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?

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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

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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