Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Reader Writes: Absence of Empathy and Stepford Mannequins in Catholic Hierarchy's Response to Abuse Crisis

Earlier this week, when I featured two snapshots of the response of the Catholic hierarchy to the abuse crisis which suggest that this response has frequently been far more about safeguarding the image of church leaders and far less about recognizing that children have been harmed, Rachelfs replied:

Don't know if I have ever read so many comments I completely agree with, one after another. It is not only the stunning lack of grasping the rights of children and their vulnerability, not only the enormous outing of child abuse/incest/clergy-as-abusers which has gone on for decades now, not only the many keen analyses of the inadequacies of seminaries preparing men for ordination, not only the stunning cover ups which marked diocese after diocese, not only the collusion of protectors of the churchmen on the part of the powerful, not only the draining of the parish and diocesan coffers, not only the emotional distance displayed by prominent churchmen--it is also the persistent absence of empathy which would lead to confession of the collusion and the constant use of denial of wrongdoing on a conscious level--not I, Lord!--as if, instead of real flesh and blood persons those in charge and responding to the abuse situations are only stepford mannequins representing Jesus in denial of their own sinfulness.

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