Monday, March 29, 2010

The truth will set us free.

The crisis in the Catholic church over clergy sexual abuse will not go away. It has finally reached the pope's doorstep, which should surprise no one.

Still, many want to defend B-16, as he is called on many blogs; and I, too, would like to believe that the Holy Father is indeed holy and without blame. But it is hard to do so,knowing what we now know about the way the hierarchy always protects the institution over the individual.

The pope's defenders unfortunately include the likes of Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. This self-appointed spokesman is a loud-mouth who adds insult to injury when he says, as reported recently, that the problem of abuse is worse in public schools than in the church. He is one of those who keep attacking the messenger, in this case the New York Times, for trying to get at the truth about what happened in the Munich archdiocese under then Cardinal Ratzinger, who went on to head the watchdog Vatican office that supervised all claims of abuse.

This is a painful and abhorrent topic for people like me who revere much of what the church stands for and hate to see its leaders denigrated. Perhaps, since this is Holy Week, I should put this shameful burden in the hands of the Suffering Servant, who bears widespread human suffering with heroic patience.

In the final analysis, there can be no healing without justice, no justice without truth. The pope must satisfy the faithful that he has told the full truth about his role in enabling sexual abuse by priests; so far, he has not done so.

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