Daily archives: November 26th, 2009

Thomas Mangiantini Killed His Sons, His Wife and Himself

The tragic news from the Chicago Tribune:

Police have recovered a note left behind by Thomas Mangiantini, who they say killed his two young sons, his wife and himself in their Addison home.

The note, one page long and handwritten, was discovered late Wednesday night, hours after the bodies of Mangiantini, his wife Elizabeth and their sons Tommy Jr., 8, and Angelo, 12, were found, according to Addison Police Chief Tim Hayden.

Hayden would not disclose the contents of the note, but said Mangiantini was distraught.

The police chief also said two guns were recovered from the scene and Mangiantini used both of them to shoot his family. The police have not yet determined to whom the guns were registered, Hayden said.

Thomas E. Mangiantini, 48, killed his wife and children before shooting himself in the mouth, Hayden said. He was found dead in his bedroom.

The DuPage County coroner ruled today that Elizabeth Mangiantini died of a single gunshot wound to the head. Tommy Jr. was also shot once in the head and Angelo suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the head, the coroner said. Their deaths were classified as homicides.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the relatives of this family.

Read more here.

Virginia Couple Crashes Obama’s First State Dinner

White House party crashers

Somebody needs to answer for this. A couple from Virginia crashed a White House state dinner. Yes, that’s the couple above with Vice President Joe Biden.  The Secret Service first learned of the security breach when the couple posted pictures from the event on their Facebook page.

Apparently they just walked into the White House.

From the New York Times:

This much is known: About 7:15 Tuesday night, a glittering blonde, decked out in a red and gold sari, holding the hand of her black-tuxedoed escort, swept past the camera crews and reporters camped out to catch the red-carpet arrivals for the first state dinner given by President Obama.

“Hey, that’s a Desperate Housewife!” one reporter yelled out, alluding to the TV series named for a collection of them.

In fact, the couple — Michaele Salahi and her husband, Tareq — are Virginians who have been auditioning for a possible role in a different housewives TV franchise: “The Real Housewives of Washington.”

They swept past the camera crews and followed the trail of other bigwigs attending the dinner.

But neither Mr. nor Mrs. Salahi, best known in the Washington area for promoting wine and polo in Virginia, were on the guest list for the event, a fact first reported Wednesday morning on the Washington Post Web site.

A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the Salahis had not been invited nor seated for dinner.

The couple “went through magnetometers and other levels of security,” according to a Secret Service spokesman. The fact remains, however, that these two enjoyed unprecedented access to the President of the United States, even if they did not meet him directly.

What an incredible and apparently unprecedented security lapse.

The investigation continues.

Read more here.

Irish Report Unambiguous: Catholic Church Covered Up Sexual Abuse of Children

The report concerning the alleged sexual abuse of children by clergy released today by the Department of Justice, Equality and Reform in Ireland is unequivocal in its conclusions: the Roman Catholic Church engaged in widespread cover-up.

From paragraph 1.10 of the report (emphasis added):

The Commission examined complaints in respect of over 320 children against the 46 priests in the representative sample. Substantially more of the complaints relate to boys – the ratio is 2.3 boys to 1 girl.

From paragraph 1.15 of the report:

The Dublin Archdiocese’s pre-occupations in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse, at least until the mid 1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the Church, and the preservation of its assets. All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities. The Archdiocese did not implement its own canon law rules and did its best to avoid any application of the law of the State.

Regarding the alleged ignorance of child sexual abuse, paragraph 1.17:

The authorities in the Archdiocese of Dublin and the religious orders who were dealing with complaints of child sexual abuse were all very well educated people. Many had qualifications in canon law and quite a few also had qualifications in civil law. This makes their claims of ignorance very difficult to accept. Child sexual abuse did not start in the 20th century. Since time immemorial it has been a “delict” under canon law, a sin in ordinary religious terms and a crime in the law of the State. Ignorance of the law is not a defence under the law of the State. It is difficult for the Commission to accept that ignorance of either the canon law or the civil law can be a defence for officials of the Church.

Regarding the alleged failure by the Church to implement its own rules:

The Church authorities failed to implement most of their own canon law rules on dealing with clerical child sexual abuse. This was in spite of the fact that a number of them were qualified canon and civil lawyers. As is shown in Chapter 4, canon law appears to have fallen into disuse and disrespect during the mid 20th century. In particular, there was little or no experience of operating the penal (that is, the criminal) provisions of that law. The collapse of respect for the canon law in Archdiocesan circles is covered in some detail in Chapter 4. For many years offenders were neither prosecuted nor made accountable within the Church. Archbishop McQuaid was well aware of the canon law requirements and even set the processes in motion but did not complete them. Archbishops Ryan and McNamara do not seem to have ever applied the canon law.

Catholic Church policy is ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’:

The American phrase, “don’t ask, don’t tell” is appropriate to describe the attitude of the Dublin Archdiocese to clerical sex abuse for most of the period covered by the report. The problem as a whole never seems to have been discussed openly by the Archbishop and his auxiliaries, at least until the 1990s. Complainants were told as little as possible. The note “Gain his knowledge, tell him nothing” for dealing with complainants and witnesses, discussed in Chapter 4, typifies the attitudes of the Archdiocese.

The existence of a cover-up is clear, according to the report:

As can be seen clearly from the case histories, there is no doubt that the reaction of Church authorities to reports of clerical child sexual abuse in the early years of the Commission’s remit was to ensure that as few people as possible knew of the individual priest’s problem. There was little or no concern for the welfare of the abused child or for the welfare of other children who might come into contact with the priest. Complainants were often met with denial, arrogance and cover-up and with incompetence and incomprehension in some cases. Suspicions were rarely acted on. Typically complainants were not told that other instances of child sexual abuse by their abuser had been proved or admitted. The attitude to individual complainants was overbearing and in some cases underhand (see Chapter 58).

The report, released to the government in July but publicly released today, covers each case in detal.

How many other countries are doing similar investigations right now? This behavior is beyond damnable.

Dublin Catholic Diocesan Report Shows ‘Number of Errors’

Following up on the breaking story of a panel report which alleges the Catholic Church in Ireland covered up reports of child abuse in Ireland by clergy, a RTÉ report alleges issues over reports on abusers by the Granada Institute.

From RTÉ:

In one case of a priest named as Fr Terentius there were a number of errors in the report forwarded by the Institute.

It states that in the Granada report that the priest had not admitted to any allegations when in fact he had admitted to several incidents involving six young boys.

The Commission states that the report from the Granada Institute was ‘seriously deficient’.

The Granada report also states that two boys were 17 years of age at the time of abuse when according to the Commission they were 13 or 14 years of age.

Another claim in the report from Granada about Fr Terentius states that he is undergoing therapy on an individual basis

The Commission questions this as well as a number of other claims in the report.

Read more.

Roman Catholic Church Covered Up Child Abuse in Ireland, Panel Finds

From the New York Times:

An expert commission says the Roman Catholic Church in Dublin covered up decades of priests’ sexual abuse of children because its bishops were determined to protect the church’s reputation at the expense of victims.

Abuse victims have welcomed Thursday’s publication of a government-ordered investigation into how scores of priests were permitted to molest and rape boys and girls with impunity for decades.

The 720-page report analyzes the cases of 46 priests from 1975 to 2004 against whom 320 complaints were filed. The report names 11 priests who were convicted of child abuse but the others, either dead or yet to face trial, have their names omitted or replaced with aliases.

Investigators spent three years poring over 60,000 previously secret Dublin church files.

The NYTimes indicates that the text above is a breaking news update. A more complete story will follow.

Update: The NYTimes published a longer, updated story filed at 10:52 a.m. ET.  Read the entire article here.

Turning Left will follow this story as it make its way through the Irish legal system. No further comment right now.