Saturday, September 11, 2010

Abuse and Abusive

Same Old Same Old?
For over a week now I’ve been coming back every so often to a commentary published in “Off the Record” by Diogenes over at (September 03, 2010 4:07 PM Where have we heard this complaint before? By Diogenes).
He takes as his point of departure a statement on the news by some within the Legionaries of Christ to the effect that despite all Rome is trying to do for the religious institute the upper echelon seems to remain the same old same old: they note that even Fr. Maciel’s portraits still haven’t been taken down in their houses. Basically, Diogenes makes the point that the situation of this religious order struggling with reform is no different in any of the other Church structures in the United States where abuse has been uncovered and denounced by public opinion. The statement is fair enough, but I would call his conclusion off-hand: “Dioceses all across the country are reeling, parishes are closing, Mass attendance is down. But the same chancery staffs remain in place. Moving forward as before.” Or so says Diogenes!
Diogenes is a man with a mission; he’s straight-shooting. His use of the nom de plume could easily invite comparisons with masked crime-fighters. Personally, I like reading him even if his style is more rough and ready than I’d ever dare be myself.
Time and again over the years, especially on the topic of abuse of minors by clergy, Diogenes has made the point that there are people in authority who are responsible and should be called to account. I have no disagreement there. But the closing line quoted above is too facile. Which chancery staffs should be dismissed? What do some if not all of those people have to do with disenchantment in a given parish? Why are parishes closing? Why is Mass attendance down in a given parish and what does it have to do with the chancery staff?
Sorry, Diogenes, but on this one I just have to cry “foul”!

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