Like many others

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. [Read more…]

Go, and report child rape no more

Good to see the Catholic church learning (however slowly) from its mistakes.

The Italian Bishop’s Conference (CIE) has issued guidelines on child  protection that inform its bishops that they are ‘not obliged to report illicit  facts’ of child abuse to the police.

In their new five page document which advised Italian Bishops on how to deal  with paedophilia they failed to focus on one of the most important and obvious  means of combating the crime – informing police authorities.

Instead the document read: “Under Italian law, the bishop, given that he  holds no public office nor is he a public servant, is not obliged to report  illicit facts of the type covered by this document to the relevant state  judicial authorities.”

Not learning from their mistakes after all, then.

Freedom of secularism

The Catholic bishops have been gearing up for this fight for months.

Hours after President Obama phoned to share his decision with Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, who is president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the bishops’ headquarters in Washington posted on its Web site a video of Archbishop Dolan, which had been recorded the day before.

“Never before,” Archbishop Dolan said, setting the tone, “has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.”

Ah yes Archbishop Timothy Dolan. We’ve encountered him before. [Read more…]

Pity the poor bishops

The Catholic bishops haz a sad again. This time it’s the Catholic bishops in the Netherlands. Not the ones in Belgium, nor in Bavaria, nor in Ireland, nor in Alaska, nor in Boston, nor in New York. No. These are the ones in the Netherlands. They haz a sad because

Tens of thousands of children have suffered sexual abuse in Dutch Catholic institutions since 1945, a report says.

Oh dear oh dear, say the Catholic bishops in the Netherlands. That is sad.

The report by an independent commission said Catholic officials had failed to tackle the widespread abuse at schools, seminaries and orphanages.

“This episode fills us with shame and sorrow,” said a bishops’ statement.

Does it? Why? Because it’s not a secret any more?

It’s hard to believe it fills them with shame and sorrow because of the nature of the abuse and sympathy for the children who were abused. It’s hard to believe they haz a sad about anyone but themselves. The reason for that difficulty is the date cited: since 1945. They didn’t haz a sad from 1945 until the present. The fact that they have one now, after the report has been published, seems to indicate that they could have continued with equanimity if only the whole matter had gone on being an ecclesiastical secret.