What the bishops say

For our final item for this brief but exciting miniature blogathon – David Gibson at Religion News Service looks at the way bishops strain at imaginary gnats while gulping down very large smelly camels.

When the bishops gathered under intense public pressure in Dallas in June 2002, they seemed determined to take dramatic steps, and to a degree they did. Their Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People developed a “one-strike” policy to remove priests credibly accused of a single act of abuse, and jump-started efforts to have the Vatican streamline the process for defrocking abusive clerics…

Yet after all was said and done in Dallas, the bishops exempted themselves from any real sanctions. That self-absolution was considered outrageous at the time, and the passing years have not eased the anger.

“The Vatican also needs to do its job. It appears to have no problem investigating nuns and theologians, but investigating mismanagement by a bishop is not a priority,” the Rev. Thomas Reese, a well-known Jesuit commentator, told a symposium last month at Jesuit-run Santa Clara University to mark the 10th anniversary of the Dallas charter.

“Even when a bishop is indicted, no one has the sense to tell him to take a leave of absence until the case is over,” Reese said.

Quis custodiet, eh? Eh? It’s very like the bankers and hedge fund managers getting themselves put in charge of everything so that all the people who had nothing to do with all that gambling with other people’s money get to lose their jobs and houses and savings, while all the people who had everything to do with it continue to pocket millions every year, much of it via taxpayers. It’s very like that. We will fix all the things except the ones that have anything to do with us; those, of course, we will carefully bracket and put aside, because we want to be happy. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

And so my part in the blogathon comes to an end and I get to rush outside for fresh air and rapid motion.

It is 1:58. This is post 13 of 13.

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  1. 'Tis Himself says

    The Catholic hierarchy has always been more concerned with the prestige and dignity of the Church rather than the welfare of children.

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