Saturday, March 31, 2012

The hole truth

SNAP took the occasion of the Archdiocesan Mass of Atonement to press Archbishop Listecki to drop opposition to a motion by attorneys for sexual abuse victim-creditors in our Archdiocese's bankruptcy to unseal some documents, including depositions, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
"'Atonement, if it is genuine, means that you must first stop hurting victims right now and covering up right now,' victim-survivor Michael Sneesby, Milwaukee director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said in a statement."
The most blatant "covering up" is de-emphasizing the main reason for the crisis, that bishops left known child-molesting priests in place or re-assigned them, rather than remove them. An example of such virtual omission is Archbishop Listecki's recent statement, ironically titled Addressing False Implications. The closest he comes is quoting Pope Benedict XVI saying the matter was “sometimes very badly handled by Church leaders."

It is, for example, hardly impressive that bishops now claim to have, in Church institutions, "provided tools and training for people to recognize suspicious behavior", given how bishops used to fail to deal with known offenders. It seems a bit like bragging about now screening all airline passengers after formerly buying plane tickets for known hijackers.

In his blog post, our Archbishop concludes by saying,
"During this penitential season of Lent, we must humble ourselves in front of our Lord, asking forgiveness for our sins and demonstrating our resolve to ensure nothing like this can ever happen again. As the leader of this Catholic community, I must also call for all involved in this proceeding to act justly and speak truthfully..."
As long as bishops continue to avoid speaking in specific terms of bishops' responsibility, there's reason to doubt they have resolved to really change, and to speak the whole truth. Releasing the depositions of Archbishop Weakland and Bishop Sklba would be a first step toward demonstrating that resolve and candor.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with that.

    (I'm in total agreement with you)