Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $33,972 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

It took a non-Catholic...

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Jul 29, 2003

Civil-rights lawyer Harvey Silverglate, writing in the Wall Street Journal (his op-ed column, unfortunately, is available online only to WSJ subscribers for the moment) to point out what's wrong with the ballyhooed report by Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly on the sex-abuse scandal in the Boston archdiocese.

The attorney general, Silverglate carefully points out, is not the Pope.

So why does Reilly presume to dictate the policies of the Catholic Church?

As a public prosecutor, Silverglate points out, Reilly has the authority to press charges against clerics who break the law. But he does not have the authority to dictate the internal policies of a religious body-- which is what he has sought to do. Silverglate also notes:

Mr. Reilly, although himself a Catholic, appears to have no understanding of the implications of a church that believes in the redemption of sinners, where pastors see themselves as shepherds rather than adjuncts to prosecutors.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($120,151 to go):
$150,000.00 $29,848.98
80% 20%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jul. 29, 2003 3:17 PM ET USA

    I wonder if Reilly has been invited to the installation of the new archbishop? He could enthrone the new ordinary and place the miter on his head. But, then, the outward show is hardly necessary. With the Kennedys and Kerrys in attendance, we know that the new archbishop is simply one of the cultural elites who make the deals, call the shots, and ignore the Church.

  • Posted by: Phil - Jul. 29, 2003 1:15 PM ET USA

    Please, John, read a bit more carefully. Nobody is suggesting that wrongdoers should "get away with it." Prosecutors can prosecute. Nobody is saying that bishops should be immune from "reasonable criticism." We've done more than our share of criticizing, right here on OTR. But AG Reilly is not prosecuting. Nor is he content with criticizing. He wants to dictate church policies. The question here is not the bishops' guilt, but a politician's ambition-- a clear church-state concern.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jul. 29, 2003 1:05 PM ET USA

    So I guess that means our Church can do as much evil as it wants and get away with it???And that our Bishops can be as negligent as THEY want and not be subject to reasonable criticism??? Paul writes in his Letter to the Corinthians that "there is a man among you that is guilty of evil that not even the heathen would be heard of doing..." and he (Paul) continues "Put the evil man out of your group..."Many are in contradiction of Holy Scriptures and Church Teaching. What about you?

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs 19 hours ago
How not to be persuasive 20 hours ago
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28
Does the Kasper Proposal make Pope Francis a heretic? Invalid marriages and mortal sin October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6