Thursday, March 10, 2011

Terence McKiernan to Catholic Hierarchy, Post-Philadelphia: Start Thinking about the Handcuffs

Speaking of good advice (here, I'm keying off what I just said about Marci Hamilton's advice to Gina Maisto Smith re: probing the files of the Philadelphia Catholic archdiocese): Terence McKiernan of BishopAccountability has splendid advice for the next diocesan official who might be thinking of concealing evidence or continuing to transfer predatory priests while claiming no known predators remain in ministry.  

As McKiernan says, after what has taken place in Philadelphia, 

The next time a vicar for clergy or vicar general has a case to deal with and is considering moving a predator to another location, he’s got to think about this. He’s got to wonder if he wants to be handcuffed or put on trial.

McKiernan thinks we've crossed "a deference threshold" with the Philadelphia grand jury report, in which we see law enforcement and justice officials now willing to demand that Catholic church officials stop protecting criminals.  In his view, what has taken place in Philadelphia will have a "chastening effect" on the church hierarchy everywhere.

I hope he's right.

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