May 22, 2006

Abuse victims in church cover-up deserve justice

Rutland Herald

May 21, 2006

Darren M. Allen

Vermont Catholic Bishop Salvatore Matano says he is in a "no-win situation" because he is trying to balance the interests of the church with those who were abused by it.

In a rare interview, Matano told my colleague Kevin O'Connor that his decision to begin sheltering the assets of parish churches and schools was just and proper.

"I want to reach out to victims," he said. "But I also have to be conscious of the people in the pews. It's certainly just to ask the church to be accountable, but is it just to destroy parishes, schools and other agencies of care to do so?"

Those are fair questions, and the answers will have sweeping consequences for the 118,000 Vermonters who are "in the pews." But they come too late, and they have the patina of pity the church wants from its adherents and critics alike.

Perhaps the bishop and his predecessors and those in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church should continue their soul search and continue to question why a culture of sexual abuse at the hands of priests was not only covered-up for decades but allowed to flourish.

Posted by kshaw at May 22, 2006 07:34 AM