Bernard Law was the face of a dysfunctional Catholic Church

By Alfred P. Doblin, NorthJersey opinion, December 22, 2017, USA Today Network

Law became the face of this institutional evil, and his legacy will remain solely that, for generations to come.

There was a time when “men of the cloth” were revered. To have a priest in the family was a sign of pride for many a Catholic parent. Priests were good men, focused on helping others.

Then there was the time of Boston Cardinal Bernard Law. And nothing would be the same again.

In fairness to Law, who died Wednesday in Rome at age 86, he was not the only prelate who enabled predator priests to destroy the lives of   . . . 

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  • Dennis Ramsey
    commented 2017-12-27 22:29:47 -0600

    I agree with what you say, but Canon Law does not dictate that the bishops violate reporting requirements under state law, clear out offices containing possible evidence, pay for counselling of victims while a criminal investigation is ongoing, perform minimal investigations when a problem has been reported and the many other actions they do to cover for these molestors. Correlate all this with the flow of money and any large fund raising campaign and you will usually find an answer. The priest abuse scandal is not in the past and it never will be until the secret files, the financial records and salaries of employees of the Catholic Church are open for public review. Until such times you cannot financially support this institution any longer.
  • John Nesbella
    commented 2017-12-27 08:01:24 -0600
    From the article:

    “To understand how decades of sexual abuse could go unchecked, you have to understand how much Catholics wanted to believe “their priests” were good people. That is how predators were able to do so much damage — victims were led to believe they were at fault, parents were cautious about challenging the church, and even hard-nosed skeptics had to be confronted with overwhelming evidence of systemic dysfunction.

    As far as hard-nosed skeptics being converted-the writer just doesn’t know the mind set of the average Roman
    Catholic today…
    The majority of hard-headed Roman Catholics are still in a state of denial. “It’s all in the past.” “This was greatly exaggerated.” “We are all being persecuted for being Catholic.” And it goes on and on… And the victims for whom the SOL has expired-it’s just too bad-“why did they wait so long?” “The victims just want money.” “The problem is fixed-it will never happen again-blah, blah, blah.”

    I am continue to be surprised that these catholics and their leaders show no desire to bring known child molester priests (and their enablers-bishops) to justice. And there seems to be no concern to help the people their priests hurt-this is not a christian organization in any stretch of the imagination.

    But the most important point we can take is that no corrective action has been taken to address the real root cause of this institutionalized sexual abuse of children. There is a problem with the system of church law-known as Canon Law. Roman church law requires that priests and bishops protect sexual molester priests and face prison themselves rather than turn over or testify against a molester priest. Until this changes there is NO HOPE THAT THIS CHURCH WILL BE ANYTHING BUT AN ORGANIZATION OF MOLESTERS, BY MOLESTERS, FOR MOLESTERS.
  • Dennis Ramsey
    commented 2017-12-26 08:12:25 -0600
    Great article by Mr. Doblin and they will probably give Cardinal Law his grand farewell and renew all the pain and hurt of every living victim of his coverup of the sexual predator priests who were molesting these young children. The one disagreement I have concerns Mr. Doblins statement " Bishops are no longer above the law". This is far from the truth as they continue to violate the procedures to protect children and manipulate the legal process using their rights under the First Amendment to protect themselves. Their published rules are not enforceable by any civil law. The USCCB has no authority over any diocese or bishop.

    The fact this is still going on is so much more painful in light of the revelations made in the last 15 years. Father Jeff Bacon (Archdiocese of Cincinnati) was removed from Holy Cross Immaculata in November 2015 and you will find nothing on the Archdiocesan website or local news media as to why he was removed. Father Bacon was reported to the Archdiocese 15 months earlier for being in contact with a sixteen year old female on average of once a day for the previous three years. Numerous letters were sent to Auxiliary Bishop Binzer and Archbishop Dennis Schnurr containing detailed violations against the Decree on Child Protection by Father Bacon. On April 17, 2015, Chancellor Father Steve Angi stopped any further communication with the parents of this minor. In Columbus, Father James Csaszar was placed on Administrative Leave under allegations of “excessive and questionable text and telephone communications with a minor and potential misuse of church funds”. No one is listed as being on Administrative Leave on the Archdiocese of Cincinnati website.

    Any news outlet can contact Barbara Dorris for information on the rest of this horrible situation. We must be vigilant and we must speak up until justice and healing is brought to all victims of priest sexual abuse, those in the past as well as those in the present. Those responsible for these crimes must be held accountable for their actions.
  • Dan Guerriero
    commented 2017-12-24 15:26:48 -0600
    Pope Francis or Fran whatever he wants to be called insulted every child and adult who was violated. Now the only conclusion I can reach is there is a sympathy for molesters that makes me question all their motives.

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