URGENT! Only 1 day left! We must still match $0 to win a $25,400 Challenge Grant! Can you help?
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

The Price is Right

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 18, 2003

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has cut a deal with the DA backing down on its claims for the confidentiality of archival documents:

As part of the agreement, the archdiocese will give prosecutors documents that it had previously argued were confidential communications between church officials and their attorneys. Terms of that deal were revealed Monday afternoon when prosecutors and the archdiocese dismissed their claims against each other in the Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals. The court heard arguments last week about why church officials wanted to keep the records secret, and why prosecutors wanted to see them.

The demands of confidentiality, you see, are absolute. At least until we hear a better offer. Readers of Evelyn Waugh will remember the Nestorian Patriarch's line in Black Mischief:

'In happened in the time of Gorgias, my predecessor, of evil memory,' said his Beatitude, 'and the intelligence was delivered to me on my assumption of office, under a seal so holy that only extreme personal vexation induces me to break it.'

It's reasonable that a Catholic diocese should enjoy its rights-at-law as party to a civil proceeding. But it has responsibilities graver than those of other litigants; it teaches the world about itself and its faith in all its public actions -- not simply in the words spoken from the pulpit. If on some occasions a Catholic body makes use of privileged confidentiality for tactical reasons, it should be aware of the likelihood that it is compounding scandal by so doing, and should therefore strive for an institutional openness -- especially openness about its failings -- that is above and beyond the call of duty. The diocese's main task is not to keep its higher clergy out of jail (cf. the Archbishop of Minsk below) but to speak the truth, especially when it's difficult to do so.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($0 to go):
$25,400.00 $25,399.71
100%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Urgent! We need extra financial support between now and May 24th. May 22
What's wrong with these pictures? May 22
What can we learn from the dignity of military services? May 22
Was Lewis “basically Catholic”? May 21
Reading The Diary of a Country Priest: Scandal May 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days