Mark Miravalle offered ten points of “just response” to the scandal of the abuse of children and the cover-up of bishops. I note without further comment that as he delves into his points, he gets more wordy. I want to focus in on number 5, comment a bit, then open up things to your thoughts.
5. Applying the serious offenses of the relatively few priests and bishops to the entire Catholic Church in Ireland and to its innocent clergy is yet another offense against truth and justice. The statements voiced in several major editorials of national Irish newspapers would give the impression that it is the vast majority of clergy in this country that are guilty of child sexual abuse. It must be stated that the vast majority of the clergy in Ireland have never been accused nor convicted of child sexual abuse.
“Relatively few priests” would seem to be accurate. Bishops, alas, are another matter.
The Philadelphia Church suffers from big questions swirling around its last three ordinaries–all members of the college of cardinals. High profile leaders like Cardinal George have seriously offended by allowing predators to remain on the loose despite counsel from experts. Even well-regarded moralists like Bishop Finn have mismanaged abusers.
The truth is that we don’t know how many 20th century bishops mismanaged clergy. Sure: the list of this century’s most newsworthy American offenders: Rigali, Finn, George, Walsh, Law … doesn’t appear to be that long. What percentage of Irish bishops have been found out? What is it? Six empty sees right now. How many resignations offered? How many others demanded?
Professor Miravalle’s points would be better taken without the exaggeration of his “impressions.” Let’s face the facts: a significant portion of Ireland’s episcopal leadership are dealing with significant and substantial allegations of criminal wrongdoing and immorality. Will Dr Miravalle’s “human authority that is guided in truth by a divine authority” act in accord with divinity or will it throw in its lot with fallen humanity?
What are you reading in these ten points?