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over and over again

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 25, 2008

 Explaining why he ordered the cancellation of a book-signing by Phil Lawler at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Msgr. Walter Rossi, the rector the basilica, told the Washington Times that Phil's book, The Faithful Departed, covered a subject on which the Roman Pontiff wants no further discussion. During his April visit to the US, the rector said, the Pope said as much.

"Benedict over and over again said it's time to move on," the monsignor said of the sex-abuse scandal.

Really? 

If the Pope said this "over and over again," it's funny that the message does not appear in the transcripts of his public remarks. It's funny that nobody else heard him say it. Maybe Msgr. Rossi had a front-row seat, and could hear things that the Pope whispered.

Yes, Pope Benedict said that it is time for healing and reconciliation. But he also said that he was "deeply ashamed" by the scandal, and that it had been "sometimes very badly handled." 

If the sex-abuse crisis was shameful, and if it was badly handled-- and who would deny either fact?-- then true reconciliation would entail a careful examination of that inept handling, and a determination to root out the problem. Then maybe it would be appropriate to "move on." 

But in fairness to Msgr. Rossi, he wasn't speaking entirely for himself. The rector reported that he had received "several complaining calls" about Phil's scheduled appearance at the shrine bookstore. He doesn't really have to tell us who made those calls; we already know. The US hierarchy, which "sometimes very badly handled" the sex-abuse scandal, is uncomfortable with any further discussion of the issue. The American bishops think "it's time to move on." That's become something like a mantra, chanted over and over again until sometimes people hear it even when it hasn't been said.

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