Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nothing Will Ever Satisfy

There has been much said in the media here in Massachusetts because the Pope never actually said the words "I'm sorry". There are people in the world who have actually deluded themselves into thinking that those two magic words will suddenly make everything better. I know better and now I have proof. While there are many who are reasonable, the loudest voices are the unreasonable.

From ABC News:

A list of America's five "worst" cardinals that a watchdogs group says have allegedly protected priests accused of sexual abuse was unveiled today while the pope meets with American cardinals in Washington.

The secrecy, recklessness and deceit of these powerful cardinals have left thousands of children at risk for abuse," said Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) national director David Clohessy. Clohessy' group, made up of alleged victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, compiled the list of supposed "worst" cardinals.

Clohessy said the cardinals have openly protected predators by failing to remove priests who were accused of abuse or keeping allegations of abuse a secret. He said the cover-ups took place in recent years despite the 2002 charter promising transparency about abuse in the Catholic Church.


Cardinals Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Daniel DiNardo of Houston, Edward Egan of New York, Francis George of Chicago and Sean O'Malley of Boston are the worst cardinals whose "secrecy and deceit" have been most egregious, according to SNAP.

Mahony allegedly kept quiet when a diocesan employee was under investigation for child sex abuse and allowed an admitted child molesting cleric live in his diocese despite the cleric being wanted on charges in Canada, according to SNAP.

Los Angeles Archdiocese media relations director Tod Tamberg said Mahony "is clearly among the best bishops in the country at effectively dealing with abusive behavior and reaching out to victims. Tamberg said "SNAP's leadership does not speak for the majority of victims or Catholics in Los Angeles, who know and appreciate Cardinal Mahony's excellent leadership in helping the church and victims to recover from the abuse scandal."

Cardinal DiNardo suspended a priest accused of sexual abuse but kept his action and the sex abuse allegations against Fr. Stephen Horn secret for two months while he was named and promoted to cardinal, according to SNAP. When then-Bishop DiNardo served in Iowa, he similarly mishandled allegations of sex abuse against a priest, only disclosing them long afterwards, according to SNAP.
Cardinal Egan allowed a Catholic high school principal to stay on the job for five months after being accused by a priest of "serious misconduct," according to SNAP.

Cardinal George was slow to suspend a priest in his diocese who was questioned by police about abuse allegations in August 2005. The priest, Fr. Daniel McCormack, pleaded guilty to five charges of sexual abuse of children and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Cardinal O'Malley's diocese has been slow to completely implement one of the provisions in the U.S. bishops' child sex abuse prevention policy: training children how to avoid or stop being victimized, according to SNAP. SNAP said O'Malley moved very slowly against a Catholic hospital official who ultimately resigned in the face of multiple allegations of sexually harassing employees.

DiNardo, Egan, George and O'Malley could not immediately be reached for comment.

I don't know much about the situations in the other dioceses, but I must defend Cardinal O'Malley. I am not saying this just because he is a friend, but because he has done more than any bishop to address the abuse issue. To attack him in this way is a gross injustice and only proves the vitriolic hatred which these organizations have against the Church. There is nothing that anyone can do or say that will satisfy them. Even if they were to destroy the Church completely they would still want more.

Pope Benedict's apology was gracious and from the heart.

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