May 21, 2005

Diocesan Files Show Deceit, Denial

Los Angeles Times

Dana Parsons

The local Catholic hierarchy never passed itself off as divine.

Good thing.

The disclosures this week from the Diocese of Orange put names and faces to two decades of cover-ups and left one indelible impression: The hierarchy was all too human.

As human as any corporate executive trying to save his skin in an accounting scandal. As human as any cop or military man protecting a fellow officer from charges of excessive force. As human as any gang member refusing to rat out the shooter in a drive-by.

In street terms, it's called the code of silence.

I don't know what they called it in the diocese.

I know all too well that many readers have had it up to here with stories about priests or other diocesan officials or educators who molested or otherwise sexually abused young people. Those readers, who have made their displeasure known to me and others at the newspaper, argue that the point has been made and that it's time to move on.

These stories won't run forever, but the release this week of 10,000 pages of documents keep in mind they were from only one diocese underscore that we probably didn't have a full grasp of just how deep the cover-ups were during the period preceding the administration of the current bishop, Tod D. Brown.

Posted by kshaw at May 21, 2005 09:43 AM