Two words: absolutely shocking.That is the phrase that comes to mind if you read the recent Burlington Free Press news article, “Ex-priest apologizes for abuse.”According to the article, former priest Edward Paquette has been accused in 23 lawsuits for molesting altar boys in Vermont during the 1970s, including his first cousin Ron Paquette.Do you know how many fines he has had to pay? Do you know how many years he has spent in jail?The answer to both questions is zero. That’s right, zero. I repeat: absolutely shocking.Since 1955 Paquette has been exposed for molesting his cousin, being caught with a teenage boy in a parked car and “molesting boys at three Indiana parishes over a six-year period.”Despite these incidents, there have been no legal sanctions imposed on Paquette. He was given multiple second chances after being expelled from both a Massachusetts and Indiana diocese. After the incidents in Massachusetts and Indiana, in 1972 he was hired by a Vermont Bishop who thought that electric-shock therapy had “cured” him of his homosexuality. Surprise, surprise, it wasn’t long before Paquette was accused of sexually molesting boys at parishes in Rutland and Burlington. Once again, it gets worse: when civil lawsuits ranging from $900,000 to $8.75 million were filed against him, who paid the bill? The Vermont Catholic Diocese — that’s who.And now at age 80, the un-punished — and I say unpunished fully aware that he finally permanently lost his position as priest — he is starting to say sorry.I say, save it Ed. You should be in jail. According to the article the churches that were aware of his misconduct in the 1960s and ’70s, “perceived his problem as a moral problem, not a legal problem.”Tell that to the dozens of children he molested.What is even more sickening is the way that Paquette almost makes himself sound like the victim in the article. “In retrospect, Paquette said the Vermont diocese should have assigned him to a job that did not put him in a position where he might repeat his behavior.”As if it was the fault of the Vermont Diocese?Try again Ed. How about: in retrospect, I should not have taken advantage of my position as a spiritual leader and sexually violated innocent youths in the house of God.He talks about how other than molesting boys, people say that he is generally a nice guy — and how when he was permanently expelled by the Vatican he felt like “the world had ended.”I’m sorry you feel that way Ed, but I can’t imagine that those boys felt much better when you touched them, and I’m sure that the fact that you’re a nice neighbor really helps them sleep at night.It’s all good and well that Paquette has decided to apologize, but any truly pious and sorry man who knows the evil which he has committed would give himself up to the mercy of the law that would impose an appropriate jail sentence.