There’s an old saying among activists that, if you protest long enough, you will see and hear everything. Today proved that to be the case.
While I was out protesting today, a woman pulled up, insisting that we needed to talk. Initially, I ignored her, as I was surrounded by bustling traffic.
Eventually, we did strike up a conversation, during which she asserted that, while a member of the church, Bob sexually harassed her.
The conversation was somewhat disjointed, and by her own statement, the woman in question suffers from mental illness. As a result, I am not convinced that her depiction of events is accurate. That said, she was able to provide names, dates and places.
Overall, I would say her allegations are not convincing. But they raise troubling possibilities, and the one thing that is very clear is that the diocese is incapable of evaluating allegations of this sort in a fair and impartial manner.
Based on her story, it also appears that she did at one point receive pastoral care via the parish, but has since fallen through the cracks. Perhaps that is the real story in all of this, which is a lack of follow-up by the parish.
To be clear, these are unsubstantiated allegations. Nothing has been proven in a court of law, and there are reasons to doubt the accuracy of the story. But the lack of a meaningful mechanism with the diocese to investigate concerns such as this means that this is a loose end that will never be resolved.