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Father Joseph Jiang: Supporters of St. Louis Priest Accused of Molestation Launch Website

joseph-jiang-headshot.jpg
via
Father Joseph Jiang.
The sex abuse allegations against Father Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang received renewed attention this month with St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson facing a subpoena and church leaders facing a lawsuit from the accuser's family. As the criminal investigation and legal complaint move forward, a group of Jiang supporters have emerged, most recently launching a website to defend the local priest.

"We believe in Father Joseph's innocence," says Lucy Hannegan, who created the Friends of Fr. Joseph Jiang website. "We don't want to see him tried and convicted in the court of public opinion."

Victims' advocates, however, are slamming this public defense of Jiang as an irresponsible campaign that is damaging and offensive to the accuser and her family.

See also:
- Reverend Xiuhui "Joseph" Jiang Charged with Fondling Teenage Girl
- Fr. Joseph Jiang: Archbishop Robert Carlson Subpoenaed in Priest Sex Abuse Case
- St. Louis Archdiocese Cancels Event to Pray for "Exoneration" of Accused Priest

Jiang has been on administrative leave from his position as an associate pastor at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis since allegations first surfaced last year. Jiang is accused of repeatedly molesting a teenage girl in her home and victims' groups say Carlson tried to cover it up. The lawsuit filed earlier this month alleges that Jiang admitted the abuse to Carlson and tried to pay the family to keep quiet. The complaint also says that Carlson and Jiang were very close and that the archbishop attempted to tamper with evidence by asking the family to give back Jiang's payments.

The churchgoers supporting Jiang -- who are not affiliated with archdiocesan officials -- first got attention with a planned event at the Cathedral Basilica to pray for the "defense and exoneration" of the priest. The Archdiocese canceled the event, had the meetup.com listing deleted and told Daily RFT at the time that it did not know about it until our inquiry.

robert-carlson.jpg
via
Archbishop Robert Carlson.

Now, supporters are running a Friends of Fr. Joseph Jiang blog page, which, Hannegan says, will be used to post updates about the case -- and as a continued defense of the priest.

"There are a lot of priests who have done bad things and they should be punished, but we don't believe Father Joseph is guilty," says Hannegan, a churchgoer who lives in St. Louis and works in retail. "The accusations are out of character with the man I know.... It's not fair to someone who's been accused to treat him this way. That's what the courts are for."

She continues, "People who are acquitted don't get the same publicity.... We're trying to protect his character."

Of the website, she says, "We're going to keep things updated, to try to give both sides of the story."

Hannegan adds, "We're continuing our prayers for everybody involved."

Continue for response from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.


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88 comments
francisfeingold
francisfeingold

Of course it's true that knowledge of a person's good character does not constitute positive proof of their innocence. Everyone has their weaknesses, and strengths in one area can sometimes coexist with glaring weaknesses in another; and even good habits are far from, invincible.

But that being said—I fail to see how the evidence that has been presented against Fr. Jiang to date is any more demonstrative of his guilt than the character-knowledge that I and all of Fr. Jiang's friends have of him is demonstrative of his innocence. Surely it is at least plausible that a family in pretty dire financial straits (whom, btw, Fr. Jiang had been trying—unsuccessfully, in the end—to provide with significant monetary assistance) should see Fr. Jiang's chaste affection for the girl as a golden opportunity to exaggerate and distort the facts, bring the case to court (knowing that public opinion would be almost entirely on their side), and solve their financial problems forever?

And regarding the $20,000 check—surely it is at least plausible that an innocent Fr. Jiang would have been just as eager as a guilty one to prevent the case from reaching court. In a he-said/she-said case of this sort, in America's current climate on this sensitive subject, he would have known his reputation would be tarnished forever no matter how innocent he was. It was a foolish action, to be sure (and, btw, would have been just as foolish if he really was guilty); but panic would be an understandable emotion under the circumstances...

Again: I don't mean to say that the evidence is conclusive one way or another. I am aware that predators can wear very white sheep's-clothing indeed. But I fail to see how the "hard" evidence in this case is conclusive one way rather than the other. Ultimately it seems to come down to which set of witnesses has the more trustworthy character; and, while I am not personally acquainted with the family involved, I would be very hard pressed to think of anyone whose witness I would trust more than Fr. Jiang's.

But even were that not the case: remember, in this country we *always* presume innocence in case of any reasonable doubt. Verdicts should not match what the jurors think is the most probable view (contrary, it seems, to popular opinion). Verdicts should let the accused go free, even if probability is on the accuser's side, *so long as* there is still a reasonable possibility that the facts could match the accused's side of the story. And I utterly fail to see how anyone could think that this "reasonable possibility" is missing in this particular case.

Elizabeth Jaggie
Elizabeth Jaggie

The only way this would be offensive is if he is found to be guilty and that is yet to be seen...

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

Sick if true. Even sicker is the constant funding of this sick religion.

jrhannegan
jrhannegan

If SNAP wants to attack the Catholic Church, they are picking the wrong priest to make an example of. There are plenty of men and even clergy that I could see doing what the accusers claim. However, that is not at all in Fr. Joseph's character. I am not here to say that Fr. Joseph is a nice, friendly guy who smiles a lot and seems holy. Lots of child molesters fit that bill. It is not too hard to fake piety. Father Joseph is different; he has deep convictions about the Church and his role as a priest. If you have ever met him, you would know that. As a seminarian in China, Fr. Joseph stood up to the communist government and spoke out against its infringement on the Church. The government usurped the authority to appoint Church leaders. This priest saw that the atheistic government was trying to undermine the Catholic Church, and he fearlessly protested their actions. A Chinese citizen does not speak out against the communist regime without expecting devastating fines, prolonged imprisonment, or execution. He was willing to sacrifice all this for his convictions, and he put his life on the line for his faith. Now Fr. Joseph lives in exile because he holds firmly that the Church is the true path to salvation and opposes the communists’ infringement on that role. A man of such conviction would not cast aside his faith in this vile way and blemish the Church with scandal after he had fought so hard to defend it in China.  

BIanni
BIanni

As a victim of abuse I know how hard it is to come forward. Before I spoke out I worried what if I wasn't believed, what if people blamed me, what if  they thought I was dirty?  It takes tremendous courage for a victim to forward and because of that fact false allegations are extremely rare.  When someone comes forward and others publicly support the accused predator it intimidates other victims from coming forward. I think we as society need to do whatever is possible to protect children. One of the best ways to protect children is to expose child molesters. This can only be done if victims feel safe in coming forward. Creating this website and publicly declaring they believe in this priest's innocence is hurtful to any victims of  childhood abuse. When victims are afraid to speak out children will continue to be harmed.

SNAPVirginia@cox.net 

Kathy Czopek
Kathy Czopek

*alleged* wounds, Mary. Let's not forget that Father Joseph has not yet had a trial. Assuming he's guilty is at least as irresponsible as assuming he's innocent. While it may be prudent to take some measures (such as removing him from active ministry) until all facts are known, "innocent until proven guilty" is still the responsible policy.

Jason Bryson
Jason Bryson

Everyone knows Asians don't molest children, geez

averyconcernedmom
averyconcernedmom

It's very simple - a group like this, publicly proclaiming the innocence of an abuser is simply calling the child victim a liar. It's that simple. So to all the Jiang supporters who can sleep at night knowing they doubt the pain of a hurt child, who can live with themselves knowing their sole daily purpose is to discredit and harm the family of this precious innocent girl, I leave that to you and God. How you can sleep knowing what kind of pervert you are protecting, and knowing the damage you are doing and the hurt you spread - well, it's just not Christ-like. Shame on you, shame on anyone who feels it's appropriate to call a child victim a liar. If you want to think privately that your "friend" is innocent - you have every right in the world to believe whatever lies you choose from an adult who manipulated a young girl. But, don't take up and publicly defend and rally support and create websites for a man who did so much damage. You all say "you know him and he would never...." but I'm here to say there are few people who ever knew their "friends" were pedophiles because most would not stand by and allow that abuse to continue. So of course he didn't tell you. Of course he has you fooled. And because you cannot see the light, you choose to support him. Well you can think what you want but to pray for his exoneration and proclaim he is innocent is simply calling a child victim a liar. Telling her that her story doesn't matter. That she shouldn't have bothered letting people know what happened because no one will believe her. Go ahead. Live with yourself as you tell her - and EVERY OTHER VICTIM who sees you support an abuser that they don't matter. Shameful. And not Christ-like. 

Michael Ketcher
Michael Ketcher

If the accuser and her family don't like this, they should start their own web site.

Mary Poletti
Mary Poletti

Throughout this case, all I have been able to think of is the priest who married my parents & baptized me, who was quietly removed from ministry in the '90s when Bishop Gregory in Belleville started aggressively going after accused child molesters, and whom my mother will defend to her dying breath. I absolutely think Gregory did the right thing with him, don't get me wrong (he had strikes against him other than child abuse allegations), but I can't help but think that if the Internet had been a thing at that time, he would have had a much more vocal defense. And yes, it DOES pour salt in the accuser's (victim's) wounds.

Mark Swain
Mark Swain

UHH, Innocent until proven guilty.

SMHMPT
SMHMPT

To use the God given gift of being rational beings we are called "to love our enemies and do good to those who hate you" In order to have a fruitful discussion is it not important to hear the other side and assertively participate in the discussion


SMHMPT
SMHMPT

The ultimate issue it seems is the SNAP representatives are afraid that if anyone supports or prays for any priest accused of child abuse, that anyone else that may have been abused by a priest wont come forward.  Weather this is from personal experience or statistics.    Those who are praying for Fr. Joseph, desire to pray for all those involved in this case for Justice and Healing of all those involved.  And, that an accusation doesn't equal guilty per se .

I think each of these issues need to be looked at independently for progress and understanding to be accomplished on both ends of the discussion.  Would you both agree?

Anonbody01
Anonbody01

Friends of Father Joseph is, in no way, meant to belittle the accuser and her family.  We are praying for all involved, and came together, not only because we believe in his innocence, but because we realize the necessity of protecting his name until the trial is over. We know that his reputation will be slammed only on the grounds that he was accused- even before the facts are all out.  I haven't seen any statements by the police. The only statements posted in related articles have been from the prosecution, and a terse statement by the archdiocese, which is unrelated to the primary case. Let us all wait until the facts are presented, and until then, try to remain charitable toward the girl and her family, as well as a potentially innocent and defamed priest.

anotherconcernedmom
anotherconcernedmom

You don't know this family!  They aren't like that at all!!!!!  This is the last thing they would want to put their family through!  You ought to be ashamed of yourself insinuating that they are doing this for the money! 

All the money in the world would not be enough to pay for the pain and suffering this family is having to endure all in the name of trying to protect themselves and others from a priest that abused the trust they had for him and the church!  You are fooling yourselves if you think money is/was the motivation... if that was the case, they would have taken the $20,000 and cashed it!

averyconcernedmom
averyconcernedmom

@francisfeingold Why do you say this family was in "dire financial straits?" and that Jiang had been trying to provide them with "significant monetary assistance"...? Where do you get this information? 

AND -as if a person's financial status determines the likelihood of their truth!? I suppose only wealthy children are truly victims of any sex abuse in the world because they have nothing to gain financially? How dare you suggest they used their child as a golden opportunity. You do not know this and it's outrageous and irresponsible to post.  

How absolutely repulsive and shameful. None of you can stop drinking the Jiang Kool-Aid long enough to realize the child is victim and to speculate financial troubles? And suggest a family would exploit their child. You are despicable. 

I've worked with too many children who are victims, and know this sadly all too well personally to even express to you how utterly ridiculous your statements are...  I've seen victims from all types of families, with all types of abusers and from all types of social and monetary situations, and none is more valid than another. To suggest, it's repulsive. Just shameful and you should truly examine your heart before you spout such lies. 

My heart aches for this family. They are being battered publicly while trying to help their child through the most painful thing a parent could face. They are being victimized all over at the hands of "Christians." 

You people disgust me. And you are the reason so many turn from the church because you are SO quick to spout rumors and hateful speculation. You take up for an abuser and call a child victim a LIAR and accuse her parents of exploiting her for cash. You are sick. 

You should all be ashamed. 


snapclohessy
snapclohessy topcommenter

@jrhannegan Jiang supporters keep claiming he "stood up" to Chinese authorities. But no one provides a scintilla of evidence to back up this claim.

averyconcernedmom
averyconcernedmom

@jrhannegan Let's be very clear - while SNAP may be helping spread the awareness about the VAST number of wrongdoings here- both by Jiang and by the Archbishop - the did not "pick a priest"... this so-called priest picked a CHILD who he abused and took advantage of and damaged forever. Jiang caused this. I am so very tired of hearing all of you ridiculous supporters of this Jiang with his questionable past and his "good guy" persona. It does not matter. Lots of people who are humanitarians with admirable histories and lots of accolade have turned out to be evil men. And I am promising you that when you do finally see the truth - you will all hang your heads so low and I pray that you beg for forgiveness for your defense of him. If you want to believe his story - go ahead. You'll be made a fool. But to call this girl a liar - you have no idea what you are doing. You have no idea the evidence that will be presented. SNAP - whether you agree with them or not - is only trying to help support the victim. They didn't cause this terrible thing to happen to her - Jiang did. And while he may have been good at one point - he turned. And there is proof. And he did a very wrong and terrible thing to an innocent child. And all of you so-called Christians are on here calling the VICTIM a liar and you should be ashamed. There is a girl who is suffering now. Do you have any idea what victims of sex abuse endure? Depression, suicidal thoughts, therapy, years of healing, difficulty in marriage, and pain and all at the hands of a person who claimed to be of faith. You all forget that this family knew him too. They knew him well. Or so they thought. And they trusted him. Do you think if they thought he were a threat they would have allowed their daughter to be around him? Of course not! He fooled them the same as he fooled you. The only difference is they've had to find out the truth the very hard way. Quit blaming SNAP - they're just advocating for the victim with the same fire that you advocate for her abuser. They are not the root of the problem - it's Jiang himself. I feel bad for those of you who say you are his friend because he obviously cares not enough about you to tell you the truth. We'll see what's said when Carlson gets on the stand. Under oath. Will you accuse your precious  Archbishop of lying as well? If he isn't too coward to tell the truth? Or will you all (mainly just a slew of Hannegans) will you all still defend him? Of course the lawyers, the police, the child, the family, SNAP, the witnesses, they are all wrong - it's just that one guy Jiang who tells the truth. You are delirious. You had better pray for strength when the truth smacks you in the face. Until then at least lay off of this family and start acting like Christians and be supportive of this victim and so many others- because right now - you are a bunch of heartless cowards picking on a child so your precious sex abuser friend can try to get out of the mess he created. 

baker22
baker22

@BIanni @cox.net Blanni,  Unfortunately the hand has been forced buy those at SNAP who seek convictions in the court of public opinion regardless of guilt or innocence.  SNAP should be ashamed at the 'work' they do and the lies they spread.

michaelsbradleyjr
michaelsbradleyjr

@BIanni defending the reputation of a friend against its mangling by the SNAP slime machine and sloppy reporting, and too a gross disregard for the presumption of innocence as it applies to his case, is both defensible and "the right thing to do" -- most certainly it's a duty of Christian friendship.

Also false allegations of sexual abuse are not extremely rare. The lower bound in various statistical compilations puts the figure at 6%, or roughly one in twenty -- that's far from rare, which would be more like one in one thousand.

At the same time, supporters and friends of Fr. Jiang should and do pray for his accuser, her family and all involved in this case. We should likewise refrain completely from denigrating the accuser and her family, as that would be uncharitable. Peace of Christ be with you.

baker22
baker22

@Kathy Czopek This is the key.  Those of us who are protecting his image simply want a fair trial before his name is thrashed about in the public square.  SNAP however wants to convict first, locate evidence second.  Their modus operandi is to trash the name of any accused priest until it no longer matters whether or not the priest is guilty.  Unfortunately, their actions forced the public battle we now have on our hands.

SMHMPT
SMHMPT

@averyconcernedmom  Any other person out there that feels they have been abused know that they are precious and deserve the utmost dignity and respect.  I strive to live my life in this way and encourage all that I meet to live this way as much is humanly possible striving to grow closer to God.  As we grow closer to God healing can occur and our Lord is the ultimate healer.  Hate doesn't facilitate healing.  Love conquers all.  Love according to God's design.  striving to be God's hands and feet on the earth


SMHMPT
SMHMPT

@averyconcernedmom How is stating that a person is innocent until proven guilty any different then what our legal system practices.  That is why a person abused goes to the court so that the accused can be tried


snapclohessy
snapclohessy topcommenter

@Michael Ketcher This isn't about who does or doesn't "like" the pro-Jiang website. It's about whether we, as adults, want to foster a climate that encourages reports of child sex crimes or discourages those reports.

snapclohessy
snapclohessy topcommenter

@Mary Poletti And it scares victims, witnesses and whistleblowers into staying silent. And it impedes criminal investigations.

snapclohessy
snapclohessy topcommenter

@Anonbody01  The INTENT of Jiang's defenders doesn't matter. It's the EFFECT of Jiang's defenders that matters. . .and based on 25 years of experience in child sex abuse cases, i can tell you that when adults instinctively, immediately and publicly rally around an arrested and suspended priest, it hurts kids. See my explanation of exactly how lower in this thread.

David Clohessy, SNAP, 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

francisfeingold
francisfeingold

@anotherconcernedmom It's true, I don't know this family. Likewise, you don't know Fr. Jiang. I see no more reason to be ashamed of "insinuating" that they are making a false charge than you should be ashamed of "insinuating" that Fr. Jiang is falsely protesting his innocence. Fair is fair.

And why would anyone settle for $20,000 when they can get ten times as much from diocesan coffers? 

Look, I know I'm not offering proof here. I'm just saying that the situation is very far from black and white—and that I wish people would stop assuming that the accuser is always right.

francisfeingold
francisfeingold

@averyconcernedmom @francisfeingold As to why I say this—um, because I know something about the details of the case, perhaps?

As to "how I dare" suggest this: of course I can't prove this to be the case. You also can't prove Fr. Jiang to be a pedophile. Both of these are tremendously serious charges, and neither should be given lightly; but one of them *has* to be true. 

And no, I don't *realize* that the case is obviously closed based on inconclusive evidence. 

I in no way mean to deny that victimization is a mind-numbingly tragic thing. I in no way mean to deny that it often takes tremendous heroism to bring the case to light, and save other innocent children from the predator. I in no way mean to deny that many priests, tragically, have been numbered among these predators. 

But I *do* mean to deny that you have conclusive arguments showing that Fr. Jiang is to be numbered among them; the data that I am aware of is all capable of being reasonably interpreted the other way, all character judgments aside.

Let me repeat: if it were truly the case that this child has been victimized, then my heart would go out to her and her family just as yours does, and I would share in your horror at Fr. Jiang's crime. But to point the horror of what "might be" does nothing whatsoever to show the truth of "what is."

jrhannegan
jrhannegan

Do you think it is possible that Fr. Joseph is innocent? I know the man, and I am not defending him simply because he is my friend. I am defending him because the accusations do not fit with his character. You are making a lot of bold statements about my stupidity and Fr. Joseph's guilt. Have you met him? You seem convinced that the family bringing accusations is innocent. Do you know them? 

BIanni
BIanni

@baker22 @BIanni @cox.net  

I am extremely proud of the work that I do protect children.I have not in any way stated that Father Joseph is innocent or guilty only that those that defend him should do it privately as not to scare any other possible victims from coming forward.

snapclohessy
snapclohessy topcommenter

@baker22 Reminder: the police and prosecutors launched this case. we got involved here, in part, because records in the public file show that the archbishop has sat on Fr. Jiang's personnel file for over a year, instead of promptly giving them to law enforcement officials.

David Clohessy, SNAP

averyconcernedmom
averyconcernedmom

@SMHMPT @averyconcernedmom It's not passively acknowledging the legal system - it's actively creating a website and garnering online support for the abuser. The only way to say that the abuser is innocent is to say the girl is a liar. And calling the child victim a liar is heartless, damaging to her and others, and it's just wrong.  

SMHMPT
SMHMPT

@snapclohessy@Anonbody01Are there peer reviewed journals  supporting this.  A case study although powerful even with 25 years worth of case studies doesn't hold as much statistical strength as a peer reviewed journal.  Are there any peer reviewed journals discussing the power of cognitive therapy to encourage rational thought in children.  Sexual abuse is a grave sin that is ram pit within our culture and society.  This can be traced back to how the world views the human person within our society.  Our society so often  to sees a human person as an object to be used.   One thing the catholic church does teach is that each human person is valuable and precious from conception to a natural death and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.  John Paul II the great discussing this dignity and respect in his Theology of the Body. http://www.jp2.info/Theology_of_the_Body.pdf  Teaching our children that they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect will also help those that have been abused to step out.  . . Living in truth empowers those around us to do the same and I have almost 30 years experience with living this philosophy.  I believe it is written in scripture as well.  And is Jesus witness on the cross of loving us to the point of self sacrifice.

francisfeingold
francisfeingold

@averyconcernedmom (1) Indeed, the facts have not all been released. So, as far as hard evidence is concerned (leaving character witness aside), shall we stop making assumptions until the court gives its verdict? — And of course, "Friends of Fr. Jiang" has at least as much of a bias as SNAP does. So, by all means treat its claims with no less suspicion than SNAP's—but also no more suspicion than SNAP's. Don't assume either advocacy group is giving you the whole, unadulterated truth; be patient and wait for the facts. That's basic methodology for fairness in these situations.

(2) By the same logic, you can privately believe that the family is innocent and Fr. Jiang is guilty, but without publicly suggesting that Fr. Jiang actually committed such a heinous crime. I happen to dislike the premise of that argument: this is a country with free speech. But I'm not asking you to believe one way or the other; I'm just asking you to suspend judgment until the facts of the case come out in full.

(3) Of course there is "something there that [was] deemed worthy of legal process." I'm not saying it's patently obvious that Fr. Jiang is innocent. But I repeat my earlier statement: (a) the court does not have to deem an accusation "probably true" in order to deem it "worthy of legal process"; and (b) even if it did deem it "probably true," that is still not enough for conviction.

(4) Be honest with yourself. Your comments make it clear that there's no shadow of doubt in your mind where the guilt in this case lies—even though you're personally acquainted with neither the family nor the priest. Now, if you were acquainted with the family and convinced of their honesty (as @anotherconcernedmom is), then I would say your "guilty" verdict would be based on the same kind of evidence as my "innocent" verdict, and equally justified; and one of us would be fundamentally mistaken in our character estimations. But as it is, all I can say is this: if hard proof of guilt comes out in the trial, I will believe it, and grieve. But as things stand now, my acquaintance with Fr. Jiang's character (which includes a very deep love of chastity) plus the insufficiency of the "hard" evidence compels me, in all sincerity, to believe him innocent. If all I had was the data and no character acquaintance, I would simply suspend judgment; and I would strongly encourage you to do likewise.

Ok, done for real now. Thanks for the conversation!

averyconcernedmom
averyconcernedmom

@francisfeingold @averyconcernedmom 

1) You also must remember not all the facts from the side of the victim have been circulated/released either. And quit with all the blaming of SNAP - they are advocating for the victim the same as the group advocating for Jiang. While they may spread awareness and support - they did not create this situation. 

2) Yes both of those scenarios are heinous - however - for you to speculate that the family did such a thing is also heinous. You can privately believe your friend is innocent without publicly suggesting  the child lied or the family exploited her

3) I didn't say the court had already proven his guilt but I did say there was sufficient evidence to charge and move to the judge/jury to decide. Obviously there is something there that deemed worthy of legal process. They don't just take to trial every random accusation unless there is reasonable evidence to support the charges. 

4) I'm not "assuming" anything. Maybe you should take your own suggestion there. 

francisfeingold
francisfeingold

@averyconcernedmom Ok, last comment on this thread.

(1) Yes, I do know something about this case on a personal level, and not all the relevant facts and documents have been circulated by SNAP (contrary to popular belief, it seems).

(2) Let me repeat: either the family exploited their child for money, or a trusted priest much more seriously exploited a child for pleasure. The second charge is just as heinous as the first, if not much more so; neither one should be thrown around lightly. But if the second charge is false, then the first one is true. There is no happy, pretty solution to this case.

(3) In order for the court to press charges, sure, it has to be prima facie plausible (reasonable possibility) that the accused is guilty. But this does *not* show that the court thinks it is more likely than not that the accused is in fact guilty. Much less does it show that the court thinks Fr. Jiang is guilty "beyond reasonable doubt"—which is what a conviction requires. If things were as you say, pressing charges would be enough to seal a conviction. Thank God we do not live in a country like that.

(4) Once and for all, stop assuming what you are trying to prove.

averyconcernedmom
averyconcernedmom

@francisfeingold @averyconcernedmom So you know details about this case? We all do from reading documents... um, perhaps you should take a better look at the evidence. No - he has not been tried in court but to publicly state that the family exploited their child for money is a step above the repulsive comments found on all of these stories. 

You claim "the data you are aware of" could be interpreted the other way.... but the court has already determined it was enough to press charges and arrest Jiang. So to what "data" are you referring? What details do you know that lead you to say "if it truly were the case?"

Where are you getting your information? Your pal Jiang? Is he feeding you his version of the "truth?"

Where are the advocates for the victim??? Stand up people! Defend this family. We may not know them personally but we have an obligation to protect them from the likes of those trying to victimize them again. 

jrhannegan
jrhannegan

@averyconcernedmom I have seriously thought of  that possibility. If he is guilty, he is the best liar that I have ever met. If he is guilty of these terrible accusations, then shut him away. If a priest betrays his role as guardian of his flock and harms a child, I will in no way hinder justice, even to a friend. However, what I can't stand, is people like you who know very little about the case, but act with complete self confidence that of this man is guilt. All you have to hear is that a 15 year-old and her family are accusing a priest of molestation, then you act as if you have perfect knowledge of exactly what happened. You step onto your podium of your self righteousness and begin to spit on anyone who would even consider this man's innocence. You don't even know either of the parties involved, yet you condemn anyone who would support a priest or anyone accused of molestation. If a 15 year-old accused your husband of molesting her, did he necessarily do it? Should I jump to that conclusion and try to shame everyone out of defending him? Unlike his accusers, Fr. Joseph and his lawyer are not interested in destroying reputations, so they are not airing their evidence in news papers and public forums. They want justice, and are willing to wait until his accusers are ready to take the issue to court. If you wanted justice, you would stop destroying a man's reputation based on the little evidence you have. You are carelessly violating an innocent man's reputation.

francisfeingold
francisfeingold

@averyconcernedmom See my comment above for a longer response to the points that you and others are bringing up. But regarding Lucy Hannegan and "our innocent priests [plural]": what this means is simply that Mrs. Hannegan, like myself and like most of the reasonable people I know, thinks that there exist cases where innocent priests are falsely accused and unjustly punished. She is in no way claiming that *all* accused priests are innocent; she is simply claiming that *some*of them—perhaps a very few—are innocent.

And given how quick the American public is to assume guilt in these matters, especially (but not exclusively) where priests are concerned; given how much the evidence in these cases tends to come down simply to he-said/she-said contests; and given how great the financial rewards for a successful accusation are—it seems to me that to assume that no one has ever succumbed to temptation and brought a false charge against a priest has a very rosy view of human nature indeed.

anotherconcernedmom
anotherconcernedmom

@averyconcernedmom - You've expressed things so well!  I do know this family, and they are going thru hell.  They would not wish this on their worst enemy. 

What Father Joseph did was wrong!  They trusted him as a clergy member and he violated that trust!  This is a good and faithful catholic family who has had their faith challenged greatly by this man.  Father Jiang might have been a good and faithful man at one time, but he did turn a corner and did irrepairable harm to this young girl and her family.  Initially he admitted his guilt to the family, Deacon Hengen and Archbishop Carlson... and now he's taking it all back?!!!  Incredible!!!!!

This family needs help and support from the catholic community! They need our prayers and encouragement.!

To the friends of Father Joseph Jiang -- Just as much as you believe in his innocence, I believe "70 times 7" in this family!  They are good people who were betrayed by their clergy. 

averyconcernedmom
averyconcernedmom

@jrhannegan Do you think it's possible he is guilty?

I am convinced they are innocent for many reasons - at the top of the list because the court documents show an abundance of evidence that he had an inappropriate relationship with this child and tried to cover it up. I have followed closely all of these stories and I can tell you that no parent would put a child in this position. As a mother myself, the heartache is beyond imagination. He will get his day in court but the damage has been done no matter what the outcome. He has tarnished this girl's soul.

I'm married to an officer of the law and I work with youth who have been sexually abused. I can tell you that the profile of a pedophile is not easily spotted. You stated that yourself earlier. Most of the time these abusers are close family or friends who gain the trust of the adults and children so they are right under the nose and the parents cannot see the forest for the trees. Their character - pastors, grandpa's, kindly neighbors, trusted teachers, baseball coaches -parents never suspect their character as a fit for a pedophile. It's not until an accidental discover or a brave child comes forward and the truth is revealed. Sadly you and your cohorts are making the environment for victims to come forward a hostile one. 

It seems as if "Lucy Hannegan" -whoever she is to you - even has a personal agenda to defend all pedophile priests. Her comment on the blog today "but to defend our Holy Mother the Church and our innocent priests.".... plural. Priests. That's pretty bad to not only defend just this one abuser -but others as well. Just how many victims does your group intend to discredit?

And to know she's speaking with him - just this week and bringing him all up to date on the tactics of his public defense? Perhaps he's feeding more lies and diversion techniques to her... and anyone she associates with. 

This family thought they knew him as well. It's stated in the pages and pages of criminal and civil court documents. I'm sure those of you who are his friends are having a tough time dealing with this - and I pity you because I'm sure it's hard to accept that someone you knew was not who you thought they were. Remember - this family is dealing with that as well. 

So all of you can keep in touch with Jiang. And keep him up to date on the latest forums and blog posts. If he were truly a holy man he would demand you put this nonsense to rest and stop hurting this child and her family even more. But I suspect that will not happen. 

So I ask you again - do you think it's possible - even a little bit, that he is guilty? 

michaelsbradleyjr
michaelsbradleyjr

@BillHannegan I understood the previous commenter to be referring to the Meetup (dot com) site, operated by the young adults group, which was taken down a couple of weeks ago. I'm aware the "friends" blog is still up and running strong, and am grateful for it.

michaelsbradleyjr
michaelsbradleyjr

@averyconcernedmom pulled up what? Meetup (dot com) is a large Web company which hosts thousands and thousands of "meetup sites". The Cathedral Basilica's young adults "Stay With Us Lord" meetup site was taken down two weeks ago. If you pulled something up, it was either a page cached in your Web browser or it wasn't what you thought it was. Feel free to post a link in a reply comment and we'll all be happy to take a look.

averyconcernedmom
averyconcernedmom

@SMHMPT Interesting you say no one should pick a side... maybe the "Friends of Jiang" should take that advice and remove their website praying for his exoneration. For me, I know he has not yet been convicted, but I will always side with the victim and support the child because I tend to believe a victimized abused young girl over an accused abuser.

SMHMPT
SMHMPT

@averyconcernedmom @SMHMPT  IF Fr. Joesph claims his innocence then and the child states the action occurred then logically someone is not stating the full truth.  Instead of picking a side without knowing the facts, is it not best to gather all the information and think truthfully before declaring where the truth lies.  Is it possible that they each are stating some truths but not the whole truth.  Could they each be interpreting certain actions differently.  In reality were any of us there when the alleged incident occurred?  No mater the evil or the gravity of the stated action truth is truth and it will prevail.


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