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Columnist: Church leaders must express righteous anger at abuse

April 01, 2010

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Colleen Carroll Campbell argues in an April 1 St. Louis Post-Dispatch column that the laity’s confidence in the Church will not be restored until they know that Church leaders share their righteous anger at abuse.

“Some Catholics blame the media for stoking such outrage and picking on the Church,” she writes. “They note that sexual abuse also occurs in families, public schools and scout troops. They say anti-Catholic bigots are using the scandal to discredit the church. They argue that American bishops deserve credit for the zero-tolerance policy they instituted in 2002.”

“Valid points all. Still, something is missing … I want outrage. I want to know that the righteous anger I feel toward these predators in cleric's clothing is shared — by the many good priests smeared by the sins of a few, by the bishops forced to deal with such predators, by the pope who knows more than anyone the length, breadth and depth of this plague.”


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  • Posted by: - Apr. 01, 2010 10:48 PM ET USA

    Exactly right. The outrage has been missing. One of the shockers in the early days of the exposure of the disgraced Bernard Law in Boston, in the abuse-and-coverup scandal, was his seeming shrug if a victim were to elect to go to the civil authorities instead of tolerating the runaround usually accorded by ecclesial authorities.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 01, 2010 6:49 PM ET USA

    I don't care at all for this article and even less for the fact that it was published in a secular newspaper. It's not for loyal Catholics to tell the pope via the secular media that they "want outrage", that he should "get more vocal" (even if he could be more outraged and vocal than he has been, which he couldn't).

  • Posted by: - Apr. 01, 2010 6:02 PM ET USA

    Somebody said that the bishops have been unable to react as a health man does to the homosexual molestation and seduction of an adolescent. It's true that every action should be motivated by pure love, but we are not all saints every minute: it's past time for the Church to resume talking about what Jesus himself told us about hell and Divine Judgment and Satan.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 01, 2010 9:37 AM ET USA

    I cannot disagree more because what I think we Americans would only be satisfied with is the partisanship and over-the-top passionate denunciations of a Nancy Grace...the pope and bishops are responsible leaders and can't behave so in public or else compromise their very offices. They have to be outraged by the matters at hand but they have to maintain their equilibrium, the outrage can only come after successful prosecution.