That single point of disagreement is hardly “Catholic Bashing.”
Next, Bill and Rita Clark asserted that the Catholic Church has been doing all it could with respect to the abusive behavior of some of its priests. They offered no evidence of this and apparently believe that their faith in the church is sufficient to make this true.
In their letter, they conclude: “The church has done everything possible to make amends to the victims of sexual abuse, and as for expecting its employees to follow church doctrine, they can't expect to stay employed if they flaunt church policies. Just what is Hittner's problem?”
What I fail to understand is why every Catholic in this country – indeed in the world – is not upset about the continuing cover up of priestly sexual abuse by bishops and other members of the hierarchy.
Why do you accept it as OK? Do you accept it because it happens elsewhere? Do you accept it because the bishops dish out feel-good “we’re doing what we can” statements and take them at their word?
Look at what the bishops DO not what they SAY.
Take the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, for instance. The bankruptcy was initially sold to the public as a means of collecting the funds to meet the needs of those who were abused and to begin the healing. Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki even made a public appeal asking for all those who had been abused by priests in the Milwaukee Archdiocese to please come forward so that this healing could continue.
They did. Some 570 people filed claims.
But healing was not the objective of the Archbishop’s appeal. Discrediting those claims was the objective. The apparent goal of the move was to minimize the chances that future claims might be filed and future lawsuits might be brought against the archdiocese. The archbishop wanted the bankruptcy actions to be the last actions the archdiocese would have to deal with regarding the illegal past behaviors of archdiocese leaders.
So far 435 of those claims have been tossed out, judges are stepping aside because of conflicts of interest, and arguments about whether funds hidden in cemetery accounts are a part of the ongoing bankruptcy action. In short, everything BUT pastoral care is being thrown into the ongoing legal fight.
Feeling frustrated and deceived; two of the people who filed abuse claims have since committed suicide. Yes, the Archbishop lied to those who were abused!
Around the time that the cover-up in this country came to light in Boston, the Diocese of Winona opened separate cemetery accounts and moved significant diocesan funds in to those accounts. I believe that same thing happened in Minneapolis-St. Paul. What does this mean for these two dioceses, if cover-up litigation continues?
That’s my problem, Bill and Rita. Why is it not a problem for you?
Published in the Winona Daily News on Friday, March 13, 2015 under the title: Judge Catholic bishops by their actions