Friday, January 21, 2011

After what appeared to be a relatively quiet spell, Catholic news has been like a blizzard. Fresh off the heels of the announcement of the beatification of John Paul II sparking requests for vials of his blood comes the discovery of a letter to the Irish Bishops during John Paul II's reign.
The 1997 letter is a response to a letter from the Irish Bishop's discussion of mandatory reporting of sexualabuse to civil authorities.

The letter, signed by the late Archbishop Luciano Storero, Pope John Paul II's envoy to Ireland, it instructs bishops that their new policy of making the reporting of suspected crimes mandatory "gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and canonical nature"
The letter also says reporting such abuse would be embarrassing. I bet.
Yet the Vatican and groups like the Catholic League are saying this was merely a suggestion that they meticulously follow the Code of Cannon Law. This didn't mean they couldn't report the abuse. It just meant they shouldn't. Isn't that better?
Bill Donohue, spokesperson for the Catholic League, defended the letter by saying:
"Last month, several media outlets ran a story on how a rabbinical court in Brooklyn ordered its 10,000 members not to report crimes to the police. Not among those reporting on it was the New York Times...
So who wants mandatory reporting for everyone? The Catholic bishops want it—it's the liberal media and liberal activist groups who don't."
What? Maybe it is because I haven't had a cup of coffee yet but I have no idea what The New York Times has to do with the behavior of the Catholic Church.
As for the Jews, well the Catholic League also thinks they need to re-examine the role of Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust.  Right. I wonder if he was the one who suggested Sarah Palin use the term "Blood Libel." 
Did you know his salary is close to $400K?
So according to the well paid Mr. Donohue the Catholic Bishops want mandatory reporting. That's curious. 
Let's look at a letter written in 1984 by Silvio Angelo Pio Cardinal Oddi, who was from 1979 to 1986 Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy - that is, the Curia, which is, together with the Pope, the governing body of the Catholic Church.  The Pope still being near saint John Paul II.
The letter addressed to Bishop Moreno of Tuscon says there isn't "any need for engaging in the so called "due process" procedures," and "The files of a Bishop concerning his priests are altogether private; their forced acquisition by civil authority would be an intolerable attack upon the free exercise of religion in the United States."
I've got to hand it to Donohue, he may be right. The Bishops may want mandatory reporting. It is the vatican who doesn't. Along with the New York Times.
But what about the Cardinals?
Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian released on his Web page the names of 117 priests, deacons and lay members that he claims abused 750 children over half a century. He released the names in order to prompt the Boston Archdiocese to release the names for sake of public safety.  Of the 117 names, 19 were new. Never before reported.
Of the 19 new names 12 are now deceased. Spokesperson Kelly Lynch for the Boston Archdiocese said  “Since all of the new names are deceased men, clearly no child was put at risk because these names were not in the public domain.” 
On December 21st Pope Benedict said in reference to the abuse scandal, "We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred." 
Okay, instead of asking yourselves why not ask me? I would suggest releasing all of the names, including the ones who are deceased so a person who may have been abused by that dead priest may start to get the help they need to cope with the abuse and try to lead a normal life. 
Or are you afraid they might just lawyer up to help repair the injustice and handing over files is just too intolerable?
Full disclosure can repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred. So would a Congressional Hearing into what appears to be an organized cover up. Or a federal prosecutor with some balls.


Hope said...

I thought that the NY Times was run by the Jews and the Liberal Media Elite. Not the Catholic Church. Oh, my poor head, I am so confused...

You know what's embarrassing? A church that doesn't want to do something about child molestation. THAT is embarrassing.

LJC said...

I had a headache when I started reading this...the content made my head hurt even worse. There's a huge difference between protecting the free practice of religion and protecting criminals.