Commonweal Writer Comments on Rolling Stone Article

“Eichmann in Philly?” by Eric Bugyis,, September 5, 2010

Excerpt from above link:

“…the culture of secrecy that rewarded the cold efficiency with which Lynn fielded and dispensed with allegations of sexual abuse in the diocese is the most chilling part of the article. Erdely quotes former Assistant District Attorney Will Spade describing the process of extracting information from the archdiocese: “It was like trying to infiltrate a racketeering organization. Most of these guys just seemed to be in the wrong professions. They weren’t kind or understanding or any of the things a priest should be. They were just thugs.” Erdely also gives a shout-out to Ana Maria Catanzaro’s Commonweal essay describing her dismay at learning how the archdiocese had manipulated the lay review board, which was established after the first cases of abuse were made public, by only making available to them the least severe complaints. Lastly, Erdely highlights that when it came time for Cardinal Bevilacqua to side-step claims that he was responsible…”

In closing, Bugyis writes:

“From Erdely’s article it seems clear, if it wasn’t already, that the Church’s institutional structure has not only enabled bureaucratized evil in the past, but continues to shelter those who have been the direct agents of such wrongdoing.”

11 thoughts on “Commonweal Writer Comments on Rolling Stone Article

  1. “DENIAL.”
    I see family go and come from mass Sunday after Sunday without the slightest hint that they have been aware anything has changed in “their church” since they had their “First Communion” or “Confirmation.” And since I have lately been monitoring “Catholic EWTN Radio” while volunteering as a receptionist for a local Hospice organization I hear each Monday — caller after caller on “Open Line Monday” ask John Martinoni or sometimes Patrick Madrid [both “apologists”] every conceivable question on various topics EXEPT the scandal as if they are blissfully unaware [both callers and “experts.] that any “crisis ” is existing in “their church.” In this regard it is no wonder to me that glaring contradictions and blatant inconsistencies have existed and been accepted by “the faithful” over centuries, in both the Protestant and Roman Catholic creeds and dogma. For example: The stark separation God makes in scripture between the nation Israel and the Gentiles [“dogs”] and the difference between Paul’s “the church, the Body of Christ” and all other instances and records of “called out assemblies” i.e., ekklesia, e.g. “the church in the wilderness” [Old Testament] or the “church of God” Paul [when he was Saul] persecuted , jailed, even consented to murder of — etc. And then the stark difference between the Mystery Christ revealed only to Paul and the prophecy which Peter said was known from the foundation of the world. One— Mystery was hidden from the foundation of the world (Romans 16:25) and the other- prophecy– was known from the foundation of the world. Tradition would have us believe/accept that they are one and the same. Things that are different are not the same, no matter how much one twists things to make it so. I am suspicious that many,or some of the religious figures that seem most strongly preaching the “traditional” views I described above actually are aware of the blunders made through the ages and know better, but continue to “cover up” and deny any suggestion otherwise, calling it “heresy” or “just your private interpretation” while dismissing what is the gospel of the cross, as revealed to Paul by the resurrected and ascended Lord. Much the same as the sex scandals are being “covered up.”

    1. Gerald, I totally agree. The subject of sexual abuse of children is a nasty topic which people don’t want to talk about. I briefly brought up at a labor day cook-out what people thought about in the newspaper for several days the articles on priests molesting children, NO ONE not one person seem interested in saying one word about it. I think that a lot of people don’t want to discuss it because so much abuse happens in families where it is and continues to be a silent matter, no one wants to talk about it so the pink elephant in the livingroom stands there as everyone walks around it!

      1. Had the same experience — reluctance to speak about the crisis. Makes me wonder: hoping the issue hasn’t become “old news” in people’s imagination (thanks, Susan, for standing in the breach here); or maybe it seems such a pervasive and intractible problem that there’s nothing left to do or say; or maybe the feeling is disgust is so revolting.

        My problem: in spite of the failures (multiple and deep) I do still love my church, and I hate to see it simply go irrelevant.

      2. Vicky,
        I hope you weren’t very embarrassed or too disappointed by the reactions of your friends. It definitely is a subject difficult to mention around Catholics. I have long been aware how Catholics take it personally whenever the Church is critiqued in any way. I for one don’t believe it is justified to take it personally whenever someone has a criticism or question about the Church.

  2. I coulda, woulda, shouda included that I sometimes have little to do while volunteering but sit at the desk, so I use a batterypowered radio and headset to listen to the radio. There is absolutely no hint, ever, on this “Catholic Radio Station- WDMC Melbourne FL 920 khz” that a crisis of any dimension is transpiring in the Catholic Church, but much attention is given to exhortation for all to “COME HOME TO MOTHER CHURCH.” Yeah, right!

    1. My dad was on hospice so thankyou for volunteering…… members really appreciate it. Yes the catholic standard and times was guitly of the same thing for many years. I agree.What appears good is rotten underneath and you find yourself questioning reality………don’t other people see what you see……but you stopped to take another look…….most people take a look and keep walking it’s safe that way…….you don’t have to get emotionally involved………because if you do you can’t remain passive and truly love Christ.

      1. Beth,
        I think I see what you mean-
        “most people take a look and keep walking it’s safe that way…….you don’t have to get emotionally involved………because if you do you can’t remain passive and truly love Christ.”
        Maybe they are not as strong or courageous as some of us are. I thank God for courage, it certainly comes from Him and I know it isn’t because there is any good in me. Good onyer’.

  3. Gerald.. when I see the FLDS= Mormon polygamy cult, on TV running from the reporters I think their sad behavior is not at all different from the pew Catholics I have been seeing with their head in the sand for 10 years. Keep on trucking is the only answer. The Lynn trial maybe the straw on the camels back..

  4. I took offense when the specific details of the rape of a boy were written here on this blog. I still don’t see any reason for the horrid details to be re-written. That said, I really want us to focus on the fact that HORRIBLE, EVIL DEEDS were done to children and vulnerable adults by our priests and then those horrible, evil deeds were covered up by our bishops, cardinals, and our POPES. This has been going on for a long time. Let us not be emarassed to say that this is an evil that has happened in our church and –left to the administration that we are trying to oust– would STILL BE going on..probably still is in some spots.
    WE must continue to talk about these actions. We must contact our civil authorities where appropriate. WE must continue to offend if that’s what it takes. We are not the problem. Yes, the ABUSE OF CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS is the problem. The fact that many are not doing everything they can to stop this stoppable problem is the tragedy of the RCC.

  5. People need to know the horrible gross details of abuse. They need to know exactly what happened to us and I’m glad some find it sickening. Maybe that will turn ignorance into action.
    I gave you a thumbs down, Liz. You can’t begin to understand or fight the problem until you understand it.

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