February 19, 2006

Victims of their own monster

Chicago Tribune

By Eugene Cullen Kennedy
Published February 16, 2006

Lord Macauley famously predicted that Catholicism would survive long after "some traveler . . . shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on the broken arc of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's."

After viewing the inconsistent and defensive management and monitoring of sex-abusing priests in Chicago, many Catholics are moving their chips from the bishops to the bridge.

How, they ask, could the bishops in general and Cardinal Francis George in particular have bungled the implementation of the clerical sex-abuse procedures that they themselves hacked out in Dallas four years ago?

Like George, the bishops are good and kindly men now assaulted by the Frankenstein monster they shocked into existence with policies that protected their property more than their people.

But, as moviegoers know better than desperate bishops, every monster eventually turns on its makers. The Frankenstein creature composed of hierarchical cast-offs is now rending the bishops who shocked it into life. They suffer from "AD Syndrome," the After Dallas collapse evident in the nearly incoherent and rue-laden official explanations for reassigning to parish work priests who have molested children.

Posted by kshaw at February 19, 2006 10:58 AM