang had never been alone with the alleged victim, so it was impossible for him to perpetrate the sex abuse of which he had been wildly accused.
In the second case, in April 2014 prosecutors charged Fr. Jiang with two felony counts of first-degree statutory sodomy involving a boy younger than 14.
The archdiocese [of St. Louis] said in a statement issued Friday that the new allegation was reported through the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline by a family who over the past year has been pursuing a claim against the archdiocese related to their child being bullied by other students.At the time the archdiocese of St. Louis released this statement:
“The family had never claimed that their child was abused by a priest until this week,” the statement said. “Fr. Jiang voluntarily surrendered yesterday at the request of police pending a decision whether charges are going to be brought.”
“During the investigation into the veracity of the abuse allegation, Fr. Joseph Jiang agreed to undergo an independent polygraph examination. According to the report released, the examiners concluded that Fr. Jiang responded truthfully in his steadfast denials of sexual abuse of a minor at any point in his life, both during his interview and polygraph examination.”Last month prosecutors decided to dismiss the charges, quite likely for lack of any evidence to support them.
Now Father Jiang has resolved that enough is enough and, in a first, he has filed a federal lawsuit against his accusers, members of the St. Louis police department for publicly accusing him of being a child molester and two leaders of the group SNAP, who launched a smear campaign against him through the media.
From The Media Report:
In both 2012 and 2014, Rev. Jiang was publicly accused of abuse charges which received wide media attention with SNAP breathlessly claiming that Jiang was a dangerous child molester on the prowl. Yet even at a glance the accusations against Jiang were clearly bogus.SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) is a controversial association. Reading its material, you find plenty of cases in which a mere accusation, unsupported or not established to be true, against a Catholic priest is treated as an irrefutable proof of guilt. They don't seem to go by the rule "innocent until proven guilty" but on the contrary "guilty until proven innocent (and even after that)".
In his lawsuit, Fr. Jiang sets forth a litany of facts which demonstrate just how crazy one accuser's claims were from the start:
◾The accuser's fourth-grade teacher has stated that it was "virtually impossible" that Fr. Jiang pulled the accuser "out of line" at school and abused him as claimed;
◾"The alleged victim had made previous unfounded allegations of sexual abuse";
◾"[The accuser's] fourth-grade teacher indicated that [the accuser] was a serial exaggerator to the point of being 'delusional'";
◾"[The accuser's] parents had a history of making unfounded claims against the Catholic Church for monetary gain";
◾"[The accuser] has never had any personal acquaintance with Fr. Joseph, and he could not identify Fr. Joseph's name when he made the allegation";
◾"[A parent of the accuser once] physically assaulted the principal of [a Catholic school] by choking him or her";
◾"The accusations were brought by a deeply troubled and unreliable 12-year-old boy at the suggestion of his abusive father."
Based in St Louis, SNAP refers clients to law firms that have pried no less than 2 billion dollars from the US Catholic Church in settlements and judgements between 1992 and 2010, some of which the law firms return to SNAP in donations. A SNAP director had a salary of $90,000 a few years ago.
The two leaders of SNAP who fiercely attacked Father Jiang in the media are Barbara Dorris and David Clohessy. The latter says that he had repressed his memories of abuse at the hands of a priest.
Indeed, many of the claims against Catholic clergy have been based on "repressed and then recovered memories", although the theory behind them is not accepted by the consensus of scientific psychology, despite being the basis of widespread beliefs and practices of lots of "therapists" in a field which is unregulated and where rarely a professional is accountable for his actions and malpractice, unlike other professionals like doctors.
Memory simply doesn't work like that. Memory is not the faithful taperecorder or mirror of events that most of us believe it to be: it's much more "creative" than that.
World expert on memory, Professor Elizabeth Loftus of the University of California, Irvine, for 30 years has been performing experiments showing that any memory can be easily implanted, making people "remember" with certainty something that never happened.
Many lies have been told especially by the media about the Catholic Church mostly invented sex abuse scandal. The "repressed memories syndrome" is one aspect of that false scenario.