I feel sorry for priests who resign or take a leave for health or personal reasons. Most of them, I’m sure, are honest when they say and do this. But many of them, I’m also sure, do so under a huge cloud of suspicion. The blame for that falls squarely on the shoulders of their deceptive bishops.
For the first time in history, a US Catholic diocese is headed by a convicted criminal. So what’s next for Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn?
Florida’s most notorious predator priest, Fr. Neil Doherty, pled no contest on January 14 to molesting kids. Police and prosecutors built a strong case against him, in part, because of evidence unearthed in more than 20 civil lawsuits against Doherty over the years.
Here’s a novel (and spurious) reason why clergy sex crimes and cover-ups should allegedly remain covered up: because shining a light on them might “fan the flames” of public outrage which might “potentially result in violence against the accused.”
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.
Twice recently, sports enthusiasts have publicly made a bizarre claim - that those of us who talk about known or suspected sex crimes are really trying to influence football games.
"Once the sale is made, shut up.” That's a fundamental rule of sales that is taught to virtually every aspiring sales person.
Ten years ago tomorrow, Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as head of the Boston Archdiocese after mountains of evidence proved that he repeatedly protected predators, deceived parishes and endangered kids.
Ten years ago, a Boston Globe series put the Catholic abuse and cover up crisis on the front pages of newspapers across the globe.
Watch closely the language that Catholic officials use when they try to distance themselves from accused clerics.
Bishops recruit, educate, train, ordain, hire, supervise, and often transfer and protect predator priests. But once allegations surface, top church staff often pretend they’ve never even met the accused. In many church notices, he was “Fr. Smith” on Tuesday, but suddenly, on Wednesday, became “Smith” or “Mr. Smith” the minute child sex abuse allegations arose.