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The Essence of Arrogance (Thu Feb 1, 2007 10:27 am )

In case you missed it, you owe it to yourself to see the Frontline TV  program called "The Hand of God"    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/handofgod/view/  aired on PBS, 1/16/07. It is an extremely well-done story of sexual abuse by a priest and the effect on the victim and on his marriage and family as well.  The startling culmination of all the atrocities presented in this film occurs when an irate bishop Lennon (now bishop of Cleveland) says to the polite film maker, "You are a small little man." (because he, from a known strong Catholic Family, insisted on his right to film the entrance of the Roman Catholic chancery building where cover-up occurred).  

 Yes, the sexual abuse is terrible. Yes, the cover-up is as bad. But the arrogance of this bishop epitomizes what is perceived by many as the general attitude of the hierarchy in the U.S. Catholic Church. This "everybishop" tells us that "everyman/woman" confronting the hierarchy about the enormity of the evil perpetrated and covered up, they will be named "sad" and "little" in public.  Is this a scary manifestation of the bishops' private opinion?  Are we considered as, "Sad little natives, restless again"?
Not all bishops are thus, but many rose to their office by the same cookie-cutter formula and have had a training stint in Rome, the seat of authority of the Catholic Church. If you are blessed with one of the good ones who knows how to use his faith-based authority well and fulfills his pastoral responsibility for the good of his people, thank God daily. Pray for him, treat him kindly and support him.  After the revelations of the last 5 years, be aware that he is like one of the ten good men Abraham was looking for in Sodom.(Gen, 19:32) and is to us the scriptural "pearl of great price."

Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

Challenges Facing Catholicism
(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

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