What has the sex abuse scandal cost the Catholic Church? Not merely ruined lives. Not merely $2.7 billion dollars. Jo Renee Formicola argues that a price has been paid that we haven't even been noticing.
What she points out is this: because of the perfidious negligence of the bishops, civil law now trumps canon law. The two millennial tradition of the separate and conflicting realms in the West - civil / temporal vs. spiritual - has now collapsed. Bishop Finn in Kansas City willingly gave oversight of his diocese to the county government - just to avoid a misdemeanor rap. But, in effect, every bishop has done the same. Protecting pedophiles has led to this. From the article ...
“The legal system has stepped forward to do what the church itself would not do. It has challenged the church and demanded information on priests’ medical and psychiatric records,” Formicola said. “Things that were held ecclesiastically as being outside the law and protected by privilege, are no longer protected by privilege.
“That makes a huge difference,” she explained, “because it means the Catholic church is now treated like any other corporate entity. If you’re going to investigate a corporation, they have to turn information over to you. Now certain things can be subpoenaed and there’s no question that it can be done and it will be done.”