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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The Scandal is "history."

Right? Right?

Uh...

No. Exhibits 99882 and 99883 to the contrary:

1. Oakland Dominicans are housing seven admitted sex offenders at their seminary. But don't worry: their diligent overseers are quite aware of the gravity of the situation:

[Dominican Fr. Roberto] Corral says the neighbors have nothing to worry about, that he keeps an eye on the sex offenders. But, he also admits they are allowed to walk the neighborhood unescorted, even to check out a car and go for rides alone.

* * *

Father Roberto Corral: "My experience, most of these guys are delightful men, again, we're all imperfect and they simply happen to have done something that was very foolish at one point in their lives."

"Very foolish," eh?

Licking a Detroit lamppost in January is "very foolish."

Drinking Everclear through a bong is "very foolish."

Learning moral theology from West Coast Dominicans appears to be "very foolish."

Child rape is not "very foolish," padre. It's evil.

The inability of prelates, priests and religious to understand this--to the point of obstinate refusal--is why the Scandal will not, contra Bp. Gregory, be "history." It will be a long, slow bleed for the next generation or so. Evidently, this blinkered mindset will only be remedied by the hallowed six brass handles of reform.

P.S.: The residents are helping to shape The Priests Of Tomorrow.

The other important issue is those seven sex offenders make up a third of the priests at the seminary, and they have a vote on which young men will become priests.

O, brave new world...

2. The newly-elected head of the USCCB, dogged by his own handling of an abusive priest, displays a similar approach:

A month after Tim Corrigan's death [a 39 year old father of three who committed suicide shortly after revealing he had been abused by a priest under then-Fr. Skylstad's supervision], Skylstad returned to Assumption to answer for the damage his old housemate had caused.

At a special nighttime meeting — part of a series of visits to parishes harmed by abusive priests — Skylstad apologized on behalf of the church, then touted a new clergy-abuse policy from the bishops' conference. His own diocese, he said, went further, banning priests from taking children on vacations or to their rooms.

But parishioners weren't in the mood for policy, according to a videotape of the meeting.
"I've been a parishioner at Assumption all my life, and I have to say, from the depths of my heart, that it truly sickens me, this thing that took place here," Bob Moore told the bishop. "Did you do everything in your power, when you found out about this wrong, to try and correct it and to protect the kids who were so harmed by the actions of this man?"

Skylstad nodded, thanked Moore, and returned to policy. "So much of the ministry of the church deals with young people, and we have to make sure that ministry takes place in a safe environment, as safe as we can make it," Skylstad said. "It's just got to be."

In the back of the church, a woman whispered: "Where's the answer?"

Actually, you have your answer, madam.

Unfortunately. Does anyone really think this is going to go away so easily?


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