Monday, January 08, 2007

The Scandals: five years later ...

It's hard to believe that it was five years ago that the storm broke in Boston. Sean Cardinal O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston penned this op-ed piece in the Globe to mark the occasion.

I pray and hope that our bishops and leadership don't just return to "business as usual." I hope we've learned something -- about the need for holiness among priests and bishops for sure, but also the need for greater transparency and accountability.

The scandals affect not just those who were abused (though, it goes without saying, they remain the focus of the Church's care and compassion) -- they affect all of us, in ways small and big.

Last month I received an email from Jennifer, a reader of this blog from Virginia. She had just found out that the pastor in the church she grew up in, in Grand Rapids MI, had been accused of sexual abuse of a minor. This news was, understandably, quite devastating. She penned a blog post about her experiences -- I invite y'all to head over there and share any thoughts and prayers that you might have.

1 comment:

assiniboine said...

"Can you spend years getting to know a person and honestly have no clue that they are [insert worst nightmare here]? Or, do you eventually become an accomplice - even if only on the subconscious level - because you choose to look away from what you don’t want to see?"

I wouldn't generally hoe in and comment on the blog of someone unknown to me, particularly on an issue so fraught with complexity as this. So I will reserve my observations for the blog of someone known to me. But surely your friend is unduly hard on herself with respect to choosing to look away from what one doesn't want to see. The alternative would be suspicion of anyone and everyone on the basis of finding adverse implications in circumstances which don't necessarily suggest any such thing. The only Catholic priest I ever found mildly creepy in that way was in fact a relative and it was only because he rather bought into the social touchy-feeliness of the 70s, which I never did. And I still think I was the one in the wrong for feeling that way, not because I am any more comfortable with that sort of tactile social overture than I ever was, but because I did allow it to cross my mind that there might be something more in it than met the eye. Which isn't at all to say that actual proven misfeasance is to be condoned (forgiven, though not forgotten, as Eleanor Roosevelt used to put it, so long as there is considerably more regret felt and expressed than has often been the case); only that it would be invidious to assume ill of people without good reason. The alternative is a kind of ecclesiastical McCarthyism.