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A mile in their shoes

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Jul 01, 2004

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Last week Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News faced a decision: Should he call attention to a priest who was helping out in a local parish? That priest, Dreher had learned, was suspended by his own diocese, on sexual-misconduct charges.

It looks at first like an easy call, especially for someone like Dreher, who has a deserved reputation for putting the heat on clerical abusers. But there was a problem: The problem was in Dreher's own parish, and exposing the suspended priest would mean causing a disruption and hurting innocent people there.

In his column today, Dreher explains that now, having been through the experience, he's beginning to understand why some clerics have been reluctant to discipline abusers, and preferred to "handle things quietly."

The difference is: Dreher did the right thing.

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 CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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