Intense debate over handling of abuse scandal ensues at USCCB meeting

On Tuesday, more than 20 bishops and cardinals offered passionate interventions during an open floor discussion on the sex abuse crisis at the U.S. bishops’ meeting.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, center, is seen Nov. 12 during the first day of the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. Also pictured are Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the USCCB, and Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary. (CNS photo/Kevin J. Parks, Catholic Review)

Baltimore, Md., Nov 13, 2018 / 07:25 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- More than 20 bishops and cardinals offered passionate interventions during an open floor discussion on the sex abuse crisis at the U.S. bishops’ meeting in Baltimore on Tuesday afternoon.

More bishops wanted to speak, but due to time constraints, their comments were reserved for the next morning.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), opened the discussions with the announcement that he had created a “deliberately small” task force, comprised of himself and the former presidents of the USCCB.

The task force, which includes DiNardo and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, and Archbishop Wilton Gregory, will work closely with the committees of the conference to examine instances of abuse and mishandling of abuse cases, and their work will culminate in a report presented at the next bishops’ meeting in June, DiNardo said.

Afterwards DiNardo opened the floor to any comments on the task force or the issue of the sex abuse crisis at large.

Cardinal Roger Mahony, who has been barred from public ministry in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the mishandling and cover-up of abuse cases involving minors and priests there, opened up the comments from the bishops, urging them to seek a greater collegiality amongst themselves as “brother bishops.”

He said the bishops should look to the example of St. Charles Borromeo, who said “we are not bishops alone or separate, we belong to a college and have a responsibility to it.”

He also encouraged bishops to pray more together and to consider establishing houses of prayer for priests and bishops, similar to one found in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Finally, he urged the bishops to “not allow outside influences to interfere with or attempt to break bonds of ecclesial union” that they have with each other.

Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico then gave a brief intervention, in which he suggested that bishops look to their priests to know how the faithful are reacting to the crisis and for any suggestions about possible solutions.

“It occurs to me that we might benefit from the wisdom of our brother priests, they are our closest collaborators, by tapping them in a more formal way,” he said.

Following Wester, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco then gave a long intervention in which he described what he has been hearing from Catholics in his area.

“We’ve heard how important it is to listen to our people, I’ve held listening sessions in my own Archdiocese” regarding the abuse scandal, he said.

From this listening, Cordileone said he has found that Catholics tend to fall in one of two camps regarding the abuse crisis: the first camp believes that the Church is not talking about the real problem, which is the prevalence homosexuality among the clergy and its correlation with abuse, he said.

The second camp believes that the real problem is an all-male hierarchy, “because women would never have allowed this to happen,” and therefore women must be invited in to all levels of the clergy.

Cordileone, who clarified that he was merely reporting what he found among his people, said that both conclusions are overly simplistic, but neither are without some merit.

“We do sometimes act as a good old boys club,” he said, with problems of “cronyism, favoritism, and cover-up.” He urged the bishops to find solutions to these “legitimate concerns” of Catholics in the second camp.

When considering the first camp, Cordileone cautioned against the “overly simplistic” conclusion that homosexuality causes sexual abuse. That “obviously cannot be true” he said, as some priests with homosexual tendencies faithfully serve the Church, while some heterosexually priests serve the Church poorly.

Still, the concern “has some validity,” he said, pointing to a recently-published study by Father D. Paul Sullins, a Catholic priest and retired Catholic University of America sociology professor. Sullins’ analysis found a rising trend in abuse, and argued that the evidence strongly suggests links between sexual abuse of minors and two factors: a disproportionate number of homosexual clergy, and the manifestation of a “homosexual subculture” in seminaries.

“The worst thing we could do is discredit this study so we can ignore or deny this reality,” Cordileone said. “We have to lean into it…to ignore it would be fleeing from the truth.”

The archbishop recommended further studies into the correlation between homosexuality and sexual abuse, one that avoids “quick and easy answers” and would attempt to find the root causes of this correlation.

Cordileone’s was the first intervention met with applause from many bishops.

Another California bishop, Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles, followed Cordileone’s comments by asking about the status of the Vatican investigation into the accusations against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and whether the bishops might “bring any respectful pressure to bear” to the Holy See on furthering the investigation.

DiNardo responded, saying that he knew that the four dioceses in which McCarrick had served had opened investigations, but he did not know of the status of a Vatican investigation on the matter.

In his intervention, Bishop Michael Burns of Guam asked about “meaningful constraints” on bishops accused of abuse, such as his predecessor Bishop Anthony S. Apuron, who was found guilty of sexual abuse of minors by a Vatican tribunal, but who has asked for an appeal.

“It’s been grating on the people of God” to have no concrete knowledge of the status of Apuron’s constraints, he said.

In his comments, Bishop Robert Daniel Conlon of Joliet, Illinois, said he agreed with an earlier suggestion of Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, that the remedy for the abuse crisis and accusations against bishops may already be found in the bishop’s charters and laws.

“People say the Church is hung up on sex, this is evidence of that,” he said regarding the debate about the sex abuse crisis. “We are capable of malfeasance in many other areas as well,” he said, and urged the bishops to consider more broadly the ways bishops may have gone wrong.

“I promised celibacy during (ordinations),” he added, “and I have to say I’m a little chagrined to be asked to sign something that says I will be accountable to certain standards.”

Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in his following intervention that he wished to see more fraternal correction among the bishops. He asked that bishops seek out the counsel of the bishops in their region if they are considering resigning, and also that bishops fraternally correct bishops in their region if they believe they should resign.

“I dream of a day when we as brothers are strong enough to say – we think you should resign, even if he’s not ready to hear that,” he said. “Those are difficult conversations to have, nobody wants to have them, but they can be very important.”

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, a “small rural area” with a minority Catholic population, gave a notably strong intervention, in which he asked the bishops to consider how McCarrick got to be in the positions that he was “if we really believed that what was going on was wrong?”

“It’s part of our deposit of faith that we believe homosexual activity is immoral,” he said. “How did he get promoted if we are all of one mind that this is wrong? Do we believe the doctrine of the Church or not?”

Strickland said that while homosexual people are “children of God who deserve great care” and not personal condemnation, the Church should teach clearly that homosexual actions are sinful, and help people move from sin to virtue.

“There’s a priest that travels around saying that he doesn’t (believe this teaching), and he’s well promoted in various places,” Strickland said. “Can that be presented in our dioceses? That same-sex marriage is just fine and that the Church may one day grow to understand that? That’s not what we teach.”

Strickland’s intervention was also followed by applause from numerous bishops.

Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane said he had heard from many concerned, faithful Catholic parents who want to encourage vocations in their children, but are growing impatient with a lack of answers on the abuse crisis from Church leadership.

It is a concern the bishops should “take very seriously,” he said. “My feeling is judging from their conversations, they’re running out of patience.”

DiNardo then commented that he personally reads “thousands” of letters that the “people of God” have sent to the USCCB.

“If there’s one thing that nags at everyone, it’s the Archbishop McCarrick thing,” he said. “It seems to be ubiquitous. This is the one that I think has to be addressed, it’s just bad for our people.”

In the next intervention, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, said he seconded an earlier suggestion from Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, that metropolitan bishops be given greater authority over the bishops in their region and the ability to conduct their own reviews and investigations.

“We have an existing structure but it needs to be empowered,” he said. He also added that it should be clarified which accusations against bishops and clergy should be made public – those that are deemed credible, or those that have been further substantiated.

He added that the media “has been very negative” about the Church following the crisis and has perpetuated a “myth” that nothing has changed since the 2002 Dallas Charter, and that the bishops must do a better job speaking out about what has already changed.

Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, Neb., said in his intervention that the process for handling misconduct on the part of bishops must be made clear, transparent and expedient.

“How bishops are held accountable when there has been misconduct is not clear, it’s a process that happens sometimes, but it’s not timely, it’s not transparent,” he said.

He said that he was “very disappointed” by instructions from the Vatican to not hold votes on proposed changes, but said he saw it as an opportunity to be very clear with the Holy See about needs to be done at the meetings in February.

Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing, Michigan, gave a brief intervention in which he said he also favored the suggestions of strengthening the role of metropolitan bishops, and that it would likely be well-received in Rome.

Bishop Murry of Youngstown, Ohio said in his intervention that while lay people are angry, they want to help the Church, and the bishops should accept their help.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, Florida joked at the beginning of his comments that the bishops should be glad Donald Trump is president, otherwise the Church would be receiving even more attention and “bad press” than it already has.

He urged the bishops not to get “distracted” by the media, and not to give in to the “industry and addiction” of outrage. Most people are not hung up on the sex abuse crisis, he said.

“People are coming to Church, they’re praying, they’re sending their kids to Catechism, the life of the Church is moving on. If you’re not reading the blogs, if you’re not watching cable TV, this is not front and center for most of our people,” he said.

“We’ve done a lot, we have to tell our story better and not get played in the outrage business and get back to what we’re supposed to be doing as pastors,” he said, to applause from some bishops.

Bishop George Thomas from Las Vegas followed Wenski, and said that he had heard from people who were “rightfully” angry and disappointed that the Vatican had put a hold on the votes of the bishop’s conference on any proposals regarding sex abuse.

“The perception is that justice delayed is justice denied,” he said. He said he still hoped the conference would hold an “advisory vote that reflects the gravity of the issue at hand, the urgency of the matter, the depth of the breach of trust…(in order to) remove a cancer and help heal this wound that is affecting so deeply the living body of Christ.”

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, where McCarrick had once served, provided an update on the two investigations ongoing in his diocese, which he said are moving along but can become complicated when they overlap.

He said the diocese is “committed” to sharing the findings with the Holy See. He added that if Catholic’s trust in the credibility of their bishops was so easily shattered by the sex abuse crisis, “what was there before? What was our credibility built on, that it could be so swept away?”

Cardinal William Levada, emeritus prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said in his intervention that the McCarrick situation may have been prevented if there were stronger investigations conducted when transferring bishops to different dioceses.

Bishop Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City, Missouri reiterated in his interventions the “necessity” of the laity, who could serve as a “tremendous resource” in responding to the abuse crisis.

Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon, said the abuse crisis has caused him to “take a real good hard look at myself and how I’m living my life as a bishop in the Church today,” spiritually and pastorally.

“Have we lost sight about what our mission is truly all about?” he said. “Our mission is to sanctify the world,” through shepherding and being close to the people.

“Reform begins with us individually,” he said.

Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California said in his intervention that he disagreed with all of the proposals to strengthen the role of the metropolitan bishops, an effort which he said would be perceived by lay Catholics as too little, too late.

“Maybe that moment has passed and we’ve missed our opportunity to do that,” he said. “In the current time, the transparency and independent review seems to be more on the minds of the faithful. We have to continue to pursue what has been proposed by the committee.”

All other interventions were reserved for the following morning. Following an announcement about expected ice and snow, the bishops broke for the evening. Thursday is the final day for the fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which this year has focused almost exclusively on their response to the sex abuse crisis in the U.S. Church.


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50 Comments

  1. The Bishops still don’t get it. They have no earthly idea what the laity are saying, because they won’t get out there and talk to them, listen to them. I operate am apostolate targeting Catholic laity to overcome their catechetical illiteracy, which effects at least 95% of Catholics. We’re a very small apostolate, but we reach thousands of lay people each week in 19 different states. What they tell me and what the bishops claim to know from their people are two entirely different things. They need to get off their consecrated fifth points of contact, step out of their self-important ivory towers, and actually follow the Son’s example: come down here to earth to actually be with the people!

    • Agree. Archbishop Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska, held a “listening session” but the people there were hand picked and it was a complete secret until after it had been then held. Even then we had friends who were invited tell us that they weren’t supposed to discuss it.

    • Amen! I would like to see at least one bishop propose an official censure of Fr. James Martin, S.J. Then watch the ensuing debate separate the sheep from the goats, or rather, the pink elephants in the room. What kind of shepherds do we have in Cupich and Tobin, men who have been eager to give wolves sheepskins for cover?

      • What kind of shepherds do we have in Cupich and Tobin, men who have been eager to give wolves sheepskins for cover?
        Do you enjoy being frightened? If so, the answer is that they are the shepherds we deserve.

      • AFSofSt.Dominic: The question/vote to censure Fr. James Martin would definitely show the divide. Even better than the vote that was taken regarding an investigation or discovery of the Vatican’s documents about McCarrick’s sodomy and rise. That vote was recorded as 85-137 for an investigation/release of documents with 2 abstaining. I wonder if that was an anonymous vote.

      • The fact that Fr James Martin SJ is a member of a Religious Order and not subject to a local Bishop, it is unlikely that he will be censured by any Bishop. I think that it is important that there are people like James Martin to challenge ideas and opinions. Discussion in the Church is important and shows that the Church is alive and not stagnant. I do not believe that James Martin is trying to make people adopt a particular view. To try to restrict academic discussion does the Church no favours.

        • MJ Sheridan, Perhaps you thought I meant censure in the strictest canonical sense. However, the US bishops have individually and collectively issued condemnations with regard to a number of issues, some pertaining to political stances. In fact, they reprimanded the founders of New Ways Ministries (one a religious order sister). It is time to apply the same standard to James Martin, SJ. And, NO! Neither academic freedom nor a mere difference of opinion regarding homosexual behavior are at stake because we are talking about a settled moral issue. Those who support the queering of the Church are blind hostages to ideology.

  2. It is a monstrous farce that the evil mafiosi Roger Mahony was made present by his fellow mafiosi like Joseph Tobin, Wuerl, Cupich and Wenski, to undermine the good Bishops in their fight for the truth.

    Mahony was the lead racketeer for the homosexual predator protection mob, a criminal publicly confronted by Gov. Frank Keating for lying to the National Review Board. He subsequently fleeced the Church in LA for over $600 Million in “settlements” to escape having to testify under oath for his coverup crimes.

    • And these are the wolves – that the good Cardinals and Bishops have a duty in front of God.. to get out!!

      They all must either resign and retire! They are hurting the Church..

      It is good to hear some of the Bishops comments – but now they must act!!
      They as apostles of Our Lord have their first duty to The Lord –
      not the Pope – but The Lord himself who called them one by one.

  3. I’m certainly not capable of teaching canon law, however it seems to me that the Pope has no right to instruct Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops as to what they intend to discuss and/or reach conclusions about, as long as such items of debate are not in contradiction with their respective positions in the Church and/or misleading with regard to orthodox Church doctrine. In the present case, I just don’t see how the Pope could have the gall to interfere in such matters as concern directly the life of the Church in the USA without any controversial aspects the Papacy can declare out of bounds. It would appear Pope Francis throws his weight around in order to stifle much needed debate over extremely preoccupying matters. Hasn’t the time arrived for the orthodox-minded in the hierarchy of the Church to put this Pope where he belongs, and be it outside the Papacy?

    • Unfortunately for all concerned, this pope acts like a 1930s Chicago ward boss. (Apologies to ORD ward bosses).
      The last minute intervention in this meeting by Francis was to show the Americans who was in charge. Bet on it.
      It is all about him. Not the victims and certainly not the salvation of souls.

    • Alex and Sean, perhaps if you read exactly what the Pope said you would understand. The Pope was not attempting to cover-up the handling of abuse in the USA. It would seem to me the USA Bishops have done a good enough job themselves. It may have escaped you, but the abuse is world-wide. Probably no country in the world has escaped abuse. Because the abuse is bigger than the USA it is important that the Church universally discusses this so that the same method for challenging it is used across the world. The Church in the USA has a lot to add to any discussion and maybe even takes the lead. There seems to me to be more incidents of abuse in the USA than elsewhere in the world. The Pope is fully aware that there needs to be a concerted and considered approach to ridding this canker from the Church and therefore he has said that this will be discussed at the February meeting of representatives from all of the Bishops Conferences of the World. All media eyes will be on that and nothing but action will restore the credibility of the Catholic Church.

      • Michael Sheridan, it seems to me that the the Pope is not interested in ridding the Church of the cancer that is homosexuality. On the contrary, he wants to make homosexuality acceptable. He wants to make gay sex as normal as hetero sex. James
        Martin writes in his book that the Church made a mistake by condemning gay sex. This mistake is 2000 years old. This mistake must at last be corrected. That is the message of that false prophet James Martin. The Pope likes James’s massage. That is why he gave him a job at the Vatican.

  4. It is time for the USCCB and the Holy See for that matter to squash the priest of whom Bishop Strickland speaks. He is damaging the life of the church by promoting homosexuality and its practice. No wonder Cardinal Mc Garrick was able to do what he wanted when he wanted. These are the kinds of things the laity want rooted out of the church. As a lay person, I am extremely disappointed that the Bishops of this country also do not instruct the faithful about voting prolife. It is a disgrace. Sorry to say sin is not preached enough in this country. This is what I want from the leadership of my church. Thank you.

  5. “Most people are not hung up on the sex abuse crisis.” This represents the root of the people’s mistrust. Bishop Wenski is either clueless or still thinking we can just “move on.” The Faithful demand that they must clean up this mess now!

  6. “Archbishop Thomas Wenski…urged the bishops not to get “distracted” by the media, and not to give in to the “industry and addiction” of outrage. Most people are not hung up on the sex abuse crisis, he said.”

    I don’t know anything about this archbishop, but having read that, I wonder: was he complicit in the while mess? Is he a supporter of the abusers? Is he one of them? Is he someone who denies the Church’s teachings on homosexuality? Because I can’t think of any other reason why he would be so dismissive of this evil.

    • Isn’t that right. I thought it was so obvious that someone just needed to step and say OK, you’re not here to help and you need to leave…please take your collaborators with you.

  7. Bishop Conlon (in same state as Cupich) is chagrined to have to be held to standards of conduct? I kinda thought that’s what the Ten Commandments were all about. But he says he took a vow of celibacy so we should just trust him on that??

  8. Your Excellencies: Here are the problems that have continued unaddressed under your watch. Why aren’t you talking about them?

    • Failure of Church hierarchy to demand that all members of the priesthood– including themselves– uphold their sacred vows of chastity and obedience; and failure to make it clear that clergy are never excused from keeping the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Commandments

    • The typical response on the part of Church hierarchy to hide behind a wall of legalistic secrecy, rather than address the current crisis as a problem of sin, of violations of the dignity of the person, and of neglect by those in Church leadership of their duty of care to protect those they serve from clerical abuse of any kind

    • The existence of a network of homosexual collegiality within the clergy that enjoys such a high degree of loyalty and preferential treatment, that it views itself as superior to Church authority and even to God’s laws; and that perpetuates itself by preventing worthy candidates from entering Catholic seminaries, and by degrading the quality of life within the seminaries

    • The flaws in the Dallas Charter, which applies to priests but fails to hold bishops accountable for the above-named abuses, allowing violations to continue unaddressed for years

    • Sadly, of all the bishops quoted here, ONE and only one truly gets it. If the church leadership refuses to take definitive action on this scandal in the church, the faithful must reach a point where they cease all donations. Sadly again, this is the one action that would get the attention of our bishops.

  9. What the bishops need to do is to reaffirm strongly the teaching of Humanae Vitae and to disavow the statement made by their predecessors 50 years ago that there can be “Norms of licit theological dissent.” There is no such thing as licit dissent from the teaching of Humanae Vitae. Dissent from H.V. provides the direct path to dissent from centuries of teaching against sodomy.

  10. Thank you for insights on various Bishop’s interventions. I would like to elaborate on Bishop Tobin’s reported comment that if this sex abuse issue has eroded the Bishop’s credibility, then what small credibility did they have before these revelations. My take is “very little credibility.” The Bishops embrace of “global warming” concerns and “immigrant concerns” while virtually ignoring the dignity of the human person’s endowment with a right to life at conception by embracing pro-abortion politicians (for the apparent purposwe of securing government moneys) certainly speaks volumes to this Catholic lay person. Your mercenary embrace of abortion proponents and failure to condemn them is so apparent it begs the question, “Who can take you seriously on any issue!” Is it any wonder sodomy is peddled as “accompaniment”. Get your heads out of wear the sun don’t shine and be Catholic. We are bucking a secular headwind of hedonism and it seems no one is manning the rudder of Peter’s barque. I, as a lay observer, am scandalized by Pope Francis’ policies of allowing the Bishops to “decide” if non-Catholic spouses may receive HOLY COMMUNION in Germany, but slams our Bishops’ meager attempts at addressing rampant sodomy and ABUSE OF AUTHORITY in the United States of America’s Catholic Church. Oyyy! St. Athanasius pray for us.

  11. If Cordeleone is sticking up for his homosexual priests and saying they are wonderful, the church is lost. It’s just a homosexual club now. Go find somewhere to wait out the crisis. Maybe a Byzantine or Orthodox church. Not real authentic churches, but we just cannot go back to the rotten, homosexual infested church. We should just stop going to mass on Sundays. Do alternative penance. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here. History will mark these clowns as the worst bishops in church history

  12. A question about Cardinal Cupich’s role at the meeting of bishops.

    What is it about the floor procedures at these meetings that allowed Cupich to do what’s mentioned in the article linked below? Consider the claim that he was privy to information that other bishops were not, by way of knowing ahead of time that the bishops would not be able to vote at this time. *If* this is in fact true, what gives him the right to special access to the Pope or the Vatican? What other special directives and informational privileges is he getting from Rome?

    It’s been obvious that Cupich has special favor from the Pope and his inner circle, as the bearer of problematic, relativizing views, so no surprises here. But is this at all fair to his confreres?

    Following is from https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/more-cover-up-catholics-react-to-vatican-telling-us-bishops-to-delay-sex-ab

    Before DiNardo had even completed his remarks on the matter, Cupich took to a mic outside of open discussion time, praised the Pope’s handling of the abuse crisis, recommended the bishops’ talks on the two measures continue and a non-binding vote be held to determine the position of the Conference going into the February meeting of episcopal leaders in Rome.

    “Surprise surprise,” Donnelly said, sharing the statement in a tweet.

    “@CardinalBCupich had a prepared statement ready for the shock announcement on the floor of the @usccb Baltimore conference,” Donnelly stated. “Everybody else was surprised but not him. .@CardinalBCupich is the de facto president of the @usccb.”

  13. Forgot to ask the obvious question, in relation to my other posting here. If Cupich had unique access to information that the vote was not going to go forward, did he share it with anyone? Did any bishops object to his “intervention”? If not, why not?

    Moreoever, why this ridiculous 24th hour announcement from the Vatican that nixed the vote? So, everyone has to scramble to assimilate this information and then restructure the rest of the meeting in light of it.

  14. I have no faith in the ability or integrity of our bishops any longer; they’ve simply done too much wrong over several decades to merit anything but suspicion on the part of laymen. But even I thought they would handle this Baltimore meeting better, put on a better show, so to speak. It’s hard to guess who has done more damage this week, Francis with his ham-fisted last minute intervention, or our ‘shepherds’ who reveal each day that they have no idea what a real wolf even looks like.

  15. Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Time for all Catholics and Bishops to teach the faith and live by it. Peace and Love

  16. So far, the conference sounds like the same rhetoric we’ve been hearing for many years. Will they really decide to make some meaningful change and then follow through ? The Church has a long history of being slow to enact changes. In a past age, it was alright to take 100 or 200 years to make course corrections. In today’s instant mass media, there has to be rapid responses to crisis. If not, in a few years time the Church may continue to shrink in both new priests and continuing and new parishioners.

  17. Mahoney of Los Angeles was allowed to speak. A lying criminal still given a stage.
    You bishops have no sense of shame. What a farce!

  18. Its about time something constructive came out of all these discussions. Why not report all (both men and women) who are accused of abuse (sexual or otherwise ) to the POLICE for investigation and prosecution.If found guilty they should be defrocked and lose all their employment rights: such as pension, retirement home etc.

  19. No more smoke and mirrors. Time to break out lie detectors and hold a “Holy Inquisition “! A total purge is what is necessary. Do I think that will ever happen? Nope! But it should.

  20. If there were no homosexually orientated priest in the Church there would be few priests. Anyone who presents or is presented for ordination must realise that the important thing is that they do not deviate from their Promise of Celibacy. No man presenting himself for ordination whether heterosexual or homosexual should do so without understanding that the Promise of Celibacy is not to be taken lightly. Yes, we are all sinners, but we are all on a journey of perfection.

  21. Since the scandal became public twenty years ago, I have thought that the scandal is not the actual problem, but rather an inevitable result of a bigger problem, which is arrogance. I have found that the attitude is one of entitlement, a feeling of being able to do anything they want. It is often that in which laws that govern other people do not apply to them. And, it is a sad fact that most of the priests were able to beat the criminal rap, due to the passage of statutes of limitation, caused by the bishops keeping this under wraps for so long….
    When one looks at all the palaces, titles, and all of the other trappings, I can’t help but think that God sent His Son here to earth as a child of an unwed mother, not as any kind of earthly king. And instead of blowing off any responsiblity, Jesus did the opposite – He had Himself crucified for mankind’s sins, not His.

  22. I’m unable to relax, to rest these days. Since Philadelphia District Attorney Lynn Abraham charged a Grand Jury to investigate sexual abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, and was stonewalled by that pious sob Cardinal Bevilacqua, I have a deep love for my Catholic Faith, and my Creator. I’m more guilty than most in my sin. So some of me doesn’t want to judge priests who committed such atrocious behavior.

    I believe the Church has hung onto a medieval mindset for far too long. Bishops own their individual diocese and have grown in arrogance more than holiness. They have deflected aggregious behavior to protect their diocese fiefdoms. They are beholden to their trappings and arrogance. Whether I look at the great Cardinal Dolan in NYC, or a former Bishop of Scranton, Timlin, I cannot find holiness. I find arrogance and no real sense of remorse.

    The game plan is clearly to restore the credibility to the Church. That’s a joke. They do not accept that they themselves have destroyed the laity’s trust in the Church. The Pope must reclaim our trust. He can do that by eliminating the trappings of Bishops and Cardinals, and thinning out the ranks of the Curia. There is too much politics and not nearly enough imitation of Jesus Christ.

    My post scandal feeling is “Buy More Sandals”.

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. On bishops: “Surprise!” Nothing to see here folks… move along… – What's Up With Francis-Church?
  2. Anger, pt. 1 ~ Father Allen
  3. Why not have a woman run a diocese? – Catholic Media
  4. Student Reactions to the Abuse Scandals (Online) by Meg Connelly – BC student work

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