Saturday, January 2, 2010

Listecki's list

The preview of Archbishop Listecki's Monday installation in this morning's paper also looks beyond. He's expected to continue to be relatively explicit where Church teaching touches on public policy. The article quotes him at his November 14, 2009 press conference. "'Unlike some who might denigrate politics, I uphold politics. ... If we don't challenge one another's statements, then we're relinquishing our responsibility to the common good,' he said." Beyond that,
Among Listecki's first priorities as archbishop, [Bishop William] Callahan said, will be meeting with his priests and helping parishes find new ways to collaborate and better use their limited resources. Like his predecessor, he is expected to be a strong supporter of Catholic schools and the local seminary, St. Francis de Sales.

Listecki also will assume leadership of the archdiocese's $105 million capital campaign, which has collected about $28 million so far, from $92 million in pledges, since it was launched in the fall of 2007.

It's hard to imagine him having the opposite of any of those priorities, so this doesn't tell us what to expect on these issues.
In addition, the Milwaukee archdiocese is facing a number of clergy sex abuse lawsuits that could potentially bankrupt it.

The pending cases are, or are mostly, cases alleging our Archdiocese assigned priests known to have sexually abused children to parishes without disclosing this to the members of parishes, that those priests then reoffended, and that this constituted fraud.
The local clergy victims group, which has been critical of Listecki's handling of sex abuse cases in La Crosse, last week called on the archbishop-designee to force [Bishop Richard] Sklba to resign, saying new evidence in the lawsuits suggest he played a critical role in helping then-Archbishop Weakland cover up the sex abuse scandal.

See What do you do when you're branded.... I'll leave aside the legal merits of those cases. Here in the secular world parents who fail to protect their children from sexual abuse risk losing their parental rights. The standards for bishops are conspicuously lower.
Callahan, who has served as administrator of the archdiocese, called it a "non-issue," saying Sklba is scheduled to retire in 2010.

Perhaps that's his way of saying that Bishop Sklba is A St. Joseph in our midst, as Archbishop Dolan once did.

P.S. See Poor Richard's Almanac, my October 23, 2002 post on Archbishop Dolan's initial meeting with abuse victims, which Bishop Sklba also attended. Perhaps a new archbishop means there's an opportunity to negotiate a resolution of all the pending abuse claims, but I see no preliminary indication that there will be a change of approach.



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