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Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Bishops pass abuse policy.

I'm not so much interested in discussing the nuts and bolts of it. That's been done elsewhere. Short take: it's better than nothing, but I think the major flaw is a lack of mandatory reporting. That, and it doesn't say word one about dealing with bishops who don't hold up their end under the policy.

No, it was the vote--with seven dissents--that caught my attention. The quoted dissenter was Evansville's Bp. Gerald Gettlefinger, who complains that it doesn't allow for a rehabbed one-time offender to return to parish ministry. To which I can only say: Good. Cardinal George rightly notes that the faithful have no reason to trust the discretion of the bishop on this one. In reality, this is the only sensible pastoral decision. There's no way I would entrust her or her brother (due in March '03) to a maybe-rehabbed, maybe-not sex offender.

Moreover, I've questioned Bishop Gettlefinger's odd judgment in the past. This extends to the decisions made regarding retention of parish priests (scroll down to "Imprisoned for Receiving Child Pornography"). I have no cause to believe it's any better now. Now, I'd just like to know who the other dissenters and abstainers are.

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