Saturday, April 10, 2010

Andrew Sullivan on the Kiesle Case: It's Over Now

Andrew Sullivan's conclusion as he analyzes the case of Rev. Stephen Kiesle of the Oakland diocese is painfully lucid, morally cogent, and absolutely on target:

The Pope cannot blame the local bishops this time - they desperately tried to get the priest fired.

He cannot claim he was out of the loop: his signature is on the letter.

He cannot get an underling to take the fall: it's his name and his office behind the unconscionable delay and behind the actual, despicably callous and self-serving reasons to protect a man who tied children up and raped them.

It's over now.

When we look at this Pope we see a man who knew that one of the priests he had authority to fire had restrained and raped children. Yet he did nothing for years, and finally sided with the priest. He had more sympathy for the relatively young age of the rapist, rather than the innocence and trauma of the raped children.

We see a man utterly corrupted by power and institutional loyalty.

So when does he resign?

Utterly corrupted by power and institutional loyalty: how did we reached this point so quickly and so ineluctably following a council that was all about reform, all about correcting the logic that has brought the church to this moral nadir?