Three Accused Clerics, Three Wildly Different Responses
Three clerics were recently accused of child sexual abuse. (No, this isn’t the setup to a joke.)
The first guy’s boss said he “asked” the cleric to “step aside from ministry pending the outcome of an investigation.”
The second guy said he will be “stepping aside temporarily."
The third guy said he will “temporarily reduce” his public presence for the foreseeable future.
Over the years, I’ve read – and read about – hundreds of Catholic church abuse policies. Usually, I see phrases like “when an allegation is made, the accused is immediately suspended.” Never have I seen the phrases “the bishop will ASK the accused to step aside,” “the accused will be stepping aside temporarily,” or “the accused will temporarily reduce his public presence.”
What other institution lets accused wrongdoers decide what they will do?
Before 2002, church officials admitted that “Every bishop deals with these cases in his own way.” So there was a ton of inconsistency. But starting in 2002, church officials claimed “Now we’ve got one national policy. We’re all doing this the same way.”
So why is there still a ton of inconsistency?
Blog by David Clohessy