National Catholic Reporter Calls for Transparency in Clergy Abuse Scandal

In a strongly worded editorial published October 28, 2005, The National Catholic Reporter, an influential weekly Catholic newspaper, has called on the bishops of the United States to come clean and reveal the true depths of the crippling clergy scandal. The National Catholic Reporter, known for its somewhat liberal but scholarly journalism, has tracked the scandal since 2002. In the editiorial, the paper notes that 3 living American cardinals “have been complicit in what any reasonable observer would term criminal activity.” Of course, the paper is referring to Cardinals Law, Bevilacqua, and Mahony. The three princes of the church still wield great influence in the church in spite of the fact that Bevilacqua is retired and Law is hiding out in a Roman basilica. Mahony remains at the helm of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and has spent untold millions defending criminal activity by his priests. All three have steadfastly refused to cooperate with civil officials and Mahony continues to fight any change in the civil statute of limitations. While all three men have avoided any criminal prosecution, they have brought shame and embarassment upon the Catholic Church. In its editorial, the National Catholic Reporter has called upon the other bishops to appoint someone like Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, the former President of Notre Dame University, to head a commission to investigate the scandal. Of course, former Governor Thomas Keating thought that he would have access to such documents. He ended up quitting an investigative commission in frustration calling the bishops’ actions something out of La Cosa Nostra.