We must raise $518 by March 31st to pay critical bills. Essential to continue our mission. Donate now!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Scandal: The Next Phase

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 18, 2003

Several news items have appeared in the past few weeks with this story-line: lawyers for priests accused of sexual abuse are playing hardball by impugning the alleged victims (here's an example from Boston, here's another from New Hampshire).

Will most readers realize that the client defended by these lawyers is not the local diocese or religious order but the priest himself? Will most readers realize that it is not the diocese or religious order that is paying the lawyers and coaching them to go for the victims' jugular? Don't bet on it.

Almost inevitably the institutions that have received so much well-deserved criticism will now take the rap for what is beyond their control. It's a sad situation. The attorneys are not to blame: mounting an aggressive defense is part of their job. The journalists are not to blame: a priest represents the Church for good or ill; a priest never makes a truly private decision.

Morally rotten institutions can be reformed, if the right men get into the right positions. How? By being harsher on themselves than their critics are; by naming their own failures more objectively than do their adversaries; and by insisting that, the higher the officer, the higher the standard of integrity to which he is held. It is easy? No. It is possible? Only for men who value the purpose of the institution more than their own advancement within it.

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!

Progress toward our March expenses ($518 to go):
$35,000.00 $34,481.96
1% 99%
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.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Insights on the enigma that is Pope Francis March 27
Our Most Characteristic Vice? March 27
Recognizing the Noonday Devil March 27
Patricia Jannuzzi on gay activists: And the real problem is? March 27
Surrogate parenthood = exploitation of desperate women March 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope announces Jubilee: a Year of Mercy CWN - March 13