January 11, 2005

From the Editor's Desk


I must start with a confession. Had anyone other than Sr. Jeannine Gramick come to me with the piece about Paul Shanley, I would have long ago dumped it in the circular file ( see story).

Shanley, a defrocked priest, has become notorious as an accused child molester, one of the better-known names in that pantheon of Catholic disgrace. To this date the file on him seems convincing -- if his activities weren’t criminal, at least some of them described in profiles and newspaper accounts quoting church documentation show at the least a betrayal of trust and of office and an abuse of power.

So why even go there?

Frankly, because Gramick pursued the issue. I would be hard-pressed to name someone else so thoroughly infused with integrity and goodwill. In all the years that I have known her and that I and reporters who have worked for me have written about her, I have never heard her speak ill of anyone. Not bishops or figures in the Vatican, not even during the long, painful process that would most charitably be described as a trial and, I think more accurately, as high-level harassment. She ultimately was prohibited by church officials from continuing her ministry with gays and lesbians in the church.

Posted by kshaw at January 11, 2005 03:29 PM