On Friday, in the National Catholic Reporter, Springfield Bishop James V. Johnston made this callous comment about a recently deceased Jeff City cleric who was an admitted molester:
“I knew Bishop (Anthony) O’Connell for 10 years…he brought many gifts to this time of service. (Later), news emerged from his past of which I was unaware. I look at his life in light of both realities, and I pray now for his soul.”
Notice what's missing. Even now, almost 30 years after the first pedophile priest case made national headlines, Bishop Johnson can't bring himself to:
-- say phrases like "child sex abuse," "child molestation," or "child sex crimes"
-- apologize, on behalf of the church hierarchy, for the harm his colleague did,
-- urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered his colleague's crimes to come forward, get help, expose wrongdoing and start healing.
America's Catholic bishops must find the courage to stop using euphemisms and start using accurate words to describe these heinous crimes. They must also be brave enough to say something negative about one of their child molesting colleagues. And they must be compassionate enough to acknowledge the deep and often still-fresh pain of thousands of wounded victims and millions of betrayed Catholics.
Until they do, this on-going crisis will continue to fester.
Read the story here: http://ncronline.org/news/people/bishop-who-had-resigned-because-sex-abuse-dies