Hopefully you have a “free read” available for the New York Times because this piece is worth a read. This is indeed a test of our faith… may God preserve our greatest treasure!
What a flabbergasting response from Bishop Malone to this question from Jay Tokasz (full interview here).
We have to “find out” what being complicit means?! Dictionaries are such a great way to “find out” what words mean. The Oxford English Dictionary informs us that complicit means: “Involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong.” I submit that it is morally wrong to cover up the abuse of young men by a pastor upon whom you heap adulation and refuse to remove from ministry. I would likewise posit that it is morally wrong to lie to a victim of said priest by telling the young man that he is the priest’s only victim when you know full well that is not true.
Is it not “grave matter” when a predatory priest sexually assaults a young man? What difference does it make if the young man is 14 or 24? Why is it that clerical abuse is no longer “grave” once the magic “Charter age” of 18 is surpassed?
What “clarity” and “specificity” could you possible need, Bishop Malone, regarding the abuse of young adults? Shouldn’t the abuse of ANY of God’s people be a grave matter? Was not Christ clear enough when He said, “Do to others as you would have them do to you?” Bishop Malone – what if you were 20 years old and went to a priest for spiritual counsel and he tried to get you drunk and assault you? Would that be a grave matter? Or would there not be enough “clarity” and “specificity” for such gravity to be determined?
And do not get me started on seminarians abused by a priest who was supposed to mentor and support them. I can be VERY clear and specific about those circumstances.
For now, let me be clear and specific as follows:
Bishop Malone – you were complicit. It is grave matter. Stop equivocating.
There have been so many times recently when I’ve “had no words” in the negative sense of that expression. This piece by Bishop Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City has left me wordless in grateful awe.
Among many amazing lines, these might be my favorite:
There doesn’t have to be a formal and long, drawn out investigation for a bishop to exercise a little compunction and concern for the well-being of the whole Church. An independent and transparent investigation is all the more necessary when culpable hierarchs exhibit an incapacity to do the right thing on their own. The laity are the only ones who can keep the hierarchy accountable and get us out of the mess we bishops got ourselves into.
HE GETS IT. God bless you, Bishop McKnight!!
My heartfelt gratitude to all those who have reached out with support, prayers and love. To those who disagree with my actions, I thank you for expressing yourselves respectfully. We are all in this together whether as a Church or a community.
I must admit that it’s been overwhelming to receive such a cascade of messages. You can be sure that I am endeavoring to get back to everyone who has been in touch with me. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
May God bless you and yours!