By Kelly Clark
September 13, 2010
"However, it is the scandal over paedophile priests that will plague the Pope throughout his visit.
…"But while the Pope has expressed contrition over the revelations, even senior Catholics in
–Financial Times, Sept 13, 2010.
"Excessive amplifications?" Really? Really. Compare this response, so typical of the
It didn’t have to be this way. Way back in the mid-1980’s, after the cases involving Fr Gil Gauthe of Louisiana came to light, the National Bishops Conference commissioned a study by three men whom they trusted as being experts in the field, one of whom was a young priest and canon lawyer, then in the Washington DC Vatican embassy, with an obviously bright future, Fr Thomas Doyle. The study came back with an unpopular conclusion: the Church has a major child abuse problem on its hands, and, unless the Church comes forward quickly and aggressively to acknowledge it, seek out the victims and get them help, the Church could be facing huge liability. How huge? Perhaps as much as a HALF A BILLION DOLLARS in liability, the study concluded.
Well, the report was shelved, and Doyle’s bright career was derailed. (He ended up as a longtime priest in the Air Force, and has become the leading priest expert in the nation on the abuse problem, testifying hundreds of times for victims in court and depositions. He is one of the most spiritually courageous men I know.)
But fast forward twenty years, and the
All because the Bishops thought the Doyle report was–to borrow from the words of Fr Lombardi above–"excessive amplifications."