Hiding the "Bad Apples"

A response to: “Bad Apples” DVD Documents Clergy Abuse Situation

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The article about the new documentary does not clearly indicate whether the film addresses the question that most puzzles many devout Catholics: “Why aren’t the bishops who covered up the abuse, who lied about it, and who moved abusers around to new parishes (and new victims) being held responsible in a meaningful way?

The article says: “Martínez-Brocal pointed out the way that the Pope ‘criticized a poorly understood clericalism and love of the Church, which believes that the errors of persons of the Church must be concealed, which has caused a greater problem.'”

It is interesting to me, that the Pope here is described as criticizing an attitude, rather than those who held that attitude, and were responsible for the devastating actions resulting from it.

This scandal has occupied the public media for a decade now, and has cost the Church dearly in adherents, resources, and credibility. It will not end satisfactorily until the bishops who participated in covering up the abuse, and who reassigned abusers, and maltreated victims who reported abuse, are removed from their episcopal office.

The abusive priests have been removed. Some are in jail. But only a very few culpable bishops have had to face any serious canonical or ecclesial penalties — including removal from office — for their parts in creating and worsening the scandal.

James Farrell

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