Sunday, April 11, 2010

"For the Good of the Church": Fr. Tom Doyle on the Persistent Excuse of Catholic Hierarchy

 Fr. Tom Doyle, for years, a formidable crusader for transparency and accountability in the Catholic crisis of clerical sexual abuse of minors, writing for Voice of the Faithful on Holy Thursday about "The Pope, the Church, and Sexual Abuse: A Perspective":

What is urgent and destructive has been the way the Church leadership, from the papacy on down to local bishops, have responded. “For the good of the Church” victims have been ignored, silenced and rebuffed, and criminal offenders have been quietly sent off to new assignments, often to offend again. “For the good of the Church” those harmed by the clergy have been led to cooperate in their own exploitation, convinced by their trusted leaders that the institution’s image and the exalted status of the priests is of greater value than healing or justice.  Though other institutions, public and private, religious and secular, have all experienced sexual abuse and other forms of internal corruption, the Catholic Church is unique. It has used its immense spiritual power and its absolute authority to control victims to the extent of persuading them to be part of their own cover-up.