Practice What He Preaches
| In the
September 2, 1994 issue of the Omaha Catholic Voice, Elden Curtiss, Omaha's
Catholic Archbishop from 1993-2009, expressed his support for the anti-porn
group Omaha for Decency and their efforts to censor porn. Curtiss wrote that porn "is a contributing factor to sexual
abuse." He also stated that, "Merchants who allow themselves to be used to
promote pornography must accept the responsibility for repairing damage
which is done by their cooperation. Peddlers of pornography have to take
responsibility for the sins and addictions caused by their wares." Curtiss
advocated using unconstitutional censorship laws to fight porn.
Coming from former Archbishop Elden Curtiss, these statements were nothing but hypocritical. In early 2001, Curtiss was informed that a Norfolk priest, Robert Allgaier, had been regularly viewing child pornography on the Internet using the church's computer. When confronted, Allgaier admitted this to Curtiss. Allgaier admitted to viewing child porn several times a week for a few hours each time. How did Curtiss, who had the responsibility of assigning priests to churches in his diocese, handle the problem? He transferred Allgaier to another church, where some of the duties included teaching kids. The archbishop never even bothered to warn anyone that Allgaier admitted to regularly viewing child porn. (References)
If Curtiss truly believes that porn causes sexual abuse, then why would he reassign a priest who admits to regularly viewing child porn to work with kids? (While the claim that adult porn is responsible for increasing sex crimes is a myth and is discussed on another section of this site, the frequent viewing of child porn is an obvious warning sign of a sexual interest in children). Although Curtiss stated that, "Merchants who allow themselves to be used to promote pornography must accept the responsibility for repairing damage which is done by their cooperation", he apparently doesn't think this same idea should apply to archbishops who send pedophiles to work with kids. When Catholic church members criticized Curtiss's reassignment of Allgaier, Curtiss sent them letters stating that they were disloyal as well as a disgrace to the church. Curtiss also ordered these church members to perform penance for the "sin" of criticizing him. (Omaha World Herald, 3/19/2002) Curtiss obviously doesn't practice what he preaches.
A small excerpt from Archbishop Curtiss' anti-porn Catholic Voice column is displayed below. An article about Curtiss' reassignment of Allgaier and his letters to the church members can be read at the archives of The National Catholic Reporter.