Vigor: Does It Fit?

Merriam-Webster online defines vigor:

1.  active bodily or mental strength or force
2. active healthy well-balanced growth especially of plants
3. intensity of action or effect :force
4. effective legal status

Bishop Daniel Condon wrote to the NYT contesting a small part of the 7 December editorial on Pope Francis forming a commission to deal with sexual abuse of minors:

But contrary to a suggestion in the editorial, the church has been responding vigorously to this crisis for years.

Have efforts since 2002, or 1985 been characterized by strength or intensity? You can probably say that about survivors and their advocates. Admittedly, it takes a lot of guts to be a bishop and put yourself on the line with higher-ups and the laity with the Charter. There have been some high-profile slip-ups. And the whiff of cover-up in dioceses here and there.

As a church employee, I attended a three-hour workshop in 2004. Since, I’m required to log in to do a monthly update on abuse awareness. To my knowledge, no bishop has made public his own effort at regular continuing formation–what lay people in his diocese must do in order to maintain employment or be in good standing as a volunteer with children. This is a routine, and sometimes an inconvenient ten minutes on a particular day. But the information I get is good and solid. I’m thinking that many bishops would develop resistance to being groomed as predator-allies by absorbing the most up-to-date psychological knowledge that’s available.

That would be vigor, I think.

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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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