Action Alert!

Go ahead: name one

By Diogenes (articles - email) | Oct 27, 2006

At the November meeting of the US bishops' conference, one agenda item will be approval of a $335,000 outlay to fund a study on the causes and consequences of clerical sexual abuse. Oh, good: another study.

First the researchers will gather more data on clerical abuse, and look for patterns. Then:

The second component, Institutional Response by Church Leadership, will focus on "gaining understanding of the temporal, structural, and leadership factors within the Catholic Church that framed the response of individual dioceses to the crisis."

Look, for less than half the price of this study, I'll give the short answer to that question: the dioceses-- that is, the bishops-- didn't respond to the crisis. An adequate response would have entailed real pastoral leadership on the part of the bishops. They would have had to take responsibility. They didn't. And they still don't. (Notice that the study is to investigate the response of "dioceses"-- abstract corporate units-- rather than the men who control those dioceses.)

Moving right along:

"The actions of three dioceses with optimal response to reports of sexual abuse made after 1985 and three dioceses with notably (via public record) unsuccessful response will be studied," according to the proposal.

Offhand I can think of a few dozen bishops-- oops! I mean "dioceses"-- whose response was "unsuccessful." The winner in that category will be the first prelate behind bars. But good luck finding three bishops who made an "optimal response." Let's keep our expectations reasonable, and just try to name one.

Richard Cross holds a doctorate in psychology, who has taught at the university level, including at Franciscan University. He is currently an educational researcher and consultant in the field of psychology and related disciplines.
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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: sparch - Sep. 24, 2010 10:17 AM ET USA

    God always works through his own creation, weather that is man, beast or, in this case, nature and physics. God created the world so he may act within its boundaries so we may see his hand in our world. Of course there is a scientific explaination of all miricles, but each story contains the intervention of God that seems out of the ordinary. A miricle within a miricle.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 23, 2010 5:00 PM ET USA

    I think it's rather comforting to think that God intervenes by using means that are explainable by the laws of nature.

  • Posted by: FrPhillips1125 - Sep. 23, 2010 4:04 PM ET USA

    It could have happened at that very moment if God made it happen... oh, whoops, wait a minute. That's not the point the scientists wanted to make. Maybe it was Stephen Hawking's gravity theory that did it.