Top Suspects

I’ve gotten a few e-mail notices about Archbishop Dolan’s recent appearance on 60 Minutes. I thought that was months ago. I didn’t take much notice till the weekend, and then I was too busy to probe very deeply. I see he’s on his apologist kick that the Church’s priests and bishops were no worse than other groups whose members have been accused of sexual impropriety. David Usher has gotten a great deal of internet traction on his outrage on behalf of married men in the days since.

Public school teachers didn’t stick, so I guess a bigger target was needed. A skilled journalist (probably not Mr Safer) might have probed a bit more deeply at a comment like this:

I don’t know if – what we know scholarship-wise would back that up, Morley. The greatest culprits in sexual abuse are unfortunately married men. So, I don’t know if marriage is the answer.

The pro-family lobby, naturally, wants it clarified that men who live with their partner’s mother are far more likely to abuse her children than fathers are.

I don’t know what was swimming around in archbishop’s head. A media-savvy guy as he is reported to be isn’t going to be distracted by make-up and lights. And I think I see what he’s trying to get at: that the most likely locus of child abuse is within families. Most kids are abused by people they know and trust. This is important information that anyone trained in child abuse prevention will get on day one. My wife and I got it when we did our seminars and coursework for being foster/adoptive parents. I got it at my first church-sponsored child protection workshop. The archbishop seems to have gotten it.

It also sounds as if the usual line of creampuff probing questions was leading into the ordination of married men. Would wives be vigilant about their creepy priest-husbands, thus preventing abuse? Alas, when it comes to addictions, it’s also the persons closest to you who are your chief defenders and apologists.

No word on any of this on his blog. Apparently, the archbishop has a full dossier on me; I have yet to see any of my comments make it through the camel’s eye for publication there. Anybody else want to try to ask him if what he said meant anything or if it was just the fog machine?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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4 Responses to Top Suspects

  1. John Drake says:

    Todd, perhaps your blogging has inflated your sense of self-importance. I doubt your “dossier” would be all that thick, nor all that compelling.

  2. Patti says:

    I’m sure that the good Bishop can choose to publish only those that agree completely with his thinking. I’ve seen others do this; it’s not so uncommon. Real debate can challenge one to introspection.

  3. FrMichael says:

    Todd, where did you attempt to post? I was looking for a post that would be appropriate given that the 60 Minutes clip was not a subject on the blog.

    I may attempt to comment on the faith in the public square post at that blog later today. Guessing that an anonymous West Coast priest probably won’t get any better traction than a Midwestern liturgist. Needless to say, I’m going to take issue with his minimizing the Crisis by dragging in husbands and fathers. Uggh.

    Oh, remembered last night about 1 AM that I owe a funeral reflection on the Beatitudes. Forgot to put the assignment on the weekly work list… My apologies, try to get it done this week.

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