ABC reports: Guiliani Defends, Employs Priest Accused of Molesting Teens. It’s not a new story: AP October 4, CNA June 28, Salon June 22, Blog Feb 25. Giuliani continues to claim his high school pal has been “unjustly accused.”
Msgr. Alan Placa was not only accused of molestation as a priest, but was also a lawyer, and vice-chancellor of the Diocese of Rockville Center (one of the most notoriously liberal dioceses in the 80s and 90s), and responsible for investigating accusations of sexual abuse against other priests (and assisting other dioceses). Placa has been on leave for five years, but continues to live in a rectory, and is still listed as a “priest in residence.”
Placa has been accused of high handed and deceptive tactics in his role as investigator:
Several families, for instance, have accused him of trying to extract information from victims in his capacity as a spiritual adviser, then using that information to help the diocesan legal strategy.
“He wore the collar when it was appropriate, and he took it off when it wasn’t,” said Cary Scott Goldinger, a lawyer in Garden City who has represented several clients who accuse priests of abuse. Monsignor Placa has denied doing that.
In recent months, some families have also focused on Monsignor Placa’s connection to the House of Affirmation in Whitinsville, Mass., a now-defunct treatment center for troubled priests that became the target of at least two lawsuits charging sexual abuse, and numerous other lawsuits charging financial improprieties in the 1980’s.
In one of the abuse cases, Mark Barry of Uxbridge, Mass., said he had been molested repeatedly as a child in the 1970’s by several priests engaged in a child sex ring, chiefly the Rev. Thomas A. Kane, the executive director of the House of Affirmation. Court papers in the lawsuit against Father Kane; the bishop of Worcester, Mass.; and the House of Affirmation show that the first person Father Kane contacted when learning about Mr. Barry’s accusations was not a local lawyer, but Monsignor Placa.
In an interview, Monsignor Placa said he did serve as a legal consultant on the case, which was filed in 1993. He said one of the people who was on the House of Affirmation’s board of directors was another Long Island priest and longtime friend, Msgr. Brendan Riordan.
Riordan is pastor of the parish where Placa now lives–they have owned several properties together.
Update: Rod Dreher comments.