While Rome Chatters. . .

A much publicized symposium on Catholic Church sex abuse is underway in Rome and the event has drawn much international media attention. According to John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, 23 Americans including some bishops are attending the conference. Yesterday, attendees heard from Pope Benedict XVI who urged the Church to undergo a “renewal” so as to purge the Church of the abuse scandal. William Cardinal Levada, formerly archbishop of San Francisco and presently head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, spoke about the Vatican’s engagement on the issue noting that it is actively investigating more than 4,000 abuse cases worldwide.
Yet, back on US soil, Archbishop Jerome Listecki, through his lawyers, has petitioned the court to dismiss 95% of sexual abuse cases filed against the Archdiocese. This in spite of the fact that Listecki himself promised that each and every one of the survivors of sexual abuse should and would be heard and compensated. The court filing on behalf of the Archdiocese has SNAP calling for the Archbishop to explain himself. Interestingly, SNAP is joined in this call by the current chancellor of the Archdiocese Fr. James Connell. Connell no doubt will pay for this “treason”. However, it’s high time priests stand on the side of abuse survivors instead of with the bishops.
Rather than holding symposia in Rome about abuse, let’s see some real action. I can only imagine what would happen if Catholic priests joined the SNAP civil rights movement on behalf of all survivors. I’d suspect the bishops would stand alone in their shallow and pitiful defense of corruption and cover-up. That would be real change. That would send a real message to the Roman chattering class.