July 21, 2009

Catholics Still Determined to Conceal Clergy Abuse

Mosaic cross ~Lobby of New West Catholic gym
Mosaic cross ~Lobby of New West Catholic gym (Photo credit: laudu)
I have never considered myself to be anti-Catholic, at least not any more so than I am anti-religion in general. Most of my friends are Catholics, and we usually manage not to get bogged down in religious or political debates. In fact, here in Mississippi, they are often allies against the sea of Southern Baptists which surrounds us. But the Catholic Church is another matter entirely, and I find myself having an increasingly difficult time imagining why anyone would want to associate themselves with it today.

In the last year alone, it seems like there has been one Catholic abuse scandal after another. As bad as they are, I keep coming back to the common thread which ties them all together: systematic efforts by the Church to prevent disclosure, conceal the harsh realities, and protect known pedophiles. Essentially, everyone but them is responsible.

In the latest bit of news on this front, we have a report from the Associated Press that a Roman Catholic diocese in Connecticut is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent public disclosure of more evidence of sexual abuse. If anyone is still denying that the Church seeks to conceal bad acts and protect pedophiles, this should set them straight.

The records could reveal details on how retired New York Cardinal Edward Egan handled the allegations when he was Bridgeport bishop from 1988 to 2000. Egan's deposition should be in the file, according to an attorney for the newspapers seeking the documents.
Jonathan Albano, an attorney representing various American newspapers and seeking disclosure of the records was quoted as saying,
It's somewhat disappointing that the diocese continues to approach the litigation in a way that delays the public's right to see these documents.
Disappointing is an understatement. This is appalling and should get the attention of anyone opposed to the sexual abuse of children. I agree completely with David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests when he says,
We're disappointed that the complicity of top Catholic officials continues to remain hidden. This is not what Connecticut Catholics or citizens deserve. It's one more painful reminder that bishops will do everything possible to protect themselves and their colleagues instead of children.
H/T to Deep Thoughts

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