Mama Bear and Archbishop Myers

Threaten my kids and you’ll meet a she-bear on the attack.

I feel much the same way about my Church.

Disparage Jesus and see how I respond.

There are just certain things that get my attack-defend side moving.

Archbishop Myers has managed to step on just about every attack-defend nerve I’ve got. He put a confessed, convicted child sex abuser back with kids. Then he defended the action by claiming he didn’t violate the rules that the bishops have for handling these things.

Bah.

I am the mother of sons. The thought of someone endangering one of them like this has me ready to charge out and do battle.

I love the Catholic Church with all my heart. I am so grateful to the bishops for standing up against the destruction of traditional Christian morality in our society. I would follow them anywhere in this fight.

But with friends like Archbishop Myers, who needs enemies? Actions like his cut the moral ground out from under his brother bishops and make it difficult for any of us to defend the Church in the public square.

As for disparaging Jesus, when a shepherd of the flock opens the gate and allows the wolf in with the lambs and then claims he didn’t do anything wrong … what do you call it?

I am also a public official. I am responsible for other people’s lives. That doesn’t make me more sympathetic with the Archbishop. It makes me less so.

This wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t something where he didn’t know or the “experts” told him it would be ok. It didn’t happen back in some long ago past when people supposedly didn’t know that molesting children was wrong. (When was the time, anyway? I’m no kid, but I don’t remember it.)

This is now, after more than 10 years of constant talk about the “problem” of bishops putting child abusers with children. It comes after the apologies, after the reforms, after the promises of never again. The priest in question isn’t someone that was newly discovered to be a child abuser. He’s a confessed, convicted child abuser who was, essentially, remanded to the archbishop’s custody.

Is there some fact here I’ve got wrong? Is there some exculpatory bit of evidence I don’t know about?

If there’s not, then what the tom fool was Archbishop Myers playing at? Why, why, why did he do this incredibly stupid, destructive and potentially catastrophic thing to the children that God has entrusted to his care?

Why did he place his Church on the chopping block again? Why did he pull the rug out from under his brother bishops’ feet with actions he knew would get them all tarred with the same ugly brush?

Sending a confessed, convicted child molester back to ministry with children makes as much sense as giving an embezzler a job in a bank or sending an alcoholic to work in a liquor store. If his goal to was help Father Fugee, he should have done everything he could to keep him away from young people. Surely there was a back room job counting beans somewhere he could have found for him.

I could go on.

And on.

But there’s no point. We’ve all got the weary task of once again trying to clean up the mess this Archbishop has made. It’s hard work, reminding people over and over again that Jesus condemns this, and that the Church is still true, even if her ministers sometimes trip and fall.

One bishop who does something like this does so much harm. The damage — to individuals, to the Church’s witness to Christ — is incalculable.

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