Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Jennifer Haselberger: "The Philosophy, the Ideology, Has Always Been to Protect the Assets of the Church" — Not to Respond with Pastoral Concern

As abuse survivors in Minnesota charge that the archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis is shielding millions of dollars of assets in a bankruptcy case, Jennifer Haselberger, former canon lawyer for the archdiocese and whistle-blower regarding its cover-up of clerical sexual abuse of minors, reminds us that it is and always has been about protecting the assets of the church (and its image), when abuse survivors come forward to report what has happened to them.

Not about pastoral concern . . . . 

In an editorial statement yesterday about the response of the archdiocese of Ottawa and its archbishop Terrence Prendergast to the sexual abuse situation, The Ottawa Citizen makes a similar point. I happen to know the archbishop critiqued in this editorial, from my graduate school days, and given my personal knowledge of him, I'd say the Ottawa newspaper is right on target with its critique. The critique suggests that it's concern to protect the assets and image of the church that motivates him as he responds to the abuse situation in his archdiocese.

Not pastoral concern for abuse victims . . . . 

Jennifer Haselberger's blog yesterday helpfully embeds the text of the Wall Street Journal article, which will be behind a paywall for most of us.

Can someone please remind me of the most recent data about the "demographic free-fall" in which the Catholic church finds itself now, "as it sheds adherents faster than any faith other than the mainline Protestant denominations" — to quote Patricia Miller in Salon a year ago?

(The first four links above are from today's e-newsletter from the National Survivor Advocates Coalition. If you're interested in subscribing, here's a link that will enable you to do that.)

P.S. Clicking on the text box at the head of the posting, which contains Jennifer Haselberger's statement, should enlarge it for you to read.

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