In the News: Right in the Kisser


You might think that after the recent shakeup at the ArchD of Boston, that saner heads would prevail. After all, with Auxilliary bishop Richard Lennon bringing his "talents" to Chicago, Cardinal Sean would be able to bring a more human face to the Church's affairs.

Well, that was not to be.

Accordining to today's Boston Globe, O'Malley had to deal with "Caritas Christi Health Care System's president, Dr. Robert M. Haddad, for multiple instances of kissing and other physical touching involving four women employees, despite an investigation by senior Caritas Christi officials that concluded that Haddad should be fired..."

So, faced with the overwhelming wish of the hospital's board to fire "Kissy Lips" Haddad, Cardinal Sean did the only thing a man in his position could do: he decided to keep the offender on but only after a stern talking to.

Characteristally, Kissy Lips said he'd never, ever do it again.

Now you might think that just a few years after dealing with the last batch of infamous abusers (who also said they would never, ever do it again) a bit of wisdom might have accumulated in the dusty corners of the Lake Street chancery. Guess not.

Not only did O'Malley blow off the hospital board members, but Helen G. Drinan, senior vice president for human resources at Caritas as well. Who's Helen Drinan? She's no powder puff, but was "president and chief executive officer of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world's largest human resources professional organization. Before that, she was executive vice president for human resources at BankBoston. She is also a member of several boards, including those of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Simmons College."

Is this a lady you want to tick off with a bonehead personnel decision?

So much for the Church relying on the lay experts to guide its decisions. When it comes to sexual predation, the Church is all about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances.

Here's Drinan on the foreseeable fallout of the Kissy Lips episode: "[She] sent an e-mail Thursday to the board members in which she declared: ''I know what will befall this organization when the public learns that the Church in Boston has once again put the powerful predator ahead of the powerless victim."

Ouch.

You can bet the Globe is gonna play this up for days.

Meanwhile, for the 4 women who brought the complaint, life is going to be miserable. Imagine trying to work with a newly-enraged Kissy Lips Haddad roaming the halls. Imagine the ire of a certain kind of Catholic co-worker whose idea of "being good" means putting up with intolerable behavior from priests and men -- and punishing those who don't go along. Imaagine the lawsuits coming down. Imagine the Feds deciding whether to intervene in a situation that breaches federal employment law. Will it be enough for O'Malley to trade his cardinal's red or prison orange? Probably not. But let's just say that it won't be just the folks on Lake Street who see red when they think of the cardinal.