12 April 2010

Fr. Selvester on the scandal

Over at Shouts in the Piazza, Fr. Guy Selvester kindly links to a post of mine - that I found over at What Does the Prayer Really Say? - and offers his own comments on the abuse scandal.

His comments follow, with my emphases and comments:

Fr. Zehnle at Servant and Steward posts a nice list of the facts in the Kiesele case. You remember facts? Those are the things the secular media gloss over in their rabid efforts to find a smoking gun that will bring down the pope (and, by extension his liturgical reforms and the credibility of the whole Church while they're at it).

Again: the truth MUST come out if the Church is ever to continue to be a force for good in the world. It will be embarrassing; it will be awkward; it will be painful and, yes, some heads will have to roll. But, the truth will always be something through which good will come. We in the Church have to face the truth of how clerical sexual abuse has been mishandled in the past so that we can grow in our understanding and take steps to prevent this from continuing in the future.

That's gonna hurt.

But, in the end, we will be better for it and people might begin to trust us again bcause we'll have earned their trust.

However, in the age of the internet and 24-hour news channels journalistic integrity has been sacrificed to the all-powerful god of "getting the scoop on everyone else". AP now joins that bunch with their supposed "exclusive" story about the Kiesele case. What were they more interested in? That they had uncovered something newsworthy or that it was "exclusive" to them? I wonder.

Pope Benedict is not the villain of this story. The fact that they keep creatively leaving parts of the story out proves it. The search for the truth must be genuine not trumped up. The Pope is not going to be a scapegoat here. And has anyone considered that the way the media are handling this is also a form of violence and abuse against people who have already been the victims of sexual misconduct?

The real truth of how this was mishandled is NOT going to found on the desk of Benedict XVI or in some "worldwide conspiracy" centered at the Vatican (as if the Vatican were some kind of federal government for the Church). It will be found in chancery offices all over the world in separate but unrelated cases that have only one thing in common: they were all done by men who thought they had the best interest of the Church in mind while trying to hush up the truth [Precisely! The New York Times has shown this to be true with the Murphy case in Milwaukee and the Associated Press has shown this to be true with the Kiesle case in Oakland, even if they haven't quite realized that have done so].

More is the pity.

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