April saw two different examples of how differently the Church leadership has handled clergy abuse cases. In the name of zero tolerance and full disclosure, the information should all be coming out.
In Wisconsin, Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland, provided a powerful message to those in attendance when he said, “Only the truth sets us free.” And, that the church must be “willing to tell the truth and take ownership of the truth, even when the truth is unpleasant.”
His powerful message included:
The only way for the Catholic Church to truly emerge from the clergy sex abuse crisis is to divulge its secrets, take responsibility for the harm it has caused, change the clerical culture that gave rise to it and welcome victims into the church community
Clearly, the message that all church leaders should be hearing and practicing.
Philadelphia saw a stack comparison. The U.S. Bishops admitted in “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” that 55 dioceses are not living up to the clergy abuse prevention provisions they promised to implement and strictly adhere to. Despite being given passing grades, the Philadelphia Archdiocese was secretly continuing to allow three dozen credibly abused offenders to remain in the public and the active priesthood.
This report was after Cardinal Justin Rigali suspended two additional priests because of credible allegations that they have engaged in sexual abuse of children, but refused to release their names. Who is really being protected?
It is important that the message keep getting out and that those who give voice to disclosure continue to be supported and representatives of the Church. Secrecy and nondisclosure is what this festering scab does not need.
Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.