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no offense

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 12, 2007

"We have all been enlightened."

Remember those words uttered by the then-president of the US bishops' conference, addressing the sex-abuse crisis? Now, 5+ years after the Dallas meeting, we keep getting reminders as to just how much enlightenment has been achieved.

Consider, for example, this case of Jesuit priest, active in Chicago, who had drawn a string of sex-abuse allegations stretching back for years. In December 2002, a father wrote to archdiocesan officials, complaining that the Jesuit order had not been response to his concerns about the priest's relationship with his son. The archdiocese referred the matter to the attention of those same complacent Jesuit superiors.

OK, "mistakes have been made." We've heard that line, too. But even today, when questioned by the Chicago Sun-Times, archdiocesan spokesman John O'Malley still doesn't see a major problem:

"What's the offense? There's no offense," O'Malley said.

You see, the boy in question was 19 years old. If he had been under 18 the full strength of the Dallas Charter would have been in force. But he wasn't. So there was no problem. Next question?

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Nov. 18, 2007 2:27 PM ET USA

    I was recently confronted by a non-Catholic friend by a troubling question: Why are your bishops more concerned about collecting money than they are about taking a stand on morality and conformity to doctrinal issues? How does one answer such a question? I do see and hear calls for revenue. Rarely do I hear anything about conforming to Catholic doctrine. No sermons on not practicing birth control,etc. To use the word "sin" from the pulpit is almost unheard of today.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 13, 2007 10:55 PM ET USA

    Looks like the Catechism needs to be reprinted...and the Code of Canon Law while we're at it. But why stop there? Let's redact and reprint a few thousand years of teaching too. Hey, this is fun! Good thing these bishops conferences are so infused with the Holy Spirit. The Dallas Charter...is it in Denzinger yet?

  • Posted by: - Nov. 12, 2007 8:33 PM ET USA

    The problem is not that we hear a bishop's spokesman say, "mistakes have been made"; it's that we never hear them say "and heads have rolled."

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