Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Asking questions even when you know the answers

Yesterday, when I wrote a post about the pope's letter to the Irish, I had deleted a last part of my post in which I suggested the pope might ask those who were harmed what they thought it would take to make things right. Nope, I don't think he will ask - doubtless he feels he knows the answer and has no intention of going there - but if I cared about a failing relationship in which I'd done something wrong, I'd at least ask the question and listen to the answer. So today when I saw in a post at the Times blog Article of Faith that Barbara Dorris, National Outreach Director of SNAP, had responded to the pope's letter, I thought I'd post what she'd said .....


'The most powerful religious figure on the planet speaks of "decisive action."

'But he refuses to take any. In just one nation, tens of thousands of children have been sexually assaulted by trusted priests. Bishops concealed the crimes, sometimes for decades. But the Pope responds by promising to send a few of his staff there to visit some places and ask some questions.

'While millions are in pain, the Pope can barely bring himself to admit that some bishops in one nation have made some unspecified "errors in judgment."

'Here's the Vatican's essential message: Apparently not one wrongdoer will even get a papal 'slap on the hand.' Not one more predator will apparently be ousted. Not one more horrific secret cover up will apparently ever see the light of day. And not one victim will apparently see any tangible help whatsoever.

'The bottom line: Across the globe, hundreds of thousands of girls and boys have been sexually violated by child molesting Catholic clergy. The man who could pay for therapy refuses. Thousands of the predators continue to walk free among unsuspecting parents, families, neighbors and employers. The man who could warn them won't. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of predators are still in church jobs.

'But the man who could oust them won't.

'Thousands of complicit church colleagues are still on the church payroll.

'But the man who could discipline them won't.

'We're reminded of the Biblical passage about "What parent would give their child a stone when he asks for bread." Again, the Pope offers words when action is so desperately needed. The Pope keeps permitting needless risk where real prevention is needed. The Pope sanctions secrecy where real truth is needed. And the Pope ignores agonizing suffering where real healing - not just words - is needed.'



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