This is Going to Be Controversial. . . So Don’t Read It

The title of this blog post is a warning to all those who don’t want to read stories about Catholic bishops destroying documents. The National Catholic Reporter published a story about the Archbishop of Denver, Charles Chaput who recently visited an Australian diocese purportedly to report back to Rome about his findings. The bishop there, Charles Morris, has been fired for his opinions on clerical celibacy and women’s ordination. According to NCR, “NCR Editor at Large has been following the story and reports on today’s Web site that Morris, referring to a report written by Archbishop Charles Chaput, said to Roberts he knows it exists because Chaput sent him an e-mail ‘telling me that he’d sent an electronic copy as well as a hard copy to the dicastery for bishops, and then he did what he was supposed to do. He destroyed both the electronic copy and the hard copy, so he didn’t have a copy any more.”
Chaput, a loyal Roman foot soldier followed the instructions of a Roman dicastery which, in turn, follows the direct orders of the Pope, instructed Chaput to destroy the evidence.
The incident should be deeply disturbing to all of us. However, it’s revealing in that it shows the institutional culture that weeds out those whom the institutional protectors consider dangerous. If the Church acts in such a fashion in these matters, why would one think it wouldn’t do the same in matters involving clergy sex abuse?
In both instances, scandal is the primary thing to be avoided, and at all costs. Destruction of documents serves that end. Wouldn’t anyone who’s unswervingly loyal to the institution act in such a manner?