Archbishop Timothy Dolan* has given an interview about the homosexual priest abuse scandal. He is not particularly measured in his tone, calling the entire affaire “hideous” and “nauseating”. Up to here I do not have any problem as it seems to me that the homosexual priest scandal cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, called with softer tones than those.
Where I personally start to dissent with the Archbishop is when he goes one – or three- steps forward and goes as far as to say that the homosexual** paedophile priest scandal “needs to haunt” the Church. The expression is so strong in its self-flagellating intent that the cbs news link gave it both the headline and a very prominent place in the article. Can’t imagine that this was not what was wanted, and agreed beforehand.
Now, if you ask me one thing is a clear, honest admission of past faults; an entirely different one is the semi-permanent and professional self-harm about it. I have seen it happening in Germany countless times and I assure you, it is both sickeningly pathetic and with the effect of letting you lose every bit of esteem for the self-flagellating whino performing the act.
Whatever the faults of the past (and the Church has her own faults, but she fares rather stupendously compared with any other institution of comparable size you would care to mention, bar none), it seriously cannot be that high members of the Church decide to henceforward permanently apply the cat o’ nine tails to the Church that Christ founded for a bit of easy popularity, and to react to every accusation moved toward her with a further salvo of self-accusations and self-flagellations. As I said before it doesn’t even work, it really doesn’t.
Archbishop Dolan is certainly too expert in the ways of the world to seriously be surprised by the supervisor of a child abuser reassigning him, or otherwise attempting to cover up the scandal. As a career man, he knows perfectly well how strong the temptation to cover your institution is, particularly if you love that institution. He doesn’t say to the interviewer that in most cases, the bishop so covering did not count with further abuses; he doesn’t point out to him that by all the shame, priests still fare better than teachers, or fathers (you can find a wealth of information on this; I never save it on my computer because the matter makes me, well, sick). He doesn’t even say that the idea that a sex offender could easily be cured and rehabilitated was utterly normal in the Eighties, and shared by other religious communities.
He doesn’t point out to any of this. On the contrary he – as the Italians say – “shoots on the Red Cross”. A bit too easy, methinks, and certainly not his job.
Frankly, I slowly wonder whether this kind of behaviour is more motivated by a strange, but in hypothesis vaguely justifiable desire to “wash your dirty linen in public” (which, if you ask me, is wrong anyway) or by a desire to extol one’s own blamelessness by pointing out to the filth around one.
Slowly but surely, what makes one sick is the fact that almost no one of our bishops and cardinals (starting, alas, from the very top) has the gut to say that enough is enough and that it is time to look at things in a sensible way. A sensible way means that one doesn’t overlooks the mistakes, but can put them in the proper context. You don’t hear teachers constantly punishing themselves in such a way, do you now?”Ah, but they were simple teachers, you see; these are priests….”. I am rather surprised that those who are the first to deny to the priest his moral role and what he is and represents (namely: the Church that Christ Founded) are, of all people, those who expect from them a superhuman absence of every vice or weakness. Similarly, you won’t see many of those complaining about paedophile priests express their approval to the kicking out of the homosexual ones. Liberal logic, what a mystery…..
All the while, Dolan’s behaviour contributes to the widespread opinion among anti-Catholics that you should better not allow your child near a priest and slowly damages their reputation as public figures; which is no surprise, really, if this is the way the shepherds themselves defend the reputation of those entrusted to their care.
Archbishop Dolan has the questionable privilege of having, in the middle of his diocese, one of the most scandalous pro-homo soi-disant “Catholic group” of the entire Christianity (of the one who believes in Christ, at least). If he really wants to be haunted, he’d be better to be haunted by the scandals he continues to tolerate and of which he is directly co-responsible rather than from scandals of the past, and in which he was never involved.
* what is this thing Americans have with the middle initial? Do people really say “Timothy M. Dolan?” Do they really remember it two minutes after they’ve written it?
** well he doesn’t say “homosexual”, does he? I wonder why?