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Baltimore Priest Shot by Accuser.
May 14, 2002 10:22 PM   Subscribe

Baltimore Priest Shot by Accuser. The suspect told authorities that he shot the priest because the priest rebuffed his demand for an apology over an alleged sexual assault.
posted by Dean_Paxton (21 comments total)

 
It's all seemed so sterile up until now...
posted by a_green_man at 1:13 AM on May 15, 2002


a former parishioner who credits Blackwell with straightening out his 7- year-old daughter two decades ago

Excuse me, but here was the problem. Religious people placed too much trust in their pastors.

And seven years old? the poor kid!
posted by emf at 2:48 AM on May 15, 2002


This is a conspiracy of epic media proportions. It is waking up the world to a fact/way of life that has existed in the church for centuries. Can you remember the first time you heard a joke about it? I think I heard my first back in the 70's. Not to mention the rumors... I've talked to a lot of older folks (WWII era) that say they remember whispers from back to the 20's abd 30's

I see three real problems here:
1. The media is in the midst of a feeding frenzy, no doubt about it... it's gonna be huge all summer long.
2. The church is on the ropes here, they can't possibly defend themselves against this.
3. There a real issues about man - boy abuse that we've been sweeping under the carpet for years and years... We expect boys to "walk it off." If this were girls, they would have been air dropping crisis counselors by the thousands.

I also fear there is a larger issue at hand than even all of this. I fear this marks the beginning of the end of christianity... it's gonna take a while but, this is the seed.

Here's the bottom line, whether or not the media are a pile of opportunistic pricks looking to sell coke and remain objective... or if the church is big enough to withstand all of this... it boils down to a simple matter of people entrusting their children and their childrens "souls" to men who used them for sex... it hardly gets worse than that. Even if the abuse took place 50 or 100 years ago.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 4:28 AM on May 15, 2002


(apologies to #mefi folk who read most of that last nite)
posted by Dean_Paxton at 4:32 AM on May 15, 2002


"it hardly gets worse than that" the weight of history destoys any 'bottom line'. it is not the act (shooting) but the why. (1994, 260 catholic clergy were murdered, almost half from the Rwanda genocide)

Oct. 20, 2000. Harish Purohit was killed because of alleged homosexual activities. He was President of the Hindu federation.

2. "The church is on the ropes here, they can't possibly defend themselves against this." They already have, most of the abuse cases that have hit the media are old abusive...cases. The church, as a whole has been tossing these "preists" to the cops for years. what makes these cases so bad was upper level carpet sweeping. (IMO dupicity/conpiracy is the crime almost equal to the abuse)

3."There a real issues about man - boy abuse that we've been sweeping under the carpet for years and years... We expect boys to "walk it off." If this were girls, they would have been air dropping crisis counselors by the thousands." I agree.


"Excuse me, but here was the problem. Religious people placed too much trust in their pastors.

And seven years old? the poor kid"

i agree. 7 yrs old. thats when my patience ran out. i ranted around the house calling for the 'person' (hes no preist in my book) to be castrated and sent on mine clearing duty in Cambodia...wait, would not want to do that to cambodia.

The last big ordeal Rome went through was what...P2?
this abuse...abuse is to opaque. these crimes can no longer go totally unpunished.


"This is a conspiracy of epic media proportions"

you got my attention on that one.
posted by clavdivs at 5:39 AM on May 15, 2002


Dean, I would go so far as to claim this is the beginning of the end for christianity. The Catholic Church may self-destruct, but that won't bring down Christianity. In fact there are a lot of protestants who don't even include Catholicism in the term christianity when speaking about it. Just because one branch dies, it's wont' take the whole tree with it.
posted by Apoch at 6:02 AM on May 15, 2002


There should be a not right after would up there. Sorry.
posted by Apoch at 6:03 AM on May 15, 2002


Clav: I was hoping someone would catch that. All of our points are dully noted. I could even add more. Plenty of priests died in conversion attempts, wars, etc... but, you already know that. But, did you know that you'll be hard pressed to find many kids that are 10 and under who are at ease with this? I can't... haven't found one yet. After all, those are the parishioners that count, aren't they?

Apoch: I understand what you are saying, for sure. I think that the process of that branch dying (as you deftly put it), will take a long time. 50 years plus. Meanwhile, Christianity is on an definite backslide. If the trend continues... but, all of this will take time. It takes miles to stop a battleship.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 6:41 AM on May 15, 2002


Dontee Stokes should be moved to another parish immediately and forgiven.
posted by timyang at 6:54 AM on May 15, 2002


We expect boys to "walk it off." If this were girls, they would have been air dropping crisis counselors by the thousands.

I certainly hope that that isn't the case....
posted by rushmc at 7:07 AM on May 15, 2002


Stokes = gun control poster boy.

You don't flip out and shoot somebody spontaneously if you're not carrying a gun around with you on the street.

And you don't give a gun permit to somebody with depression.

The church does need zero tolerance for convicted or admitted sexual molesters... but let's not pretend this guy's a hero for shooting a priest either.
posted by Foosnark at 7:31 AM on May 15, 2002



I'm not agreeing with vigilante justice, but if the priests that do these things aren't going to be prosecuted by the law(or even fired) then I would expect to see alot more of these shootings in the future.
posted by stifford at 7:37 AM on May 15, 2002


dontee stokes...something about that name strikes the chord of irony.

"But, did you know that you'll be hard pressed to find many kids that are 10 and under who are at ease with this? I can't"
This is the real bench mark yes? since my two youngins are girls, it is hard to gauge what they feel about this scandel. And there is a sense of quiet with-in, at least in our church. When the news is on around dinner time , i do not turn it off when the church scandel stories start. They (kids) dont ask any questions which either bothers me or...it bothers me. I dont know how to address the issue. After we say dinner prayer, on to the church scandel. But i will not turn off the news. This is censorship at its most fundemental level. But ignoring the issue can is just as bad. (ignoring and sweeping of the issue got the church in trouble in the first place)

these are importent issues, ones that should have come to lite long ago....

"g-18...i have g-18. I-22 thats Ishmel-22"
bingo.
posted by clavdivs at 7:47 AM on May 15, 2002


"You don't flip out and shoot somebody spontaneously if you're not carrying a gun around with you on the street'

most would just pick up a brick and bash his head in.

gun, brick, candlestick. let us NOT turn this conversation into gun control. "The guns did it". if they could just fire ONE shot. or rubber bullets or big blue laser bolts that only stun.

what if, if only............
posted by clavdivs at 7:51 AM on May 15, 2002


I've done some searching, and this seems to be the first incident ... at least in a long time ... where a priest has been attacked due to alleged sexual abuse by said priest.

And yet, as has been noted, stories about priests and abuse have been around for a *long* time. In fact, there has been an abuse scandal at Catholic institutions in all three of the cities I've lived in during my life, from Texas to California, with the cities ranging in size from 3,000 to 3 million.

The church is obviously circling its wagons, and they must have expected something like this sooner or later. It will be interesting to see if their reaction is as out of line with reality as their recent actions have been.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:45 AM on May 15, 2002


Call me a vicariously bloodthirsty frontier-justice @$$hole, but if I'd known he was going to do this, I'd have offered to pay for time and ammo at the range for target practice first. I'm relieved to see that some of these childfucker priest-rapist monsters are now having to experience some real fear and terror because of their heinous mistreatment of children. I'm a Christian, but I believe they individually --and the Church systemically -- have all irreparably abused the notions of forgiveness and absolution, so this is one example of reaping what's been sowed.
posted by alumshubby at 11:56 AM on May 15, 2002


The part that I don't get is, why shoot the priest now? The cause of sexual abuse by priests has very recently been catapulted to national prominence. Public opinion is against the church hierarchy, lawsuits are flying, etc. The chances of this guy being prosecuted and some restitution being made have never been better. He's lived with this for ten years, things finally start to turn around, and now he does something that'll get him a fair chunk of his life in jail? That's sad (as in tragic, not pathetic).
posted by jaek at 12:18 PM on May 15, 2002


jaek, from the stories I've read, it seems that Stokes saw the priest and that triggered a freak out which ended with the shooting. The abuse did happen a decade ago, but with all of the media attention of the issue these days (and the knowledge that the priest bore no repercussions for molesting him, ended up having his parish assignment revoked after molesting again and has never faced criminal charges) it's not so odd to think that the matter has been heavy on the Stokes's mind of late and seeing his perpetrator walking down the street just set him off.

Now Stokes is likely to end up doing considerable jail time while this known predator of children will recover from his injuries and continue to live freely. (Albeit with limited access to trusting children, thank all that's good and holy.) This is justice in America. Feh.
posted by Dreama at 2:08 PM on May 15, 2002


Child abusers are considered the lowest of the low in prision culture, so for Stokes' sake I hope that the converse is true for a child-abuse victim who avenged himself upon his tormentor. As far as I'm concerned, he's struck a blow his for fellow victims as well as himself.
posted by alumshubby at 3:12 PM on May 15, 2002


but let's not pretend this guy's a hero for shooting a priest either.

...as opposed to, say, a fireman or a grocer or an administrative assistant?
posted by rushmc at 5:34 PM on May 15, 2002


As far as I'm concerned, he's struck a blow his for fellow victims as well as himself.

Blackwell should have been thrown out of the church directly into the courtroom and from there to a prison where he could experience molestation from the other end for the rest of his sorry life.

But as sick as child molestation is, I can't believe I'm hearing people say it justifies a worse crime (murder).

As far as I'm concerned, Stokes struck a blow for moronic violent retribution that is only going to make his own life suck even more than it did before.
posted by Foosnark at 9:28 AM on May 16, 2002


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