Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Fallout Continues In Archdiocese of Philadelphia ( Child Abuse )

UPDATE -Related from today -The New York Times Not Being Consistent On Sex Abuse and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?

For good or good bad there is really no such thing as the "United States Catholic Church". What we are composed of are numerous Dioceses that are communion with the Bishop of Rome.

Still we are "One" Holy Catholic Apostolic Church and when one sees what appears to be a obvious failing of the Archdiocese as to the Sex abuse problem then it hurts us all.

Whispers has a good post on the fallout one week later at In Grand Jury's Wake, "We Have Fallen Short" .

The Catholic Church has made tremendous progress in dealing with this issue but the Archdiocese of Philly case shows us perhaps the extremes. We have certain places where it can be argued that "safeguard measures" are rather draconian and violate any sort of Due Process or fairness. Then we have this Archdiocese that seems to go in the other extreme.

With that being said I am not taking every "finding" or suggestion of the Grand Jury report as fact yet. That does not mean I don't find it serious but I suspect there is a lot more gray.

One thing that shocked me in the Whispers report is this:

In his initial response to the report, the cardinal said last week that, although “the report states that there remain in ministry archdiocesan priests who have credible allegations of abuse against them,” he sought to “assure all the faithful that there are no archdiocesan priests in ministry today who have an admitted or established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against them.” Addressing Rigali’s statement in interviews in the report’s wake, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams alleged that the archdiocese failed to deem as “credible” any allegation where the reported abuse took place beyond the statute of limitations.

If that is indeed true that is incredible and concerning. Of course as I always say we need to get this "credible" standard of proof definition down and what exactly it means. My understanding is that "credible" is a pretty low standard( less than probable cause) and it just allows an investigation to go forward. Still that needs to be examined.

Further despite the Grand Jury actions as to a Catholic Lay teacher in the indictments it is not clear to me that if the "outraged" public Catholic or otherwise is ready for this same standard and exposure to be used against "lay members of the Catholic Church" working either as volunteers or being paid. So that will be important to watch.

Prayers for all involvd are needed.

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