As I noted in my book, Catholic bishops uniformly failed to get angry when they heard that a priest had defiled a child, often in the church itself. I examined this failure at length in my book Sacrilege, especially on pp. 465-471.
The bishops have failed to heed the warning of St. John Chrysostom: “He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins. For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but the good to do wrong.”
Dan Leger of the Chronicle Herald is also deeply troubled by Mancini’s response to the allegations about Bishop Lahey and child pornography.
But why wasn’t he angry? Why didn’t he rage at the idea that Lahey might have been another priestly exploiter of children? Why didn’t he pound his fist on the table and demand hard justice for every offender hiding in the folds of the Church’s holy vestments?
Every right-thinking Catholic should be furious at what’s happened to the institution that guides and nourishes their faith. And not just because they, not the Vatican or the institutional Church, are being asked to pay for the sins of the fathers.
Beyond who pays for the abuse settlements, a lot of people have cause to be angry at what’s happened to the Church over the past 50 years, and not only the Catholics. While all this was going on, people of many faiths and no faith at all were being hectored by priests, bishops and popes about morality and ethics.
Catholic authorities have constantly railed against abortion rights, against same-sex marriage, birth control, stem cell research and fertility treatments. They cite the word of God as their authority. By definition, anyone who disagrees with them is not only wrong, but immoral and a sinner.
Yet there is strong evidence, including at least one massive U.S. study commissioned by the Church itself, that those same clerical authorities were aware of abuse allegations against priests and clerics. Rather than cleaning up the mess, they covered it up.
That meant many offenders were moved around and protected by senior Church authorities, often to repeat their abuses in other parishes. That the Church evidently knew that and did so little to stop it suggests hypocrisy on a global scale.