I inquire as the health and well-being of my perp, Robert J. Gibson, periodically. I did so last month to the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Scranton. Admittedly, the email to Joan Holmes was pretty sarcastic. I asked the question “Is the monster still alive?”. I did edit out the adjective I used initially.
As is the standard operating procedure of the Diocese, Ms. Holmes wrote me a wonderful little email in reply, passing my questions to the new chancellor. What I felt most disturbing about Ms. Holmes email dated on 7 April during Holy Week (For victims of sexual crimes committed by priest that week of 2012 is known as the first week in April) was the passage that read:
“As for the trial in Philadelphia, it fills me with sadness and compassion for the victims. At this time during Holy Week, I look at Jesus crucified and I see both priest and victim, so I pray also for the Church He founded.”
You see the priest crucified? Really?! I can see a church official seeing the victim crucified. That makes perfect sense. The church seems to be crucifying us on a regular basis either through their lawyers, PR Firms or through the wonderful (check the sarcasm meter) people of the Catholic League. I guess it is symptomatic of her being sympathetic to the hierarchy of the church that both pays her salary and protects predators in roman collars. There is really no doubt as to where the “Victim’s Assistance Office’s” loyalty falls.
I need to reiterate to the people out there who were victims of sexual crimes by religious or laity in the Diocese of Scranton, the Victim’s Assistance Coordinator’s office is not there to help you. It exists to collect information for the Diocese so that a defensive strategy can be established and the victim of the crime can be marginalized, sidelined or silenced. This office is not an advocate for the victim. If you are looking for assistance in Pennsylvania, I would recommend you contact the local police department or district attorney and the Foundation to Abolish Child Sexual Abuse (FACSA). The Diocese will not offer anything more than lip service to assist you.
The second response to my email came from Ms. Teresa Osborne, the current Chancellor for the Diocese of Scranton. Her email was the official response for several of my questions. Let the record show, they are mostly non-answers.
In regard to the question of whether or not “the monster” still draws breath, her answer was ” Robert Gibson is alive and continues to reside in a secure residential facility for priests in the state of Missouri.” I will have to assume he is in the Catholic Church’s minimum security location for incarcerating predator priest in Dittmer, the St. John Vianney Renewal Center. (and people are worried about Sharia Law? The Catholic Church has been running an underground “jail” network for years!) Funny, last time they were adamant about the fact that he was an old man suffering from dementia in a long-term medical facility in Dittmer, a hospital. They had previous told me he had been moved out of the Vianney Center. OOPS! Someone should have coordinated the response (lies) from the Diocese to make it consistent with earlier reports (lies, half truths) to me.
I am driving west to an event at the end of the month. Maybe I should swing by Dittmer and pay a visit on Robert Gibson and get a first hand look at what kind of condition he is in. Will he be in a room or on the golf course? I will just plug the address (6476 Eime Road, Dittmer, MO 63023) and let my Garmin direct me on the most efficient way to get to the “secure residential facility”. Anyone up for a road trip?
In response to my question about why I was never interviewed, the Chancellor said “From the time your allegation was brought forward, the Diocese of Scranton accepted what you said as true”. Still, I think it odd that the Diocese did not interview me for purposes of a canonical proceeding. It was not odd, I later found out, because they did not refer the case to the Vatican. The Chancellor goes on to say “… Robert Gibson’s status was recently re-evaluated by the Diocese and a referral of his case to the Vatican was initiated.” That is about as non-committal as responses come. Did the Bishop order a an action? What was the action requested? When was the action forwarded to the Vatican? Why have I still not been interviewed? If her goal was to appease me with her email, she fell short of the mark.
As expected, the Diocese has done essentially nothing. They will continue to do nothing. I think I need to program my Garmin GPS unit and start my trek across I-64 heading west towards Dittmer, Missouri. “Recalculating…”
9 thoughts on “Something is not quite right”
I’m still waiting for the Diocesan Healing Center for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Reverend Rushovsky, or Ms. Rita Flaherty to get back to me. They truly left me hanging. Years and years ago. I had serious open-heart surgery last summer. I will die before they ever consider my welfare or healing. Oops. Such messy, unpleasant, and untidy business — tending to the wounded flock. They must have never heard of that famous “millstone” quote that appears THREE TIMES in the New Testament! Maybe their “Bible-ing Hand” has become crippled. Maybe their “Bible-ing Heart” never existed in the first place. Maybe their “Bible-ing Mind” has no mirror or conscience by which they could know thyself. Oh my.
Tough to tend to the wounded flock when the shepherd inflicted the wounds…
They simply want us all to go away. Unfortunately, we get a vote!
I wish you good health.
My heart goes out to all who have been so horriffically taken advantage of at such a young age by men who are so smart( book knowledge) they could almost outwit the devil. But whenTHEY invite ” the devil” in, THEY are the devil personified. That’s what all these (holy??) priests, brothers and nuns are when they sexually abuse our innocents. They must pay the price of “hell on earth ” as they have done to these our precious people of God.
It really sickens me to see anyone think that it was any different then, than it is now. We have just heard about it NOW because of the mighty Internet that God has allowed to bring forth the TRUTH! so we could act with JESUS CHRIST AT OUR SIDE, RATHER THAN AN INSTITUTIOIN DEDICATED TO THE evil one.
Thank you for your good wish, and the heart going out too. It is a shame that there is more human sentiment [it seems]– on the ether of the internet — cyber-life — than in real life. Thanks again.
I would LOVE to confront that man! It continues to make me sick to realize the pain he has inflicted on so many; all the while playing so innocent in my eyes …. officiating my marriage and christening my children.
I am sorry that what you read here or heard else where about Gibson has tainted some of your fondest memories. I think back to my Father’s struggle with alcoholism while I was in high school. It was Gisbon that facilitated my father’s entry into rehab during my Freshman year of college. He held that over my head for years. I had to listen to my mother speak glowingly of the man who saved my family, the same man who was destroying me. I had to keep eating what happened to me knowing how family members were so grateful for Gibson’s intervention that enabled my fathers sobriety.
I still don’t know how to reconcile all of this. We all have many faces that we show to the world. Gibson’s benevolent countenance was a comfort to many. But to others, his face was the personification of evil.
Michael, your posting about not being able to reconcile the benevolent countenance against the personification of evil is similar to mine as I reflect on Robert Gibson. I am a victim of priestly abuse. But not by him. My experiences with him were pivotal in who I am today. All positive. So when I learned of what he did to you, I was shocked and sickened.
I cannot grasp pedophilia. I am told it is an untreatable condition. Do you think he knew he was a monster? If he could not control his sick urges, his bosses needed to remove the opportunity for him to commit them.
He is alive, but he has no life. Maybe his punishment? Maybe his penance? I saw him in Missouri. He lies in a bed. He appears unaware of life around him. He is unable to speak or communicate in any way.
For you to know he was destroying you and helping your father at the same time is just too much to handle. I am sorry you had to endure that.
It is good that after a year or so of high school that I stopped going to him for confession. The man never had any use for me. When I was a senior I wanted to tell him off before I graduated but never got the chance. I realize now how lucky I was that he didn’t like me. What could I have possibly said to the man that would have many any difference. He was a disturbed and sick man.
What could I have possibly said to the man that would have made any difference? (Correction)