Janet Heimlich casts a cold eye on a bishop’s “apology.”
You know what’s coming. We could all write the “apology” in our sleep.
“I wish to acknowledge and apologize for those instances when I made decisions regarding the treatment and disposition of clergy accused of sexual abuse that in retrospect appear inadequate or mistaken.” Curry added, “Like many others, I have come to a clearer understanding over the years of the causes and treatment of sexual abuse, and I have fully implemented in my pastoral region the archdiocese’s policies and procedures for reporting abuse, screening those who supervise children and abuse prevention training for adults and children.”
Uh huh. In retrospect. In retrospect they appear inadequate or mistaken. As Janet says, that’s no apology.
In retrospect they appear inadequate or mistaken, meaning, they appeared perfectly fine at the time, indeed virtuous and holy, because otherwise I wouldn’t have done them, because I am a bishop. It was all a mistake of perception, like being color blind. It was not at all a failure of empathy or moral alertness or basic consideration for others or recognition of the helplessness of a child in the hands of an adult man with all the weight of the church behind him. No no. Just a mistake, that’s all, like thinking Pluto was a planet.
Like many others, now he has learned better, but he didn’t know then, and that’s not his fault because he was like many others. Only he was also completely different because he was a Catholic priest, so he got to conceal crimes from the police. Janet continues:
The statement is disgraceful and disrespects victims of sexual abuse. The documents that have been released reveal communications between Curry and Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, who is also Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, in which they discussed ways to conceal cases of molestation from law enforcement. (Mahoney issued a more heartfelt apology to victims on January 21.) One particular case involves a priest who admitted to sexually abusing 13 boys during his 36 years in the Los Angeles archdiocese. Yet, rather than reporting the man to police, Curry said he should be sent to “a lawyer who is also a psychiatrist,” thereby putting “the reports under the protection of privilege.”
But he wants us to think that at the time, like many others, he didn’t know it’s not ok to hide crimes from the police.
But then if he didn’t know, because he was like many others, what becomes of the church’s claim to be better than everyone else? Why didn’t his priesthood make him better than “many others” – isn’t that the whole point of it? If it’s not, why are they always trying to tell everyone what to do?
They’re lying cowardly self-serving placeholders. They let their colleagues and friends make generations of children miserable, and now they pretend they didn’t know any better. They’re contemptible.