The Fr Maciel scandal is not one I feel particularly inclined to blog about. I’m not in LC or RC, nor do I know anyone personally who is. I did scan George Weigel’s commentary yesterday. But Liam read it, and he has his own analysis. I’ll let my friend and long-time commentarian handle it from here:
Mr Weigel has good questions about audits and transparency, but they are “backward looking” or “forensic” as we might say in the securities and compliance businesses, but they lack curiosity about forward-looking and prophylactic dimensions of this problem, as well as the all-important matter of making restitution and amends to those harmed by Fr Maciel.
Mr Weigel hints at the issue of the need for curial reform, but contained to its utility in auditing this miasma.
The basic questions anyone familiar with risk management and similar systems that are being avoided are:
1. What are the most appropriate and timely remedies to restore what can be restored to injured persons and make meaningful amendment for that which cannot be restored?
2. What must be done to significantly reduce the likelihood of recurrence anywhere in the system?
Diagnosis of went wrong specifically in this case is necessary to help answer these questions, but it is far from sufficient.
A culture in which prelates and religious superiors are effectively accountable only to the Pope and to God is a culture that indulges avoidance and non-transparency at multiple levels, and thereby virtually guarantees abuse over time. Doctrine and dogma do not require this result. After all, while the clerical state has Priest-Prophet-King dimensions, so too does that state of the baptized, and somehow we merely baptized manage to have checks and balances placed on our kingship.
Sunshine is a powerful disinfectant, but its power is limited when only old, dry laundry is hung out.