This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, April 26 , 2002. Click here to order the complete transcript.
JOHN KASICH, GUEST HOST: Thanks for staying with us. I'm John Kasich in for Bill O'Reilly.
And in the second Unresolved Problems segment tonight, word from The Boston Herald today that embattled Cardinal Law will be transferred to Rome and not forced to quit for covering up sexual abuse by priests. Is this the right decision?
Joining us now from Boston is attorney Eric Macleish, who is representing alleged sex abuse victims by Reverend Paul Shanley. He was the one that was supported by Cardinal Law. And Paul and Rodney Ford, the parents of Greg Ford, one of Shanley's alleged victims.
Counselor, let me ask you right off the bat to give us a reaction to the report today that Cardinal Law will be transferred to the Vatican. He won't be forced to resign, but would be transferred to the Vatican.
ERIC MACLEISH, SUING BOSTON ARCHDIOCESE: Well, my reaction is, is that when I heard about that, because I have his deposition scheduled under court order for June 5, was to call up the lawyers for the archdiocese of Boston, who gave me their word as officers of the court today that that was not true. The archdiocese issued a statement tonight saying it was not true, that Cardinal Law would be in Boston, at least in some capacity on June 5 for the deposition.
So I think, John, we just don't know what the future of Cardinal Law is going to be. I don't think even Cardinal Law knows the answer to that question tonight.
KASICH: Mr. and Mrs. Ford, what is your reaction in terms of this report? And how do you feel that Cardinal Law ought to be treated?
PAULA FORD, MOTHER OF ALLEGED ABUSE VICTIM: It seems to me it's just a continuation of all that has happened in the past. They make mistakes and they get rewarded for it.
KASICH: So you think -- what do you think should happen to Cardinal Law?
RODNEY FORD, FATHER OF ALLEGED ABUSE VICTIM: I personally think that he should be held responsible for -- these are crimes that were committed here. And he should be held accountable for this. And he should be held in front of a grand jury and sent to jail as far as I'm concerned.
KASICH: Eric, let me ask you, you have been involved in this case for a long time. In fact, you're the one attorney who has refused to settle with the Catholic church.
KASICH: Tell us a little bit about your odyssey, a little bit about your work.
MACLEISH: Well, it's been a long one, John. It started in 1992, when I represented 101 people in what was first -- the nation's first large clerical abuse case involving Fall River priest James Porter. I represented 101 people at that time. And they entered into a settlement agreement. But they spoke on national television about it.
From 1994 to 1998, I handled a large number of cases that did get settled. But I was so disgusted with all the settlement agreements and the hush money that by 1993, December of 1993, I called up "The Boston Herald" and "The Boston Globe" and told them, look, there are 20, at that time, there were 20 priests of the archdiocese that I was dealing with. And remarkably, as it seems to be, John, that was a one-day story in "The Boston Globe" and "The Boston Herald." Nobody wanted to hear about it after the Porter case. Lawyers didn't want to hear about it, the media didn't want to hear about it, the statute of limitations was gone. We always sent people to the police.
KASICH: Look, just to give you...
MACLEISH: I mean, it was just unbelievable.
KASICH: I want you to answer your critics. Some of who say that Macleish is involved in this to make money. Did you make a lot of money out of those settlements? Are you going to make a lot of money of what comes out here?
MACLEISH: John, I made a lot of money doing litigation in law a long time before I took on the Porter case. When I took on the Porter case, no one was doing this work. I have some very personal, private reasons for wanting to do this work. I started doing sex abuse cases in 1989. I did a major trial in 1991, where we got a huge judgment for a man, but no verdict.
You know, if you take a look in 1993, what I could have done was simply to take a lot of money and sweep this under the rug. What I insisted at that time to the archdiocese of Boston, and the only thing that they did, I asked them and they agreed to go through their personnel files. At that time, they removed five of the most notorious pedophile priests in Boston from ministry, including Father Geoghan. I feel really, really proud of what I've done. I think that the people who know me in Boston know what I've done with charities. I'm the chairman of the board at the Mass. 9-11 fund. I've handled pro bono work for years and years.
Yes, could we end up getting a lot of money fur our clients in this case? I don't know. I think that's entirely possible. Is that what drives me and my law firm? I think the answer to that is pretty self-explanatory.
KASICH: Let me ask all of you your reaction to the decisions by the cardinal in Rome. My understanding of it is is that if, in fact, I want to get to the parents first. If you, in fact, committed an act against a minor, you're supposedly out. If you -- in the future, if you do anything against a minor, you're out. If you're a serial abuser, you're out. What was your sense of what the cardinals decided? Was this tough enough for you? Do you feel there's too much gray in their decisions? Give me a little reaction.
P. FORD: I think there's way too much gray. And you know, they have an opportunity to save face here. And every time they open their mouth, they dig a deeper hole for themselves. I mean, you know, the cardinal that made the reference to, you know, an indiscretion after having alcohol with a young woman, that is so inappropriate. That's a one-time thing. If any couple or someone else had done that, it is not considered a simple indiscretion and even more so because it's a priest.
KASICH: In terms of the case with your son, Mrs. Ford, it's pretty clear that if anybody was involved in that ought to be out and prosecuted. But let me ask you a question. What about a priest who maybe 20 years ago had had an affair with, you know, Mrs. Mcgillicuddy. Do we throw him out?
KASICH: How would you -- aren't we saying we're going to try to decide those indiscretions on a case-by-case basis, as long as they don't involve a minor?
MACLEISH: Well, that's right.
P. FORD: Those two were consenting adults.
KASICH: Right. Absolutely right. My understanding is the church is saying that if any of this activity involved a minor, that priest is out.
MACLEISH: No. No.
KASICH: And in fact, going forward, any of the information involving that case gets send to the prosecutors. That's the way it ought to be.
MACLEISH: Wrong, wrong. Well, of course, that's the way it ought to be. But we need to be clear about this, John, because what you said really isn't accurate. what they said is they were talking about a situation where there might be one allegation of child molestation against a priest that goes back many years ago. Would that be enough? Now, my response is...
KASICH: Well, in my opinion, it's enough to throw him out.
MACLEISH: But wait a second. You know, I've been doing this for a long time. And sometimes there are allegations that aren't true. They have to be investigated. But you should only get the answer, if it's a credible allegation, as with any person who works with children. You get one chance. Now what was disturbing, and then you're out.
KASICH: You don't get any chance. Not with my kids or anybody elses.
MACLEISH: That's what I mean. You get no chances. Zero chances. They haven't decided that yet.
KASICH: How does this case get decided? Are you going to settle the Ford's -- are the Ford's going to settle, counselor, or do you expect to just keep fighting this and get to the bottom of this?
MACLEISH: That's -- you know something the Ford's resisted gag orders to get these documents out. They resisted the courts. They've resisted all kinds of things in terms of financial overtures. They've said no. We're going to take the cardinal's deposition on June 5.
KASICH: Sounds like courage to me, Mr. and Mrs. Ford. One last question. Mr. and Mrs. Ford, should you be invited to go to Dallas to present a little bit to the bishops when the meet?
RODNEY FORD, FATHER OF ALLEGED ABUSE VICTIM: I think we should be invited. It would just be a courtesy. But also it would be us to explain to them what happened to us, what happened to our family, what happened to other victims.
KASICH: Well, your story -- I'm sorry to interrupt you. We're running out of time. But I want you to know, your story, in my opinion, needs to be told. America needs to hear it. And there needs to be justice. I want to thank the two of you. And I want to thank you, counselor, for being with us tonight. God bless you.
MACLEISH: Thank you.
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