Thursday, May 26, 2011

Truthdig on John Edwards' Case: "It's the Cover-Up" (and Implications for the Catholic Bishops)

At Truthdig, Kevin Douglas Grant summarizes the consequences of John Edwards' cover-up of his longstanding affair with Rielle Hunter.  As Grant notes, Edwards violated campaign finance laws to conceal the affair, drew his aide Andrew Young into the charade, and permitted key campaign donors to pay hush money to Hunter.

As a result, he finds himself under federal investigation and will now likely be indicted by the Justice Department.  Grant's conclusion: 

Again, the Law of Watergate applies: “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.”

And that's more or less the case with the Catholic bishops and the abuse crisis.  The primary reason large swatches of the public and Catholics are now reacting with extreme skepticism to the latest John Jay study is that the bishops have, for far too long, shut us out of communication loops re: the abuse crisis.  While, at the same time, they jealously guard each and every scrap of information about the crisis and carefully feed us select soundbytes of information chosen to support a narrative that exonerates the bishops from responsibility the crisis.  And all the while, they have--we discover over and over again (Philadelphia, now Kansas City)--engaged in cover-up.

What's happening to Mr. Edwards should be a warning to them about what could happen even to Catholic authority figures down the road, if they don't stop the cover-up.  The insincere post factum apologies of the Bishop Finns of the world mean nothing, when those same bishops are still--after all we have learned, after all we  now know!--capable of hiding and transferring a priest known to have child pornography on his computer, and incapable of reporting him to the criminal authorities.

It's the cover-up.

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