Un-freakin’-believable, Part One
In his first legal response to charges that the Rev. Paul R. Shanley began molesting a Newton boy when he was 6 years old, Cardinal Bernard F. Law has asserted that ”negligence” by the boy and his parents contributed to the alleged abuse.
The cardinal’s claim, filed in court by his attorneys, is boilerplate legal defense language. But a lawyer who is not involved in the case and has handled other cases involving allegations of clergy sex abuse said last night that the decision to use such a claim in so sensitive a case showed poor judgment.
Now, consider this: the best thing we can say about this is that Cardinal Law is so shell-shocked, so numb, so dazed that he is sequesterd in his office, mumbling, “Yes, whatever” to the secretaries, lawyers, functionaries, lawyers, clerks, lawyers, and lawyers who stream past his desk, asking to “sign this.” No other explanation seems adequate to account for the world-historical irresponsibility/stupidity of today’s outrage. Okay, fine. The Cardinal does not know what he’s doing and cannot think straight.
So why is he clinging to office? Cardinal: step down. You cannot do your office, as this latest outrage attests.
Un-freakin’-believable, Part Two
The reliably Rome-defiant bishop Thomas Gumbleton speaks up for the American Tobacco Growers Association and attempts to deflect attention away from the source of the problem with irresponsible and alarmist honks and blats. Citing the 1997 pastoral on care of gay persons, Gumbleton take out a big red herring and smacks JPII in the face with it, to the applause of the media:
I don’t know how we could tell parents to accept their children and then we won’t accept them,” said Gumbleton, who said he has many gay priest friends in Metro Detroit.
“There are gay bishops, for heaven’s sakes,” Gumbleton said. “Are we going to throw them all out? It sounds like somebody’s getting ready for a witch hunt and I don’t like it.”
Uh, Bishop Gumbleton, nobody’s talking about “throwing them all out.” Sensible people are talking about the fact that a) the vast majority of abuse is homosexual (90-95% of reported cases) and b) that it is not homsexual persons per se, but those–whether homo- or heterosexual who despise chastity and orthodoxy, who should not be priests. Surely, even Bishop Gumbleton can figure out that some way of seriously screening out those who despise chastity and orthodoxy would be a good thing for a Catholic seminary, can’t he?