Tuesday, September 9, 2014

We Expect Way Too Much from Our Bishops

Comforting this couple when the man who drove their son to suicide died is simply asking too much.  The problem with me and with the bigots at SNAP is our standards are too high.

The Media Report comments on my post We Must Do what our Bishops will Not ...

I cannot help but notice that folks like Kevin and SNAP keep on creating these new, unheard-of-before "standards" for how the Church is supposed to behave.
Since when are organizations under a moral obligation to notify victims upon the death of a perpetrator? 
*When* has this *ever* happened??
It seems Kevin and the bigots at SNAP want to bludgeon the Church for failing to uphold a standard that has never even existed before.

I'll be willing to grant The Media Report's point.  I'll be willing to say that bishops should not be held to the pastoral standard of reaching out to victims when the man who abused their son repeatedly over several years and drove him to suicide dies.  Yes, comforting the afflicted is asking a bit too much of bishops.  They have more important things to do, clearly.  And, if you can believe the commenter at Rod Dreher's article, most bishops showed "indifference or contempt" when the victim's suicide letter was read aloud to them.  So clearly they're busy men preoccupied with more important things than common human decency.

I'll grant all of that.

  • But when they know one of their priests is taking pornographic pictures of children, including infants, they should tell that priest's parishioners, whose children are all potential victims.  They should not make sure the evidence gets destroyed by returning the laptop containing the photographs to the priest's family.  They should not spend $1.4 million of diocesan money to defend themselves from two misdemeanors.  They should not allow their brother bishops and that guy Donohue to lie about what they've done, especially when the evidence about their enabling of sex abuse exists in a report they themselves have commissioned.

  • They should not blame the mother of a boy who was molested by a priest who parked his trailer in the parish parking lot and lured boys inside it.  They should not insist that they are upholding the Dallas Charter when they're not.  They should not make covering their asses their primary goal.  

  • They should not tacitly identify victims by issuing press releases questioning their motivation for accusing their favorite priest of abuse.  They should not settle civil cases out of court when abundant evidence such as texts and emails would come to light if the case went to trial.  They should not answer dishonestly in a deposition and then spin their dishonest answer by creating a false context that the transcript of the deposition does not support.

Those are all standards we should hold them to.

Comforting the family of a boy who committed suicide because of something a diocesan priest did and a fellow bishop enabled is not a standard they should be held to.

After all, *When* has this *ever* happened?? 


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