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Phoenix yet again

By Fr. Wilson (articles ) | Jun 07, 2003

Today's Dallas Morning News has a particularly fine editorial on the situation in Phoenix, and the troubling constitutional implications of the deal cut by the county attorney with the Bishop. While maintaining that he has sufficient evidence to indict Bishop O'Brien for obstruction of justice, the county attorney elected, for the public good, to forego prosecution and sign an agreement with the bishop binding him and his successors to certain structural changes designed to take sexual abuse cases out of their hands. The civil authorities have asserted an unprecedented degree of control over internal Church matters.

The editorial is well crafted, its conclusion especially fine. It offers food for thought for everyone. My one reservation about it stems from my lack of conviction that anything in the Church has really changed since Dallas. If I were the county attorney, weighing the options of either signing this agreement or indicting the bishop, I think I might well say, "If we indict and convict him, they'll send another one just as bad and the problem will continue, quietly, under the surface."

What the bishops have wrought!! They'll never figure it out, of course -- in this life. But what a legacy they're passing on!

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