Melbourne archbishop Denis Hart released a pastoral letter late last week. A video accompanies, and I noted this line which expands the recognition of “grave evil” to include those who try to conceal it:
Sexual abuse in any form, and any attempt to conceal it, is a grave evil and is totally unacceptable. As Christ’s Church we must face up to the truth of these revelations and not attempt to disguise, diminish or avoid in any way the actions of priests and religious who have betrayed their sacred trust.
The archbishop dismisses the meme, “We’re just as bad as schoolteachers, etc., if not not-as-bad” in what follows:
Although it has been said that the incidence of Catholic priests abusing their office in this criminal manner is no greater than that which occurs amongst professional classes in the wider community, the community quite rightly expects a higher standard of morality for clergy.
Cardinal Pell says, “Me, too,” as far as the apology goes. But he’s apologized before and didn’t get sucked into the condemnation of concealment as “grave evil.” If he wanted to reiterate an apology, I’m sure people wouldn’t think he was trying to steal Archbishop Hart’s thunder. As it stands, he did mention he can write a pastoral letter, too, if it would be helpful.
One commenter says it’s time to end the attention:
I think this should be an end to it. We are making too much fuss. I think there’s a worldwide vendetta against the Holy Father because he’s German.
I haven’t heard this one yet. Usually they blame the vendetta on the pope’s being Catholic.
Still others want to see action accompanying words. One victim quoted in the CathNews piece:
I feel a little cynical. If what he said was true and he followed up, it would be very good, but it’s all been said and nothing happens.