Monday, August 6, 2018


See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no - csp25875640

I just read this which was published in 2002:

(A) priest in the diocese of Arlington, Virginia, has been permanently suspended by Bishop Paul Loverde for testifying in a legal deposition about the immoral practices of his fellow diocesan clergy. In a formal notice to (the priest), given on October 28, 2002, Bishop Loverde stated that (the priest) was guilty of violating an order for him not to publicize priestly wrongdoing in order "to avoid scandal, to maintain ecclesiastical discipline and to protect the reputation and privacy of both the faithful and priests of this diocese." [As quoted in The Washington Times, November 13, 2002.]

I think you have to be about my age and older to know that in our culture that lasted up until about the Oprah Winfrey age, that people did not air their dirty laundry for all to see and hear. It was a kind of unwritten law. In fact law enforcement often aided this unwritten law by helping institutions avoid
scandal when police officers, teachers, priests, ministers,rabbis doctors and lawyers committed crimes both major and minor to include sexual crimes of whatever kind.

It was important to keep family problems secret as to avoid scandal. My father was very well schooled in this way of thinking. We as his children couldn't do anything that would bring shame to the family and if we did do something, it was not to be broadcasted but kept secret.

Bishops of the Catholic Church as well as lower clergy and the laity were very much schooled in this way of thinking. Most laity did not want to bring scandal to the Church when there were actual scandals of priests abusing minors or homosexual or heterosexual conduct.

It was the typical reaction of the three monkeys, "hear no evil, see no evil and tell no evil."

Confess it in Confession and keep it secret. You get forgiveness and no one but you and your confessor know.

It is hard for younger generations brought up on Oprah Winfrey, Phil Donahue and the really horrible other talk shows most of which glorify bad behavior and make it into a reality show for entertainment to understand what our culture in and outside of the Church was like prior to the advent of these kind of tell all shows.

But that's the way it was and in some places still is. 


Anonymous said...

The priest referred to in your (A) item is Fr. James Haley. There is far, far more to this sordid tale than you may realize. The portion you quote gives a very slanted view of what happened.

As we all know, the way such matters were handled - mishandled, really - by almost all organizations, including the Church, was to keep the matter quiet and take ineffective remedial steps to get the "offender" out of the scene.

We've learned that 1) simply moving the offending employee, priest or not and 2) hiding the mater from the public is a very bad plan.

Anonymous said...

Well, we can't blame Vatican 2 for all the Church woes these days. Turns out the former Cardinal McCarrick was ordained in 1958---before Vatican 2---unless we assume his bad tendencies developed during Vatican 2. And in central Pennsylvania, (Harrisburg), the bishop there is lamenting scandals that go back to...the 1970s? Nope. 1960s? Nope again? How about the 1940s? And anything in his diocese named for bishops, well, he wants those names removed, saying they did nothing about scandals.

rcg said...

There were plenty of really bad people in the clergy throughout the history of the Church. They often held positions of power for really long times, even as Pope. That situation changed back and forth, but Vatican II seems to act as a milestone for making the problem systemic and is cited as a reason for tolerance and dialogue with people like Mr., nee, Cardinal McCarrick.

It is common practice that information of a sensitive nature be held close and that its release be well considered before acting. If the organization was trying to hide, cover up, or protect the bad actor then the organization is damning itself. If they are acting responsibly to deal with it as far and best they can before it is released, then they are being exemplar. All of this is bringing The Inferno to mind. This helps me understand why the lower levels of Hell were not for the simple sins of the fleah, but the sins of the will and mind. McCarrick’s zipper failed him, his mitre enabled him. His peers are in big trouble, too.

James Ignatius McAuley said...

Father, I was a parishioner of Father Jim Haley in St. Lawrence in Springfield, Virginia. Father Haley is a great guy and wrongfully, wickedly treated by his Bishop. Too bad Loverde's successor does not have the guts to rehabilitate Father Jim

Anonymous said...

If the Church through its bishops and the pope had been doing its job and properly dealing with criminal behaviour within its ranks, the approach of keeping things quiet would be more justifiable. But it is undeniably clear that the popes and bishops failed and continue to fail the faithful in the most spectacular manner possible, and there is, in my opinion, no justification to keep things secret. The secrecy merely permits the filth to continue which in turn, creates more victims.

These days, it is exposure to the light that induces positive action. In other words, the hands of weak and sinful members of the Church hierarchy must be forced into action if anything serious is to be done about this mess.