Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Father Tom Doyle on Catholic Bishops' "Imagined Leadership" and the Real Leaders in the Abuse Crisis

Longtime advocate for abuse survivors and whistleblower re: the Catholic abuse crisis Father Tom Doyle, writing in today's (emailed) edition of NSAC [National Survivor Advocates Coalition] News, in an essay entitled "Sexual and Spiritual Abuse by the Clergy: The Wound That Will Not Heal":

Contrary to the defensive claims of far too many in the hierarchy, the "problem" of sexual molestation has not gone away. The bishops' imagined leadership has not enabled the institutional Church to turn the corner. The enlightenment of Church and society about this evil is due to one thing only and that is the bravery, the persistence and the conviction of the survivors. The often-heard claim that the Catholic Church has done more to protect children than any other religious or secular institution tells only a fraction of the true story. Without exception, every advance, every program, policy and protocol created by the official church to protect children has been the result of force imposed by the civil courts, by the secular media, by the outrage of the laity but especially by the unwavering insistence of the survivors. Without the interaction of these forces nothing would have changed.

And, of course, this observation dovetails perfectly with the theme of "Spotlight," on which I commented yesterday. I love the dry, perfectly correct phrase "the bishops' imagined leadership."

I don't yet see this essay at the NSAC website, so can't give you a link for it. If you want to subscribe to the wonderful NSAC News emailed newsletter, you can do so here.

I'm not certain of the original source of this photo of Tom Doyle. It has appeared on a number of blog sites in the past, including here, but I haven't seen any identifying information about who took the photo.

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