Sunday, April 26, 2015

Take what happened to Bishop Finn as a learning experience.

  • I have read several commentaries on the resignation of Bishop Finn and see that a lot of people are very sore.  Look, let's not sugar coat this.  Bishop Finn waited six months to call the cops on a suspected pedophile. A doctor, a nurse or a teacher (which is ironic because of all the perverted teachers) can lose their job for not reporting suspected abuse. In order for me to volunteer to set up tables and inflate balloons for the parish kid's Summer camp I would have to go to the police station and get finger printed and take VIRTUS training. The bottom line is this: due to the unchecked sins of certain priests and the resulting media frenzy, no churchman can afford to hesitate if he thinks or has been told that there is a problem in a parish. Discreet inquiries and private investigations  don't cut it anymore, especially because in the past they usually led to a priest being reassigned to... another parish. The civil authorities have to be called immediately. Anything else is nothing more than a gift shovel to the Church's enemies which they will cheerfully use to bash us with.
    The great tragedy of Bishop Finn is that he is by many local accounts, a good man who showed one lapse of judgement. The new bishop will probably be a liberal and all the good that Bishop Finn did in cleaning up a bad diocese will go for naught. Some people are worried about what will happen to the Benedictine Sisters. Will a new bishop treat them decently or will they have to move again? Rorate Caeli says that something isn't right when Bishop Robert Finn has to go but Bishop Juan Barros is apparently the Pope's favored man. Well yes, something IS NOT right in the universal Church but we can't ignore the fact that Bishop Finn blundered. If you would fight the forces of darkness you must be like the apostles after Pentecost. You must be above reproach in your personal life and you must demonstrate wisdom, as well as all the other virtues.
  • I had planned to go to Baltimore next week to visit the shrines and cathedral but in light of the recent rent a riot we'll pass.
  • A good  man was railing against cell phones a few days ago. He said they are an avenue for pornography viewing.  I like him and didn't have to the heart to write back what I really thought, especially since I was reading his comments on my phone. Bless his heart, but it's not the phone, it's the person. In the old days you had to subscribe to smut via the mail or go to the dirty book store. Today you can read erotica on your desktop, phone, tablet or Kindle and sigh after some fake dream man while looking at your poor husband. The sin is still yours no matter the medium of delivery.


Kneeling Catholic said...

Nice post!

Anita Moore said...

In re general principles in dealing with offender priests (as distinguished from this particular case), there needs to be some balance when accusations are made. A bishop can't sit on acting on an offender; on the other hand, he also shouldn't have a hair trigger when someone accuses one of his priests of misconduct. People do make false allegations, and an allegation is really all that is needed to sink a priest. There should not be a presumption of guilt. A bishop should not just throw his priests under the bus at the first whiff of suspicion.

Dymphna said...

Six months was way too long to hesitate.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I don't know enough about this case. Did the bishop know for six months or did some underlings fail to notify him?And what exactly was the offense? Seems I recall it related to computer content. Child porn?

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"Discreet inquiries and private investigations don't cut it anymore, especially because in the past they usually led to a priest being reassigned to... another parish."

In a very recent past.

1568 to whenabouts of Vatican II, it was defrocking.

One could be defrocked for other things too, but the faithful knew very well these other things also merited shunning.