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we have been enlightened again

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 17, 2007

After just 5 months of counseling-- in a program he joined as a way to avoid criminal charges-- Bishop Daniel Walsh of Santa Rosa, California, fully understands state law requiring clergymen to report evidence of child abuse.

Now you may be surprised that it takes 5 months to get that message across. You got the picture right away, didn't you? If you find out that someone is molesting children (sacramental confession excepted), you have to tell the cops. OK? Clear enough? Any questions? Right. Now what do we do for the next 4 months and 29 days?

But then you're not a bishop, and the American hierarchy as a class has been having an awful lot of difficulty with this particular subject. So much so that this prize pupil of the California system wants to set up a new program to help the priests of his diocese master the same material. The counseling program was a revelation for him, it seems.

It was that exposure to the resources we have in this community that was an eye-opener to me," he said.

I wonder what those resources are. Phones, fax machines, email? The Santa Rosa diocese is located in a hotbed of high technology, and there are probably lots of ways to get a message to law-enforcement officials in less than 3 days-- which is, by the way, about the time it takes for an accused child molester to get from Santa Rosa to the Mexico border.

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Show 11 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 1:20 PM ET USA

    Leo XIII & Norwood Farmer: Diogenes does the Church a great good by encouraging bishops to tell the truth. They are called to bear witness to the Truth, to Jesus Christ. As Successors to the Apostles, they are to glue us to the Vicar of Christ. When they lie, they begin to unglue us from the Truth & His Vicar, the Holy Father. When Cdl. Law perjures himself & Bp. Walsh & Cdl. McCarrick et al. lie & disobey the Church, we do need to pray that they will bear witness to the Truth again, AMDG.

  • Posted by: - May. 19, 2007 9:07 AM ET USA

    Those who engage in character assasination of bishops look like protestants who reject the doctrine of apostolic succession. Bishops are not perfect. They commit sins. But they are the successors of the apostles, and they deserve prayers not condemnations.

  • Posted by: - May. 18, 2007 8:18 PM ET USA

    It is a denial of Original Sin to believe that becomes he seems "a nice guy" that he can't fail a test of courage. Small is many a man who inhabits the Bishop's mitre.

  • Posted by: - May. 18, 2007 3:04 PM ET USA

    Great Caesar's Ghost, Cardinal LAW? LAW has a defender?! The mind is boggled. It reels. Or is it a parody? Of course, Norwood you old Devil. You had me goin' there for a minute. Very funny.

  • Posted by: - May. 18, 2007 1:56 PM ET USA

    I admire your fidelity to your bishop, Leo XIII. I credit your report much more than I do this latest assault by Diogenes on the character of a U. S. bishop. I have written here many times of my love for Bernard Card. Law, who, I believe, is foremost amongst episcopal scapegoats in the clergy sexual abuse scandal. Unfortunately, CWNews, in its bishop-bashing fervor, has exhibited yet again its willingness to play judge, jury, & executioner in trying our embattled bishops in the 'Catholic' press.

  • Posted by: - May. 18, 2007 9:56 AM ET USA

    I do not agree with Bishop Walsh on everything, nor with how he handled the Ochoa matter. He is not perfect. I believe him to be an honest and dedicated man. The real problem in this Diocese rests in the fact that about 90% of the clergy are extremely liberal. Walsh does not deserve to be scapegoated. I don't buy the theory that he let Ochoa escape to Mexico lest Ochoa blow the whistle on pederasts in the heirarchy.

  • Posted by: - May. 17, 2007 11:30 PM ET USA

    Priests can make absolution contingent upon the penitent turning himself in to the police, can't they?

  • Posted by: - May. 17, 2007 1:56 PM ET USA

    AMEN to "Newman"! AMEN! AMEN! I've been trying to get that message across for years, without any apparent success. See: "The Catholic Omertà" http://www.inquisition.ca/en/serm/omerta.htm

  • Posted by: - May. 17, 2007 1:24 PM ET USA

    What will it take to persuade you, Leo XIII? He is certainly a pleasant and affable fellow. I have been to masses he celebrated as a priest, before he became a bishop, and have met him and know him (or knew him years ago) slightly. But in this very important matter of dealing with sexual abusers, I find nothing admirable in him.

  • Posted by: - May. 17, 2007 1:04 PM ET USA

    Forgive me, but it seems to me that the attitude expressed by Leo XIII (not the pope) is a big part of the problem. So many Catholics believe that it is their religious obligation to defend church leaders--no matter what. The bishops know this and exploit it. Faith is not a cult of personality (not even a papal cult of personality). Until Roman Catholics learn this, the corruption will continue, while laypeople pat themselves on the back for their obedience.

  • Posted by: - May. 17, 2007 10:28 AM ET USA

    Bishop Walsh is my bishop. I believe he is a good man and a good bishop.

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