Thursday, August 21, 2008
VOTF Speaks Out
VOTF Asks Cardinal George To Resign
The recently revealed deposition by Cardinal Francis George is a clear indictment of his pastoring skills and his inability to lead the people of Chicago. His repeated failures in both the Bennett and McCormack cases indicate a trend to disregard advice from outside clerical circles and continue to follow precedents of deceit, cover-ups and secrecy (imbedded in the clerical culture) in lieu of protecting innocent children from irreparable harm.
Voice of the Faithful, reviewing the concrete revelations in the deposition, has no choice but to ask the Cardinal to step down. We call for his resignation.
We also call for a criminal investigation of the actions within the Archdiocese revealed in this deposition. (325 IL. Comp. Stat. Ann.5/4 (West, WESTLAW through 2003 Reg. Sess.))
We ask, “Where is the criminal justice system in light of demonstrated criminal failings repeated across the country, diocese after diocese? When will Catholic citizens demand morality and justice in our own Church?” (That's a very good question. One I've had for quite some time now.)
We have seen bishops and other diocesan officials who aided cover-ups and enabled abusers rewarded with greater responsibilities and titles rather than being held accountable for their misdeeds. Does this system of rewards for failure encourage additional cover-ups?
Insincere apologies and large financial settlements are “street theater” whether the apologies come from Cardinal George, his brother bishops or the Pope himself. If no consequences accrue to those engaged in committing, perpetuating, or hiding crimes from Catholic congregations, the behavior continues. (This is another very good question. It seems to be the case with Archbishop Wilton Gregory.)
We believe that as Catholics we must exercise our baptismal rights and responsibilities, which include calling for our bishops to be accountable to the people they serve.
With evidence of this latest transgression, and reports of the settlements made in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and so many other dioceses, we have no trust in promises made by the hierarchy who created this breach of confidence. (We also note that Cardinal George was one of the authors of the bishops’ Charter to Protect Young Children, which his deposition indicates he then violated.) (Unfortunately the charter doesn't extend to bishops, just priests.)
Words of regret and apology, and promises of “unequivocal condemnation,” mean little if they are not supported by action.
This release is short and to the point. There really isn't much sense in mincing words. Cardinal George simply did as Cardinal George wanted to do, and then gave the obligatory empty apology for the fact he let Fr. McCormak loose to abuse more kids. Good job Cardinal George. I'm sure Rome will find a spot for you too. Nice way to pad your resume, using the backs of kids while you protect the brethren. Maybe you and Law and Burke can write a book: The Fast Track To A Vatican Appointment.
I don't have much more to say either. Good luck VOTF, I appreciate the effort very much, but we all know how this comes out. On the other hand, it's just one more nail in the ecclesiastical coffin. Maybe some day one of these enabling perpetrators will actually wind up behind bars.
In the meantime the voice of the laity is getting louder and louder.