Jason Berry gave a talk on the crisis on the church. One of his main points is that the Vatican and the bishops are unable to cope with the instantaneous flood of information that the internet has provided. You shouldn’t do anything that you don’t want the whole world to find about, because as soon as one person knows it, the whole world will know it. The Vatican doesn’t understand this, and the Williamson affair demonstrated. No one googled Williamson to discover his peculiar opinions on the Holocaust.
The convenient lie has long been a staple of church (and other) bureaucracies. Jason called it a culture of mendacity. When can tell an untruth is a vexed moral question, and sometimes the line is hard to draw. The classic example is the Gestapo asking you where the Jews are hiding. But ordinarily, one is obliged to tell the truth if the person with whom one is communicating has, in the ordinary course of life, the right to receive the truth.
Church officials have never learned this ordinary lesson.
The Rev. Martin O’Laughlen, when he was 29, became sexually involved with a 16-year-old girl:
Father O’Loghlen had sex on several occasions with Julie Malcolm in the 1960s while she was a student at Bishop Amat High School in nearby La Puente, Ms. Malcolm said. Nearly three decades after the abuse ended, Father O’Loghlen tried to reach Ms. Malcolm, who was then living in Phoenix.
After receiving several phone messages from Father O’Loghlen, Ms. Malcolm filed a complaint with the Diocese of Phoenix and later filed a lawsuit against the priest and his religious order, the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. In 1999, she settled the lawsuit for $100,000, Ms. Malcolm said.
O’Loughlen went on to become Provincial of his order and served on the sexual offenses review board for the Los Angeles archdiocese.
…the provincial, the Rev. Donal McCarthy, who now oversees the religious order in California, wrote to the archdiocese in March 2009, asking that Father O’Loghlen serve as a priest in Los Angeles. The letter included assurances that Father O’Loghlen “manifested no behavioral problems in the past that would indicate that he might deal with minors in an inappropriate manner” and had “never been involved in an incident or exhibited behavior which called into question his fitness or suitability for priestly ministry due to alcohol, substance abuse, sexual misconduct, financial irregularities, or other causes.”
He was appointed as an associate pastor in the San Dimas church four months later. Father O’Loghlen also worked at the parish’s elementary school.
The archdiocese’s Vicar for Clergy’s Office “did not fully consult” other records of the priest’s “previous assignments in the archdiocese, which would have indicated that he admitted to having had a sexual relationship with a female minor,” Mr. Tamberg said.
In 2009 O’Laughlen’s name was on the internet; he was listed in BishopAccountability.org’s database, with a link to the report that the LA archdiocese had released.
Church officials do not think they are bound by the same moral laws that we mere laymen are bound by. A diplomat, it is said, is a man chosen to lie for his country; do bishops and religious superiors think that their mission from God is to lie for the Church?
Tony de New York
Am I shock?
Hell no! the same sh@&$t.
Do i have any hope that the new archbishop, Gomes is going to be any diferent than Cardinal Mahonny.
LOL, r u kidding?
Are there any dioceses that have been particularly forthcoming? Are there any bishops that have done a good job of disciplining deviant priests? Is there a diocese where there has never been a culture of mendacity?
Tony de New York
Wow, he (Father O’Loghlen) is OUT!!
Los Angeles Archdiocese to Dismiss Priest Over Admission of Molesting Girl.
Mendacity is a good descriptive. I have settled on the word “confabulation” since their lies and false hope are usually couched in a narrative about some church value that we should espouse. Korsakoff’s Syndrome also comes to mind since so many church officials are alcoholics in additiion to leading closeted sex lives.
We were all taught that these men held truth at their fingertips…And many of these men still believe they do. By lying, over and over again, they think they are protecting the truth. This is how they’ve been taught to think.
As awful as it is, it is such great blessing that this is finally being known. “If you bring forth what is within you, what is within you will save you.”
Tony, you are SOOOO right. How did any of them become miters or red hats? Gotta go along to get along.
And for any that strayed and told the truth, remember what has happend to Gumbleton (Australia), Robinson (USA), Martin (Ireland).
(Am I forgetting one?)
Three or four out of several thousand. Pretty pee poor percentage!
They serve a higher truth. Lying in the service of a higher truth was approved by Lenin and Stalin, their spiritual models. And they can count on the support of right wing “defenders.” Why should they change? Their lying serves their purposes.
Almost all the offenses occurred before the Nazi takeover; pre-1933 the police and court system were functioning more or less normally.
As of November 1937, 45 priests, 176 brothers and nuns, and 21 employees were convicted. 955 cases were still in progress’ 187 were acquitted. I have ordered a 1971 book from Germany that will give further information.
My point was that by failing to report to the police when Germany was still a normal country, the bishops gave the Nazis ammunition by allowing them to try all the cases at once and thereby making the situation look far worse than it actually was.
Something similar happened in the Unites States in 2002. By failing to report perpetrators to the police, the bishops allowed the hidden cases to accumulate and to be revealed all at once.
We simply do not know who prevalent abuse was over the centuries; there were many bad episodes, but whether these were sporadic occurrences or the abuse was always there and only sporadically became public, we do not know.
However, I think when church authorities refuse to deal effectively with sexual abuses, they risk a catastrophic wave of revelations.
How many cases of abuse are enough to stand on their own and demand a change Leon?
It is horribly clear that the answer to this question is not “one”.