Thursday, December 8, 2011

Case of Brother Lawrence Gordon (and Teflon USCCB Presidency of Timothy Dolan): Addendum

When I blogged last evening about the curious lack of media coverage of the case of Brother Lawrence Gordon in the archdiocese of New York, I didn't realize that SNAP New York had posted an open letter to Timothy Dolan about this case the same day.  The letter (by SNAP NYC director Mary Caplan) is on SNAP's website.

As this statement notes, it's troubling to discover that the officials at the school at which Brother Gordon worked, as well as the officials of his religious community, the Marists, knew about his possession of child pornography for 9 months before they took any action.  And this after a decade of assurances by the U.S. Catholic bishops, of whom Mr. Dolan is the leader, of their intent to be proactive and transparent in dealing with child sex crimes occurring under their purview.

And, though Brother Gordon belongs to a religious community, that community operates a school (and other institutions) in the archdiocese of which Dolan is bishop, and as bishop, he has a responsibility to aid the criminal investigation in this case.  And to assure that cases similar to this get handled with much more alacrity and concern to protect minors in the future.

All the more so, when he's president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, it seems to me.  And when a fellow bishop is under indictment in Missouri precisely because he failed to notify the police of the criminal activity of a priest under his pastoral charge, in circumstances eerily akin to those we now know have recently taken place in the archdiocese of New York.

The graphic is a photograph of SNAP protesters at the USCCB spring meeting, 2011, holding photos of themselves at the time they were molested by priests.  Matt Rourke of AP took the photo.

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