Action Alert!

Beyond reproach?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Sep 01, 2003

Confronted with the evidence that a child-molestor had apparently been working for him in the Vatican Secretariat of State, Bishop James Harvey tells the Dallas Morning News: "I presumed everything was OK, that there wasn't anything to it or the accusations were false."

Are you sick and tired of hearing such lame excuses from American bishops? I certainly am.

When the Dallas Morning News reports that Bishop Harvey had been twice warned about the priest in question, do you wonder why he continued to "presume" that there was no problem? I certainly do.

Bishop Harvey-- who is now the prefect of the pontifical household-- said that he welcomed the resignation of the accused priest, reasoning: "You want your officers beyond reproach."

Right. And since the papal staff should certainly be beyond reproach, Bishop Harvey's resignation should be coming next. And soon.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Sep. 01, 2003 7:36 PM ET USA

    Dear Phil, Perchance this is a symptom of the "headless chicken" syndrome of which you refer to above: A Bishop that can't dismiss a priest; And a Pope who can't dismiss a Bishop...Alas!, the true orgin of the disease!