Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Msgr. Alan Placa


I wonder if Msgr. Alan Placa will write a book.

I think he should.

Placa is the lawyer/priest, or priest/lawyer, who is a boyhood friend of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, although I don’t know why newspaper editors insist that we always put that in.

Giuliani gave Placa a job when Placa was suspended as a priest for seven years—yeah, who knew?—for sexually abusing a St. Pius X minor seminarian, which wouldn’t have made a difference, legally, anyway, because the statute of limitations had run out.

But that was nothing.

Placa also advised the parents of young people who claim to have been sexually abused by priests that they should meditate and pray for divine guidance (and, he did this repeatedly) and divine mercy and divine wisdom…until, incidentally, the statute of limitations ran out on criminal and civil prosecution of the priests.

Clever, no?

Placa didn’t actually say that in his counsel to the parents, by the way. He kept mum.

Nor did he say that he was a lawyer, as well as a priest. Nor did he point out that he was the lawyer for the Diocese of Rockville Center, where the priests worked. This diocese had a mammoth special interest in the priests’ getting legally far away from these parents, because the parents, besides being driven to homicidal rage by the priests’ behavior, would have sued the…all right… brains…out of them and the Church that employed them.

But, as I said, Placa didn’t mention that when he was acting as advisor, counsel, father confessor…priest, to the parents of the (allegedly) sexually abused children.

The latest on Placa was that he was off priestly suspension, this for sexually abusing a student, himself, also after the statute of limitations had expired (also, after a just-to-be-sure, 7-year investigation by the Pope).

In the book, the one I’m suggesting he write, Placa could justify, or make a logical explanation for; or, capitalize on; or, perhaps profit from his (a) lousy luck during, or, (b) his lousy luck after, the turn-of-the-century, priest-child sex-scandal on Long Island; that followed the City of Boston’s turn-of-the-century, priest-child sex-scandal; or The City of Chicago’s turn-of-the-century, priest-child-sex-scandal; or the Republic of Ireland’s priest-child…(yada-yada-yada).

Were it not for those public scandals, Placa’s handbook on the Church’s handling victims of “short-eyed” priests (a prison term, meaning, child sex-abuser) would have saved the American Church a fortune, and total credit would have gone to Placa.

Basically, Placa, in his advice to other dioceses, says the given diocese has to have an abusive priest counselor (I don’t know how to punctuate that, or what to emphasize in saying it), who is also a lawyer (but who does not say that), who (again, secretly) is also specifically a lawyer for the diocese, as well.

This priest-lawyer acts as a spiritual advisor to the victim and his parents, and should (whisperingly, is my guess) counsel the parents to meditate and pray, and, then meditate and pray, and then to meditate and pray, until the statute of limitation runs out—Oh, look at that; must be God’s divine will—or until one of parties dies (Drat, we’ll never know the truth, now.).

That’s the Alan Placa I know, not just some Giuliani lackey.

Perhaps Placa will gloat in the book, because of his absolutely incredible luck after that unwanted public attention (Well, I may consider it unwanted, come to think of it. He may rejoice in it.) when no less than the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on Earth—and two other guys, Cardinals, I think, single-handedly (well, all right, not literally single-handedly, triple-handedly)—returned him, after seven years priestly suspension, to active duty as a working priest.

Placa can work again in The Diocese of Rockville Center, here on this little island East of New York, The Pope and his committee having determined that he is not a pervert. At least not by their divinely inspired, studied view, and according to the laws of The State of New York, which was clear from the outset.

Just think of the achievement: The Pope has a folder with a case in it (I’m just guessing that they call this a, “case”), with Alan Placa’s name on top of it, and maybe with The Pope’s name on it, too.

Hey, it’s possible; there’s three guys, you know, putting notes on the margins, and they’re sitting around, reviewing the facts. They each have folders, and The Pope’s folder has Al Placa on it.

And he’s making notes, and they are talking about what Alan Placa did or did not do in Uniondale one day, or a bunch of days, with this minor seminarian, this kid. (It really doesn’t matter what his name is, they’re interchangeable, aren’t they.).

That has to be, if not unprecedented, at least unusual enough to set pen to paper (all right, keyboard fingers to hand-held, personal communication device) and message the rest of us (I mean, the rest of the freaking world, really) what it feels like.

Wouldn’t you want to know how humble (or proud) Placa is, how it has changed his—I don’t know—Saturday mornings; or, the way he prays; or whether he quit bowling…no, golf. I forgot. He’s a lawyer…whether he quit playing golf.

Hell, I say there’s a book in that alone.

Then, there’s the question of how did he manage to get in this sordid, creepy little scandal in the first place? Did a parent whose refusals to listen to reason summon Placa’s name to the Bishop, I mean, given his law degree, and everything.
Maybe his success with those parents got him a new (or maybe an old) role with the Diocese, handling other poor souls, whose devotion to Holy Mother Church and priestly respect had been undermined by their own child.

Sometimes, even, they actually believe the child—“God forgive me,”—over the priest, and insist on protesting the priest’s weird, scary (dare I say it) advances, or suggestions, which have the child so upset. Crying even. Confused. Feeling betrayed.
Did Placa protect the Church against that kind of attack?


I wonder if I can stomach reading the book.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, you are right; you are always right.. you know this.
    But, dont let it eat you alive, as it has all your life. The church is not the Divinity we know exists. The "church" is man-made- particularly THESE days.. But God is redeeming all that has gone wrong- in HIS time, not ours. God's will be done.. and this will come to pass.
    In the meantime, please dont ever stop believing because of such arrogant abuse of our naive trust. We need you to find your spritual self inside of you, now.
    Dont stop believing edlowe* yours is the power that can supercede ALL of this.
    with great affection & respect, as always,
    gail c.