Backpedaling. Backsliding. Moving in the wrong direction. Whatever you call it, bishops all across the US are quietly doing this with clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
Remember that pledge to be “open and transparent?” It’s increasingly being honored only in the breach.
A clear and recent example is Springfield IL Bishop Thomas Paprocki. (Yes, the same guy who once said that the devil was behind lawsuits against child molesting clerics and complicit church officials.)
Times reporter Bruce Ruston lays out at least three low-key backward moves by Paprocki:
--A report on clergy sexual misconduct (and financial misdeeds) in the diocese by ex-U.S. attorney J. William Roberts has quietly been removed from the diocesan website.
-- The biography of retired Bishop Daniel Ryan, on the same diocesan website, was edited in May, removing any hint that Ryan “engaged in illicit sex or otherwise did anything improper” (which Roberts’ report had found).
--The diocesan panel “that once screened candidates for the seminary is no longer active, according to one panel member.”
That’s just what we’ve learned about one diocese in one news article. Imagine the backpedalling that’s going on that hasn’t yet been revealed, in Springfield and elsewhere.
When Rushton asked to interview Paprocki about all this, the reporter was, not surprisingly, rebuffed.
Open and transparent, indeed!