Oh, the shame!

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Oh, the shame.

On Friday (in Australia) the Bishop Emeritus of Australia’s Rockhamton Diocese  Brian Heenan took the stand  at the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

More of the disgusting same old same old:

17 April 2015:  “Ex-bishop ‘deeply regrets’ response to abuse allegations at Neerkol orphanage” & related articles & VIDEO

I really would love to go through the transcript but, none of the transcripts for this session are posted yet.    I will check again next week.  Once it’s available I will post and make note.

For now, just a few excerpts from the media coverage with comment, and, a thought:   rest assured that the bishop did not take the stand without much prep work by both Church canon lawyers and civil lawyers.

(1)  Bishop Heenan had no training in how to deal with sexual abuse allegations

There’s that old saw again.

Surely to goodness he, a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church, had heard of  the very biblical millstones, and, as I’ve said int he past, it seems to me that’s pretty self explanatory.

What about the millstones? Did he, a bishop of the Church,  never read the Bible?  It’s pretty clear there:  Christ’s ultimate condemnation went to those who harm a child – “better that a millstone be hanged around his neck.”

What training did he need?  Was there something amiss in his spiritual formation. or in his prayer life, that he couldn’t  sort out all by himself that not one single child is ever the better for being sexually abused? and that priests who sexually molest children have proven themselves unfit to be priest?

(2)   A retired Catholic bishop described a pedophile priest as having a “unique gift with youth” in a character reference for the man’s court sentence

What can I say?  What oh what can any Roman Catholic say to justify a bishop coming out with the likes of such a bold affront to  victims, his diocesan flock,  and to God?

The molester has a “unique gift with youth”!!!

How sick!  How terribly and utterly sick.

Then, during his testimony on Friday the bishop noted:  “I would probably write it differently now.”

Only “probably”?


(3)  The bishop admitted he’d been trying to protect the reputation of the Catholic church but denied shielding his fellow priests

I don’t go along with that at all.  This was about protecting the molesters.  The reputation of the Church was not being protected by allowing sexual predators to run loose with unfettered access to children. The reputation of the Church was not being protected by allowing a known molester to continue to masquerade as a priest, administer the sacraments and deceive the faithful.

I’m sorry.  I don’t buy the protecting the Church line at all.   I know that many do.  I do not.  After a long time thinking it through a few years ago I came to the conclusion that it is an oxymoron to say that these cover-ups flow  from a desire to protect the Church.

Think about it.  Does it not sound noble – almost virtuous – for a prelate to claim ‘I was trying to protect the Church? ‘  Much better I do believe than:   ”Well, to be bluntly  honest, I was protecting the molester’

Enough for now,


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