Saturday, April 20

Just stop it.

Michael Paulson of the Boston Globe writes that some Catholic leaders are beginning to complain that the Situation is being over-reported

You can file that song (sung even by Robert Drinan and Andrew Greeley now) under the category "They just don't get it."

What don't they get? Sexual predators in the priesthood is bad enough. Episcopal tolerance of their presence and indifference to victims are not so great either. Finding about the exent of the cover-ups is moving Catholics to ask, Okay...they've lied to us about this horrible thing. They've put our children at risk. What else have they lied to us about?

That's why it's not going away - because those questions aren't going away any time soon.

More on this later. It just ticks me off too much when I've got dinner to serve and a tot clinging to my leg. But you know - I always knew there was this "historic link" between American Catholicism and the Democratic party - I just wasn't aware that it extended to their freakin' Clintonesque rhetoric.

An article on on Catholic online debate of The Situation.. Couple of things went unmentioned: Rod Dreher's reporting and commentary at NRO and all of us involved in Catholic-Blog-o-Rama.

Don't worry. I've already emailed the reporter. Are you surprised?

From a priest-reader

That’s as good a synthesis as I’ve seen lately of the problems of” the past forty years” (I often begin homilies with that phrase; I expect my headstone will probably incorporate the words somehow). Those of us who have been saying these things from the pulpit for so long have watched these struggles helplessly up close and personal. There are a few things to remember:

1. We have never been alone, though often abandoned by those who should be serving the Gospel and Christ’s people. Meeting Christ in the Eucharist each day, the companionship of the Spirit, these things remain and shall remain.

2. As self-absorbed as the leadership has often been, no matter how vapid and silly the hymns, the para-liturgical nonsense, and RCIA/Catechetics garbage, the people of God still know the Shepherd when He appears, and they still sing the great worship songs of the past (where they are allowed) in a way that “Gather Us In” will never be sung.

3.Christ our Life suffers with us, and His suffering is never to no purpose. Our Holy Father carries those sufferings even now; let us pray for him this weekend as he confronts his brothers, some of whom (dare I say it?) are guilty of criminal stupidity and cupidity.

A couple of days ago, I railed on Fr. Andrew Greeley who said that Cardinal Mahony of LA is about the only Cardinal who "gets it" and can deal with this Situation and its ramifications.

Oh really?

Maybe Fr. Greeley could do some extra credit reading between his hack novels, or even just be honest about what he already knows:

the LA Times editor discusses his paper's coverage of the situation there and even though the Times is, for the most part, right in Mahony's pocket, there are hints of the stonewalling there.

And then from San Francisco, victims of an abusing priest in Stockton reflect on Mahoney's role:

Stockton attorney Larry Drivon, who won the verdict against O'Grady and the Stockton Diocese, was shocked that Mahony would be called on to help the church find a way out of the sex abuse crisis.

"The thought of having this guy protect children against pedophile priests is sickening," Drivon said. "Parents should ask whether they want a solution left in the hands of Roger Mahony."

Nancy Sloan, a Fairfield woman who says she was molested by O'Grady in 1976,
when she was 11 years old, said she thought Mahony -- the West Coast's only cardinal -- should resign as the archbishop of Los Angeles.

"Mahony betrayed our trust and hasn't taken responsibility for his part in all this," Sloan said. Among the material presented in the 1998 trial was a 1976 letter in the files of the Stockton diocese in which O'Grady admitted to inappropriate behavior with Sloan.

The evidence implicating Mahony in the O'Grady case was offered by the very psychiatrist whom Mahony, as bishop, had hired in 1984 to assess the pedophile priest. O'Grady was sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of lewd and lascivious acts.

In his testimony in the Stockton trial, Mahony denied that he knew O'Grady was a child molester.

But that statement was contradicted by the testimony of Dr. William Morris. According to the trial transcript, Morris testified that O'Grady had admitted being a "molester of children" and that Mahony had told Morris that he knew about O'Grady's pedophilia problem.

Morris' written report warned that O'Grady suffered "a severe defect in (sexual and social) maturation" and "is not truly called to the priesthood." Nevertheless, Mahony sent the priest on to other parishes, where the molestations continued.

And then see the American Prowler article cited below.

Bishop McCormack of NH steps down as head of bishop's committee on abuse:

Facing accusations that he protected priests who molested children, Bishop John McCormack has stepped down as head of the committee developing the Roman Catholic church's national response to the sex abuse crisis.

McCormack's spokesman, Patrick McGee, said Friday that the bishop will remain on the committee. He said the decision was the bishop's alone, prompted by a desire to focus on church work in New Hampshire, not by allegations of his involvement in the scandal.

The committee's credibility was called into question recently by reports that two of its members — including McCormack — are accused in lawsuits of helping protect priests who molested children.

McCormack is accused in Massachusetts lawsuits of knowing priests were abusing boys and failing to intervene, and of playing a role in shuffling offenders between parishes when he worked in the Boston Archdiocese.

Some reader responses this morning:

I agree that Jim's response to your question was brilliant, as well as, by turns, both hilarious and poignant. Upon first hearing that the cardinals were being called to Rome, I remember turning to my wife and saying "Great! JPII's going to kick *** and take down names."

While that may have been only a fond dream, I must say that I take respectful exception to the segment of Jim's comment where he portrays the Holy Father as accepting some measure of responsibility for the situation. The Pope is not a CEO, Prime Minister, or commanding general. The local church is in the hands of the bishops and the Bishops' Conference. He should be able to rely on them to handle this properly. It is important that we not forget that there are many fine bishops serving their flocks in the U.S. But if those engaged in coverups were able to hide this from even the media and their congregations, how much more effort do you think they expended in keeping it from the Vatican, so as to protect their 'careers'? Certainly some scattered reports could have made their way to the Vatican, but the Holy Father is dealing with the persecution of the Church in China, the murder and enslavement of Christians in the Sudan, the slide toward Armageddon in the Holy Land, the rising threat to Christians by radical Islamists, anti-Semitism in Europe, and other internal problems of the Church itself in Africa and elsewhere. As revolting and destructive as the pedophilia/ephebophilia occurrences, coverup, and revelations are, they are among a list of many worldwide and Church-wide problems that compete for his attention. Literally, the entire world is his responsibility.

In fact, the fact that he is committing any time and resources at all to it probably says more about his love for the American church than it does about any responsibilities on his part. Please don't get me wrong - the issue must be dealt with, and I would love to see him deal with it as in Jim's portrayal. But the responsibility lies with the bishops. We can hope that they will finally cease their pouting about 'collegiality' and 'sharing of power' with the Vatican, and properly apply the power they already have; to be moral exemplars, faithful followers of Christ, obedient communicants with the See of Peter, successors to the apostles, and protective sheperds of their flocks.

Especially after he's done kicking *** and taking down names.


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