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- Turmoil in Catholic Church Deepens (15 April 2002)
Turmoil in Catholic Church Deepens (15 April 2002)
Following on from my earlier articles (see 'Archives'), it was confirmed over the weekend that the most powerful Roman Catholic cleric in the United States, Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, had protected a self-confessed paedophile priest, Father Paul Shanley, by authorising his transfer from parish to parish, despite numerous complaints that he had raped and molested young boys.
Church sources are reported to have told the 'Boston Globe' that a decision on whether Cardinal Law would remain in post or resign would depend upon talks he would hold soon with the Vatican. Cardinal Law is apparently a 'conservative' and is described as the American cleric closest to the Holy Father. The confirmation of his deplorable performance came as the result of the publication of a church dossier on Fr Shanley, which occurred only because a judge ordered it - a shameful aspect of this whole sorry affair.
It appears that victims and their legal advisers are now beginning to force the Roman Catholic hierarchy to come to terms with the sickness at its core, after years of the Church trying to suppress what has been going on for decades, with any compensation payments made having been subject to 'gagging' orders. The Church practice, seemingly, of systematically covering-up what was known to be going on and allowing errant priests to continue in their ministries elsewhere has got to stop - and if the only way to do this is for people like Cardinal Law to be forced to resign, and legal action taken against those who committed criminal acts on children, or who knowingly allowed such activities by colleagues or personnel under their jurisdiction to continue, then so be it.
The recent resignation of Brendan Comiskey, Bishop of Ferns in Ireland, who similarly covered up the paedophile habits of a priest in his diocese, and of Bishop Anthony O'Connell of Palm Beach Florida last month, who himself committed paedophilia against a teenage seminary student in the 1970s, and many other cases which are now coming to light, shows that these are not rare and isolated aberrations, but part of a much wider malaise. The Church's moral bearings seem to have become corrupted by the power of the institution, and it is now necessary for the civil authorities to bring this outlaw organisation to heel.
Copyright © 2002 William Cameron