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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Better late than never?

I'm glad that former U.S. Representative Mark Foley is informing the Archdiocese of Miami about sexual abuse by a priest that he says he experienced as a teen.

Whatever the reasons for Foley's decision to seek justice and/or closure about the abuse, I think that is a good thing. Where I object is his public announcement about his decision to report the abuse and his timing: three weeks prior to a critical national election. I do not know enough about Mark Foley to judge his character or know his motives, but viewed in this context, this action looks awfully suspicious. Why not report privately and wait to see how the Archdiocese responds first? If the real motive is to move on with his life, why not wait until after the election to keep politics out of it, as much as that is possible?

If these allegiations are true, I do believe that they played a significant role in Foley's subsequent actions, though I still believe he is (and we all are) responsible for the things we do, good and bad. Publicly reporting the priest's actions looks to me like blame shifting and an attempt to change the focus from himself to another person.

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