Philip F. Lawler
Phil is the editor of, which brings you daily news headlines from a Catholic perspective. He is the author of The Faithful Departed, a history of the Church in Boston and the scandal of the abuse of children by priests.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Does this sound like a consensus?

From CWNEWS - Apr. 24, 2008

Ideological allies? Absolutely not. But although they disagree on many other things, these voices are singing in tune on one topic. See if you can pick out the dominant note:

* Voice of the Faithful press release:

Voice of the Faithful has publicly called for the Holy Father to ask for the resignations of all bishops who put the interests of the institutional Church before the safety of Catholic children.

* Sister Maureen Paul Turlish (writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer):

Not one bishop has been removed from office because of his own complicity, collusion or cover-up of the church's continuing sexual-abuse problems. Nor has anyone been forced to resign for violating Canon Law or criminal or civil laws.

* Victims' lawyer Mitchell Garabedian (quoted in the Boston Herald):

Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston attorney who has represented hundreds of clergy abuse victims, said Benedict needs to do more than meet with victims. He needs to remove the notorious bishops and supervisors who knowingly shuffled pedophile priests from parish to parish, allowing abuse to continue for years.

* CWN editor Phil Lawler (quoted in a Dallas Morning News editorial):

Mr. Lawler, a conservative Catholic and Benedict supporter, told us yesterday that he's comforted by the pope's admission of shame over abusive priests but that it isn't enough. Said Mr. Lawler: "It would be truly liberating to hear him acknowledge that he is also ashamed of the bishops whose negligence – and even complicity – allowed the scandal to fester and undermined public confidence in the church."

* Victims' spokesman Peter Isely (quoted by AP):

"It's easy and tempting to continually focus on the pedophile priests themselves," said Peter Isely, a board member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "It's harder but crucial to focus on the broader problem - complicity in the rest of the church hierarchy."

* Bishop Accountability project (quoted in the New York Times):

Anne Barrett Doyle co-director of Bishop Accountability, a Web site that documents the sexual abuse scandal, expressed similar skepticism. She said that what the pope did not say is more important that what he did. “Rather than shifting attention to pedophile priests, he needs to focus on the culpability of bishops,” she said. “The crisis occurred because many U.S. bishops were willing to hide their priests’ crimes from the police with lies.”


Jerry Benitz said...

Disciplining bishops? Good idea. I'm sure Cdl. Levada can prepare a list for His Holiness.

Jerry Benitz said...

Maybe I was too cryptic. C. Levada was a fag protector himself. So, don't expect action.

From my perspective, the infiltrators' operation was a success. The priesthood was horribly damaged. The Church lost influence and capital. And there's yet a cadre of faithful who will keep funding the operation.