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Good news for Oakland playgrounds

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Feb 01, 2005

In last November's San Franciso Faith, a former Dominican seminarian vented his exasperation with certain aspects of the western province, most importantly the fact that former sexual offenders were stashed in an Oakland priory and the major superior, Fr. Daniel Syverstad, O.P., let it be known that the cards were to be played face down. The criticisms drew a theatrically indignant response from the head of the priory, Fr. Roberto Corral, O.P., who claims that the report was "inaccurate, skewed, and malicious," pointing out that liturgical dance is not universal in the province and that Syverstad's name was misspelled. In the current issue the ex-seminarian replies to Corral. The main points:

As for what Father Syverstad said at the meeting mentioned in the article -- in charity, all I can say is, I was there, and Father Corral wasn't. Father Syverstad did tell the bishop about moving in the abusers, and he told us as much (and I don't recall having said otherwise), but Father Syverstad also told us they wouldn't be telling other dioceses about the sexual abuse histories of their priests and that if bishops began to require that, the province would withdraw from those dioceses. He said that they would freely admit to drug and alcohol abuse issues, but not sexual abuse. That's as near as I can remember to a word-for-word quote. Father Syverstad said nearly exactly that. Father Corral didn't hear it because he wasn't there. ...

I did note that Father Renz was particularly evasive when questioned about the admission of homosexual candidates to the Western Dominican Province. I notice that Father Corral didn't attempt to clarify those ambiguities even when given numerous opportunities.

There are faults on both sides, however. I checked in the Kenedy Catholic Directory, and Corral is right about the spelling of Syverstad.

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  • Posted by: - Feb. 01, 2005 10:45 AM ET USA

    Its great that they, in the person of Fr. Corral, dot all their i's and cross all their t's. Now could they do this in sentences which have Catholic substance? Also, in their fixation on "abuse histories" and "abuse issues" they seem to have crossed the psychological/secular/politically correct divide leaving religion behind. There seems to be no sense of sin, guilt, confession, forgiveness, reparation, nor a firm resolve not to abuse again.

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