Go ahead: name one

By Diogenes (articles ) | 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.

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 30, 2006 3:44 PM ET USA

    Wow, I finally get a chance to save my Church $300,000. For $35,000 I will disclose the problem and give explicit instructions on how to solve it. 1) The Problem: Gay men like to have sex with post pubescent males. 2) The Solution: Get rid of Gay priests On second thought, they can keep the 35g's.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 30, 2006 2:15 PM ET USA

    Jesus commissioned just one study. Only one of the future Bishops got the correct answer. 2,000 years later it appears the US Bishops still are not following Peter's lead.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 28, 2006 11:41 PM ET USA

    Save the $335.000,Why another study for what we already know?The priesthood has been infiltrated by promoters and sympatherziers of the Gay agenda who are trying to bring about change from within,among them is my Bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester NY,who stated that he would ignore the new Vatican guide lines on Gays being admitted to the seminary.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Oct. 27, 2006 10:45 PM ET USA

    don't forget that this study is expected to total 2-3 M I L L I ON ! the $335,000 is but a component.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 27, 2006 10:10 PM ET USA

    As a Jackie Gleason character used to say; "Homina, homina." More of the same and nothing is accomplished and more money wasted.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 27, 2006 6:14 PM ET USA

    I hate to undercut Uncle Di's price but for a mere tenth of what the Bishops are spending (not their money mind you but the good people of God's money) to inform their confused brains of the true cause. Are not Bishops supposed to be pastors of their priests? Shepard of the shepards? So...if they knew their priests, whose fault was the 'crisis'? Who ordained these men? Another interesting question comes to mind. Don't priests know their brother priests? Why the grand silence for so long?

  • Posted by: rpp - Oct. 27, 2006 5:14 PM ET USA

    Oh, and you can bet that the Diocese of Lincoln Nebraska will be singled out for aprticular criticism. At least in the part made public.

  • Posted by: rpp - Oct. 27, 2006 5:13 PM ET USA

    The three "sub-optimal" diocees will be selected based on how long ago the Ordinary in question there has either retired or died. No living or in office ordinary will be investigated. You heard it here first.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 27, 2006 2:41 PM ET USA

    You hit the nail squarely on the head - "the response of individual dioceses to the crisis." The response of individual bishops would be a far more enlightening study. So, exactly how are the People of God resonsible for the goings-on, if this is indeed a diocesan problem? Pardon my VII ecclesiology but I do believe it's sound.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 27, 2006 2:29 PM ET USA

    Sadly, I can think of only one: Bishop John D'Arcy of the diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend, Indiana. Happily, he's my bishop. He served as an auxillary to Law in Boston before receiving the FW/SB See, and was an outspoken opponent of the behind the scenes maneuvering in BAH-ston. He swore he'd never let that happen in his diocese. Has there been abuse in FW/SB? Yep. During his watch? Yes, but very little, and never, ever covered up.