The Catholic Church scandal reaches farther into the heart and spirit of the members prompting some to leave and many to question. There are those who can continue to attend Mass, receive Communion and pray that the church survives. Others, who consider themselves the ‘faithful’ placing the church above all else, remain in the pews, steadfast and vocal about the motives of those who seek justice for the abused.
Much has been said and written about bias against the Catholic Church, noting abuse in other organizations and decrying the unfair publicity heaped on the church. In the past, I have written about the church’s claim to be “one, holy, catholic and apostolic” the direct voice of the Holy Spirit speaking through the Pope. The church set the higher standard to which it is held.
The Kansas City Star newspaper of Thursday, January 26, 2012 appears to convey a message far different than bias against the Church in matters of child sexual abuse.
Page one carries the detailed story of a local teacher accused of abusing young boys. The accused is shown leaving police headquarters, shackled and tearful. Details of the crime and details of the man’s life are given in the story.
Page A7 pales in terms of transparency and detail. Bishop Robert Finn has placed a priest on administrative leave, the first priest to be suspended since the position of ombudsman was created. The duty of the ombudsman is to receive and investigate reports of inappropriate behavior or sexual misconduct by the clergy.
It would be difficult to see the depth and position of these two stories as reflecting bias against the church. Both accused men are innocent until proven guilty but the civil authorities came to one situation quickly and openly. Not so, the other.