Tonight's "Vermont This Week" | Freyne Land
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Friday, June 22, 2007

Tonight's "Vermont This Week"

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2007 at 5:46 PM

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That's what it looks like from the "far-left" panelist seat on the "Vermont This Week" set at Vermont Public Television at Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester.

In fact, that's exactly what it looked like at the taping at 3:30 this afternoon with Sweet Sue Allen, currently the editor of the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus on the left, filling in for WPTZ-TV's Stewart Ledbetter, the regular host. Then that's Freeps Statehouse/political writer Nancy Remsen next to Susan and John Flowers from Middlebury's Addison Independent next to Nancy.

With things kind of day-to-day in Freyne Land due to chemotherapy, I can't predict just how things will go, but I was in great shape today. Pumped up. Delighted to be on the program with Sue Allen, who I've known since the Reagan Era when she landed at the Freeps [and tangled with when she was Ho-Ho's esteemed press secretary during his gubernatorial chapter]. And also excited about the opportunity to confront a bit of the Freyne Past - the Roman Catholic Church.

It's been front-page news all week -  the big civil lawsuit that began in Burlington in which a former Vermont altar boy is suing the Vermont Roman Catholic Diocese for damages due from being sexually assaulted by a Vermont parish priest way back in the 1970s.

Sam Hemingway at the Freeps and Brian Joyce at WCAX-TV have been all over it.

Yours truly has deliberately avoided this one, not because I was molested by a priest, but because when I walked out the door at Maryknoll 's college seminary in Glen Ellyn,  Illinois in early June of 1969,  I also walked out the door on the Roman Catholic Church. Quite simply, I was no longer believing it all anymore. And I could not accept the answers I got when I dared to asked questions.

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Though the church-lawsuit story wasn't on the original VTW headline list Producer Joe Merone e-mailed out around noontime, yours truly insisted we address it.  It's reality and that's supposed to be the business we're in, right? 

Especially when you have Susan Via, a top prosecutor from the 1980s, testifying that Roman Catholic Bishop John Marshall had told her boss,  Roman Catholic States Attorney [and now judge] Mark Keller, a Notre Dame grad,  it would be "a sin of scandal" if he opened a criminal investigation into the child-molesting priest's conduct.

Give me an effing break!

That's NEWS.

And it's also a dramatic window into the religious establishment of the past, and the power once enjoyed by it's priests, monsignors and bishops, who were experts in the world of sin, eh?

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Bio:
Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

More by Peter Freyne

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