Sunday, February 10, 2002

More news from Boston: Cardinal Law is now being personally named as a defendant in lawsuits concerning the church's handling of known and suspected pedophile priests (search for "lawsuit" here). The church has repeatedly promised to cooperate with law enforcement, but DAs are calling the lists of suspects they provided, worthless And their liability insurance may already be maxed out from the cases it has already settled.

And local TV news reports that the church had assigned pedophile priests to new parishes after promising not to, when settling the lawsuits which came out of their earlier misbehavior. That nearly seals the case for something worse here than malign neglect.

Why on earth would they do that? One aspect of the situation on which I haven't seen much comment is that the Catholic church is facing a very severe shortage of priests; priests with unblotted escutcheons may not have been available for a lot of these posts. Some might suggest that the celibacy rule is contributing here to the pedophilia problem in more ways than one. But the official position from the Vatican is that the celibacy rule has nothing to do with the shortage. And if you can't trust a Cardinal, then who can you trust?


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