Friday, November 30, 2007

Carrying the Cross in a Litigious Culture

In the difficulties for the Church resulting from the sexual abuse of children by priests, who was Satan's tool, the priests and their bishops, or the victims' lawyers?

Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, in this Homily for the Red Mass [pdf] in Grand Rapids, Michigan on October 15, 2007, says it's the lawyers.

P.S. Notice how he attempts this shift of blame.
There have been roughly three phases in our culture’s handling of allegations of sexual misconduct with minors over the past half-century or so.

To make his point his reference to "our culture" would have to refer to American culture generally. It does not.
Prior to 1960, sexual misconduct with minors was viewed primarily as a moral failure, for which penance, absolution and a firm purpose of amendment not to sin again were the prescribed remedies.

If irate parents took a complaint about a child molesting priest to the cops, the priest would have been prosecuted. It's when they took their complaint to the bishop that they encountered this culture. Notice how the "prescribed remedies" don't include any steps to monitor the priest's firm purpose of amendment.
From 1960 to roughly 1990, the approach was primarily therapeutic, for which treatment was the apparent solution, after which offenders were often deemed rehabilitated and recommended for return to ministry.

Once again, it's in whatever culture the bishops and priests inhabited where this occurred, not the culture that abused children and their parents knew. And once again, there's not ongoing responsibility on the bishop. The only difference is the offending priests now receive absolution from the shrinks.
Since 1990, the approach has been primarily litigious, seeking monetary settlements and damages for alleged wrongs.

Could it be this resulted from bishops not taking on the responsibility to keep their priests from reoffending? Not in Bishop Paprocki's culture.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dad29 said...

Ahhh...Shakespeare, slightly revised:

"First thing, let's blame all the lawyers..."

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They still don't take ANY responsibility. Look at our own diocese right here. Has anyone paid a price for covering up this activity? NO!!!! Has anyone lost their job for spending millions and millions of dollars of the people's money to cover this activity up? NO!!!!! Now let us go forward in "Living our Faith." Remember the second collection is for the "charitable and educational works of the archdiocese:-)

Has the Cousins center been sold yet?

2:17 PM  

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