In the last few weeks there have been dozens of revelations about sexual harassment and rape among powerful men in America. The latest involve Ken Friedman, a famous restauranteur in New York City. Please read that short link before you read further here. Regardless of the individual circumstances that scenario of abuse of power gives every lay person a window into the last 20 years of the Jefferson City Diocese. Before you go on accusing us of dredging up filth to smear Bishop Gaydos please remember a few things; for starters this Diocese and Boston were at the center of the abuse crisis. There are just a few parishes in the Diocese that didn’t have proven abuse, we are tempted to post a map proving it. People know about their own parish but not others and how broad and systematic the abuse was. That’s abuse perpetrated by someone in authority over someone younger or weaker. And we believe there was hush money, that is why we keep bringing up the lack of funds at the Chancery. Secondly, Bishop Gaydos himself put his stamp of approval on the promotion of the same sort of madness in his own Catholic Schools. And then consistently doubled down on that agenda. Thirdly we have taken pains to publish what the Chancery itself promotes about this agenda. To be clear, that means that we have worked hard not to include personal life details about individual clergy no matter what we encounter. We are lay people not employed by the Diocese, we can’t absolve you of your sins via email and we are not the police or the FBI so if you are in a position of authority and are by law a mandatory reporter of abuse you are required to contact them. The blog is an easy target but the blog won’t be the thing that unleashes a bombshell report on the Diocese, those things go to the national Catholic media and we cut and paste here. Blame us though if it makes you feel better, it won’t make any difference in the outcome.
Which brings us to our main point, and this is a serious point which will probably have consequences for people in power so read it twice. Our clergy in general are so terrified that they refuse to discuss Bishop Emeritus Gaydos’ Transgender Process. If they do come close to mentioning it they simply give homilies condemning those who they believe are stirring up trouble, they wish to be left alone. That is a symptom of a larger problem. Now read these quotes so you can understand why clergy would fear to speak up about many things but specifically something deeply disturbing and dangerous to children in their care:
And the rewards of a job at a Friedman-Bloomfield restaurant can be great. Servers at the top of their game can earn six figures in a year. Working with Ms. Bloomfield confers prestige in restaurants around the world. Mr. Friedman has treated favored employees to after-work drinks, field trips to his beach house and top-tier concert tickets.
She gave notice within days. “I was terrified to tell anyone why,” she said. “Ken bragged about blacklisting people all the time. And we saw it happen.”
She decided to work harder, knowing that pushing back could put her job in jeopardy.
“I made a decision to stay there because I loved the job and I loved April’s food and I believed in it,” she said. “You hike up your bootstraps and you work. That’s how we all survived working for him.”
Mr. Friedman has also been intimidating in other parts of his empire, even to men on the staff. “There were definitely times I was scared of him,” said David Rabig, a former manager at several Friedman restaurants. “He’s a very large man. He likes to threaten to fire people. He liked to remind people he was the boss.”
“I can’t even retell this story now without getting teary. It is one of the many demoralizing experiences that have taken place within my 20+ year waitressing career.”
Employees were told to bring sexual harassment claims directly to restaurant managers.
But the managers interviewed by The Times said that they were often promoted because they were close to Mr. Friedman, so that rarely happened.
“The people you are reporting the abuse to are the abusers.”
Mr. Friedman wrote her a long, profanity-filled email threatening to blackball her in the industry.
“The restaurant industry is very small and tight knit, and he does know everyone.”
“I feel guilty even talking to you,” she said. “But it’s got to stop.”
Come we now ladies and gentlemen to our main point: whether it was abuse of children, abuse of statues or Church property, soliciting and inappropriate behavior with subordinates, or promoting the abuse of children through a Process of indoctrination, the truth eventually comes out. It comes out when the pressure builds to the breaking point inside the abused or it comes out when the abuser loses the power to do the things in bold above. Once the cracks appear the dam breaks. When the truth comes out there are two types of people who knew: those who reported it and those who didn’t. One never knows the exact time when the first credible report will come out but after it happens those who knew and covered it up often get lumped in with the abuser just for knowing and doing nothing. Even if they don’t lose their job they may lose their reputation. In the end the cover up intended to save one’s job is the very thing that destroys their job. Read the articles about the famous men being deposed and pay attention to those surrounding them who also have to resign. We’re not saying it’s fair but it is reality and we are warning you now so that you have the chance to do the right thing before you lose your reputation and your job. This also applies to all people in all circumstances as many Americans are learning the hard way.