On November 6, Green Bay Judge Mark Warpinski refused to recuse himself from a case involving a lawsuit against the Diocese of Green Bay. The civil case involves sexual molestation committed 18 years ago by a priest who is in prison. Attorney Jeffrey Anderson of St. Paul, Minnesota, filed a motion, demanding that Judge Warpinski step down because a) he is a Catholic and b) he served on the Board of Education of Notre Dame Academy.
Imagine the media reaction if a Jewish judge who was active in his local yeshiva were asked to step aside in a trial involving a synagogue. Yet when it comes to a Catholic judge who was active in a local Catholic school being asked to recuse himself from a case involving his diocese, there is no outrage at all. The fact that we have become literally anaesthetized to anti-Catholicism is a damning commentary on American society.
And look who the players are. No attorney has made more money suing the Catholic Church than Jeff Anderson; three years ago it was estimated by the Associated Press that he’d won $60 million in settlements from Catholic dioceses. He will stop at nothing: he has tried to sue the Vatican; he has attempted to use the notorious RICO statute against the Church; and he has called the seal of confession a “loophole.” He is also one of the most generous benefactors to SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests). And for greasing SNAP, Anderson gets what he wants—SNAP issued a press release on November 4 demanding that Judge Warpinski step down. All because the judge is a Catholic.
Judge Warpinski should never have been subjected to this kind of personal assault. But in today’s climate, where any Catholic who is associated in any way with a sexual abuse case is considered suspect, justice often proves to be elusive. This is especially true when fat-cat lawyers with agendas team up with professional victims’ groups.