spiritual direction

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 13, 2006

The Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, whose former bishop owes his freedom to the statute of limitations, is now fighting against its own insurance companies' efforts to gain access to diocesan records regarding sex-abuse allegations. By now you know the drill: the insurers believe that those records might show negligence on the part of diocesan authorities; the diocese argues that the records are protected by the confidentiality of spiritual direction.

Just three quick questions:

1) When you have a session with your spiritual director, how many documents are produced?

2) If the court sides with the insurance companies, and the documents are unsealed, do you think they will show that diocesan authorities acted responsibly?

3) OK, that was too easy. How about this: If the documents did cast diocesan officials in a favorable light, do you suppose they'd still be covered by that spiritual-direction privilege?

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  • Posted by: - Dec. 15, 2006 2:12 AM ET USA

    It is obvious what advise the lawyers gave to the Bishops. How do you spend over 1.5 billion dollars, out on abuse cases, except thru bad advise?.Who do you think got a lot of money, trying the abuse cases, for years by obstructing justice? Example: not turning over files with damaging information sent to the Bishops over and over by witnesses or by the abused childrens parents. Often times the Bishop's office totally ignored the warnings sent to them. The lawyers solutions were disastrous.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 14, 2006 7:28 AM ET USA

    Ross Dee -- none of us knows what advice lawyers gave those many bishops running child abuse protection rackets, but that's not the point at all. The question of what to do when presented with allegations or even, in many cases, irrefutable evidence of molestation is not simply a legal one, but one manifestly moral --and, to any Christian with normal sensibilities, the answer is obvious: make sure the offender pays through the criminal justice system and above all, protect the children of God!

  • Posted by: - Dec. 14, 2006 3:56 AM ET USA

    The Bishop of Albany, NY, spent $! million of diocesan funds to clear his name, and Mary Jo White, the investigator, was given full access to all personnel files to establish his bona fides. [It turned out that a Priest who used the nickname "Bishop" and haunted a homosexual park was the culprit!] AMDG

  • Posted by: - Dec. 14, 2006 12:44 AM ET USA

    The lawyers gave bad advise to the Bishops. When an abuse charge came in, they should have taken it to court.There are always people with false claims. If a priest is accused, the Bishop should question the priest and tell him we will take it to court to find out the TRUTH! If the priest is "innocent", he would have nothing to hide. If he is "not innocent", he should be locked-up and strip him of his faculties. The Bishops should have lawyers that seek the Truth and Justice. No outside payoffs.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 13, 2006 5:28 PM ET USA

    What galls me when I read these sorts of posts is that there are so many in the Church -- hierarchy and laity -- who fault lawyers for having brought the cases that blew the lid off the conspiracy of silence and payoffs. Of course lawyers are paid for their work, and sometimes handsomely, but lawyers are not to blame for the offenses in the first place, nor the cover ups in the last instance. Rather, it's the bishops who would spend every last pfennig of YOUR money to conceal clergy misconduct

  • Posted by: - Dec. 13, 2006 1:25 PM ET USA

    1)ZERO 2) NO! 3) NO! Do I win a prize? If you havent figured out my Christmas present yet...... I hear there is an opening for a Rector at a major basilica in Rome......Dont you think Rector Roger has a nice ring to it?

  • Posted by: rpp - Dec. 13, 2006 12:03 PM ET USA

    Hmm... Would they use similar legal arguments to hang onto the the written transcripts of confessions? After all, just like my spiritual direction and private directed retreat sessions, there is that ever-present stenographer at the priest's elbow to deal with.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 13, 2006 11:35 AM ET USA

    The former bishop is still AWOL and no one seems to care! He was the leader of a Catholic Diocese and no one seems to care! One of his priests was suspected of not only abusing children but also of murdering one, and no one cares. Ho can anyone in the chancery expect to be taken seriously or to truly represent "the Body of Christ" with this stuff pending?