The word’s in the news of the passing of Cardinal Law, unfortunate and deserved lightning rod for sex abuse cover-up. The nearness of death was whispered here. I get this metaphor:
(T)he moment is bound to bring a “media circus” to the American city Law bestrode as a colossus for close to two decades …
Metaphor understood, and I might not disagree, but it remains an unfortunate turn of phrase, as the Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of a pagan god, Helios.
I’m not so sure this is such a media thing as much as it is a reminder of a prelate caught on the cusp of an early #metoo movement. Clergy credibly accused of abuse were drummed out of service, mostly thanks to the outing of Cardinal Law’s mismanagement. He wasn’t the only bishop blundering with abusers. But he was the epicenter of a perfect storm involving the transferring of offending clergy, the intimidation of victims, and ignoring the professional advice of people like Fr Tom Doyle. It always rang a bit hollow that bishops were ready to blame the psychologists they supposedly listened to, but sidelined brother clergy from their own ranks.
At any rate, I’ve come down with skepticism about people losing jobs for doing one stupid thing. Or, being pounded on the occasion of their death. De mortuis nihil nisi bonum, and all that. Mourn a man as a child of God. Remember the flaws and re-commit to reform and renewal. What else is there? A quote from an unnamed protégé:
What can I say? I have a great affection for a very flawed human being.