Sunday, May 22, 2011

'Arrogant clericalism' never assessed in John Jay report Tom Doyle

Comment: In keeping with the theme of hierarchical bullying, Tom Doyle will not remain a bystander. His evaluation of the John Jay report enlightens readers by exploring how Catholics and the hierarchy itself can be swayed by words and actions that are purposely shallow. The cause of the sexual abuse crisis was not the 70's, rather the culture in which clerics were formed.  Every baptized Catholic who cares about the Church, Catholicism, and our collective role, need to immerse ourselves in these issues and take a stand.

Why do such actions allow hierarchs to hide behind shallow efforts to clothe the truth....why do catholics remain blinded by this rhetoric?  Surely most can see "the emperor struts with no clothes"..... and this is the 21st century.  Arrogant clericalism needs to be defined, describing its effect.  Only then will we be cleansed of its dominance over us. Only then will the Church reflect itself as the broken and healed Body of Christ.   Diane Dougherty

......Nevertheless the researchers could not avoid the blatant role played by the hierarchy. In this regard the report should not be written off as largely either irrelevant or enabling of the bishops’ never-ending campaign to avoid facing their responsibility square on. That’s why it’s important to read the whole report and not depend on the Executive Summary or Karen Terry’s statement or the statements of any of the bishops or church sponsored media outlets. Well into the body there is recognition of the real issues that have caused the anger and are the basis for the thousands of lawsuits and official reports. The section entitled “Mid-1990’s Diocesan Response” on pages 86-91contains a sobering antidote to the soft-peddling about priests who lost their way in the Woodstock Era. To their credit the research team included information critical of the bishops’ responses on several levels. A few quotes:

1.  The failure of some diocesan leaders to take responsibility for the harms of the abuse by priests was egregious in some cases. (p. 89)
2.  Parishioners were not told, or were misled about the reason for the abuser’s transfer (p. 89)
3. Diocesan leaders rarely provided information to local civil authorities and sometimes made concerted efforts to prevent reports of sexual abuse by priests from reaching law enforcement even before the statute of limitations expired. (p. 89)
4.  Diocesan officials tried to keep their files devoid of incriminating evidence . (p. 89)
5.  Diocesan leaders attempted to deflect personal liability for retaining abusers by relying on therapists’ recommendations or employing legalistic arguments about the status of priests. (p. 89)
6.  Dioceses, the interviewee reported, would intimidate priests who brought charges against other priests; he reported that the law firm hired by the diocese wiretapped his phone and went through his trash. (p. 90).
The interviewee was a priest-victim who had come forward in 1991.

Read his entire article-be informed.

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