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following orders?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 01, 2008

Last August, Bishop Donald Pelotte asked the public to believe that the severe injuries he had sustained were caused by a household accident, not a savage beating. Now he's ready to admit with a chuckle that his original explanation was implausible.

Where does that leave us?

For one thing there's a violent criminal on the loose. "You'll never find him," says the bishop. That's probably true-- in large part because the bishop never filed criminal charges, and now says that he can't remember the incident. The police in Gallup, New Mexico, have nothing to go on. "There is no case," says the chief.

So there's a question of justice here: a failure to report a serious crime, and to cooperate with police in investigating that crime. There's also a question of integrity. If you want people to believe what Catholic prelates say, you need Catholic prelates who have the habit of telling the truth.

Poor Bishop Pelotte clearly has had some personal troubles. After the August beating there were more reports of bizarre behavior, ultimately leading to his resignation-- which was attributed to unspecified health problems. Let's leave the poor man alone.

But what about the chancery aides who repeatedly insisted that the bishop had fallen down the stairs. The man who originally offered that explanation now laughs it off, admitting "there’s no way that I could have gotten that damage by falling down the stairs." Why were his aides anxious to spread a preposterous story? Is it because…

  • They looked at the photos of a man who had obviously been beaten, heard the police say that he had obviously been beaten, and concluded that he obviously hadn't been beaten.
  • They knew it wasn't a household accident, but they realized that the bishop was covering up something-- he must have had his reasons-- and so they played along to help him.
  • They knew it wasn't a household accident, they knew what the bishop was trying to cover up, and they wanted to cover it up, too.
  • They were determined always to tell the truth.

Hmm. On reflection I suppose we can rule out one of those possibilities.

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Show 9 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Aug. 02, 2008 6:08 PM ET USA

    The poor man is impaired. I've been a psychologist 30 years...trust me. But he resigned, so in Christian charity, leave him alone. This having been said, there are plenty of American bishops significantly more pastorally impaired than Bp. Pelotte, many of whom might be better off (as would the Church) if they "fell down a few flights of stairs" and resigned. Oremus.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 02, 2008 4:44 PM ET USA

    Pelotte is suffering brain damage from the beating. He probably remembers nothing. He may be a totally innocent victim - he may have let in someone with a hard luck story. But why is the chancery covering up,and why are the police going along with it? If if Pelotte is guilty of some misconduct (pure speculation at the moment) his assailant should be caught and punished. Lee Podles

  • Posted by: - Aug. 02, 2008 11:42 AM ET USA

    Have you ever seen the personality profile of the typical person who works in a chancery office? Let's put it this way-you wouldn't want your daughter to marry one.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 02, 2008 11:03 AM ET USA

    Perhaps he and the mystery guest should have stuck to TALKING about touching.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 02, 2008 5:23 AM ET USA

    "They knew it wasn't a household accident, but they realized that the bishop was covering up something-- he must have had his reasons" I was attacked and robbed in the context of hearing the confession of someone who came late evening to my home in (apparent} distress requesting absolution. What to do? We can never know all the facts.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 01, 2008 8:20 PM ET USA

    Bishop Pelotte should not continue to lie about what happened and why. The Catholic Church is in the business of forgiveness and that applies to bishops too. But contrition starts with an admission of guilt. If he does that, Catholics will be mindful that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 3:23)

  • Posted by: Art Kelly - Aug. 01, 2008 8:20 PM ET USA

    Bishop Pelotte should not continue to lie about what happened and why. The Catholic Church is in the business of forgiveness and that applies to bishops too. But contrition starts with an admission of guilt. If he does that, Catholics will be mindful that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 3:23)

  • Posted by: - Aug. 01, 2008 8:00 PM ET USA

    Its all about the children.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 01, 2008 5:42 PM ET USA

    And perhaps the first possibility as well (I rather doubt that they're THAT dumb).

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