US Attorney General Should Act: GM Fine Illustrates Case Against Church

Click here to read: “GM ignition switch case shows that ‘silence can kill’: Opinion,” by Mark Crawford, Star-Ledger Guest Columnist, May 24, 2014

Excerpt: Now our Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation and many are calling on the government to bring charges against the workers and company officials who knew about the defect. The executive director of the Center for Auto Safety said, “That’s the only way you’re going to change GM’s behavior.”

Said Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox: “Literally, silence can kill.”

I agree, but GM isn’t the only large, powerful institution that has a history of hiding facts, minimizing dangerous threats and keeping quiet about much of what it knew. The silence inflicted harm on children and families and, yes, also led to many deaths.

11 thoughts on “US Attorney General Should Act: GM Fine Illustrates Case Against Church

  1. The Justice Department doesn’t act because they fear the political power of the RCC. The current administration can’t afford to lose any votes to the “far right” (Tea Baggers).

    “The UN torture committee has concluded that the Catholic Church is not guilty of torture or in violation of international law.”

    In this article the far right takes glee in the fact that the United Nations did not explicitly state that the Holy See was guilty of torture in covering up crimes involving child sexual abuse. They thus declare victory, and hold that the UN’s action upheld religious freedom. As misguided as their concept of religious freedom is, it would be used against the Dems in the fall election.

    We may not like it, but guys like Dolan still have plenty of political power.

  2. Wow! Look at the political power the RCC had in Ireland at one time. I maintain that the Church’s considerable political power in the US today is a major impediment to changing SOL, and prosecuting pedophile priests and those who cover for them. The lay People of God, and and their government representatives must overcome their fear of the prelates. The bishops deserve only our contempt. What does it take for everyday Catholics to become angry, FURIOUS?!!!

    “800 dead babies are probably just the beginning.
    The corpses found in an Irish septic pit resulted from a larger problem.”

    “The warped code of honour behind the decades of silence had been inculcated by an all-powerful Catholic Church. For much of the late 20th century, the Irish civil authorities were in thrall to the hierarchy; Archbishop John Charles McQuaid threatened pulpit denunciations if the government contradicted his policies. So the state connived in the mother and baby homes, paying the nuns at Tuam and all the other homes a per capita rate for every inmate” (The Washington Post).

  3. Look at how swiftly the federal government jumped on the VA crisis… another example of “silence kills.” On CNN last evening, someone pointed to the human crisis feeding into all of the silence. No one has the courage to stand up and say “we have a problem here,” or “there is a better way than this,” or “this is wrong.” God forbid that human courage and conscience supersede institutional groupthink. God forbid we act as whistleblowers. “Good” workers and professionals muck around in denial and/or fear. How did this dangerous and immoral work paradigm evolve in our culture? It’s killing us!

    drwho, that’s just the tip of the unconscionable dead-baby iceberg. Add it to the vast assortment of other ruthless clerical evils over the centuries and juxtapose it with the Church’s “Life” stance and you have hypocrisy at its finest.

    The priesthood’s history wreaks of hypocrisy and its killing Catholicism.

    1. You’re right Kate, “The priesthood’s history wreaks of hypocrisy and its killing Catholicism.”

      I also “…blame the sheep who attended catholic mass last Sunday (of which I am one) and who will attend catholic mass on this and future Sundays. The uncritical, unthinking, all accepting faithful sheep” (anonymous).

      I attend mass because my wife wants me to, but the dead-baby story has her on the brink of defection. I’m hoping.

      On another point, I’m still waiting for the pope to take down the three bishops, at least three! And, what about Finn?

  4. drwho, the dead-baby abomination and the abuse of their mothers just hit the core of me. It was a case of the Church having total control and authority over nuns and Ireland. The sexual twist to it is interesting as well– babies conceived out of wedlock. The Church needs to revamp its theology of sex when its “sins” condone the death of babies. Essentially, the same theology of sex is in place, today.

    I’m over the uncritical, unthinking sheep. As infuriating as they are, we don’t need them to get a federal commission to investigate sexual abuse. We don’t need them to pass SOL legislation. We need intelligent, rational, and actively engaged people. Their knowledge, logic, and passionate stamina will get the job done. “Unthinking sheep” is an infliction having a multitude of causes, so have compassion and pray for them.

    The three bishops will come down. Rumor has it that all three have their own histories of sexual abuse. The Vatican might be hoping that the demise of the three will distract us from
    Finn. Personally, I do not believe that the Vatican finds his crime worthy of his removal. O’Malley better set the Vatican straight on that one.

    1. Below is a section of the1917 Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Benedict XV on 27 May 1917. At the time these children were alive, had they lived to adulthood and received holy orders, a prohibition made the reception of holy orders by them illicit. That gives one some insight in to how the RCC viewed these people. They were viewed as someone less than worthy (through no fault of their own). The policy was changed in the 1983 code of Canon law, Unfortunately they did not chose to include woman in this upgrade of status. Their ordination is still illcit, maybe even invalid (not sure) by “Defect of Birth.”

      “The Defect of Birth

      “A canonical impediment to ordination. When used in this connection, the word illegitimate has, in canon law, a well-defined meaning, which is: “born out of lawful wedlock”. Illegitimate birth is an impediment to the reception of orders, and inhibits the exercise of the functions of orders already received. It is a canonical impediment, because established and laid down in the canon law as a hindrance to entering the clerical state.”

      1. 1983 was just around the time that the Church became concerned with the dwindling priesthood. In the ’60’s and ’70’s, an enormous number of priests had left to marry or enter secular life. The “less worthy, born out of wedlock” may have been viewed as “worthy enough” considering the dire need for vocations. Thus, the change in Canon Law.

  5. “Lorenzo’s brother, Giuliano de’Medici, famously impregnated his mistress before his brutal murder in 1478. Their child, Giulio de’Medici, was later crowned Pope Clement VII.”

    A technicality – his mistress was he “intended” so Clement was deemed legit

    Don’t know how true this article is:

    Guess its who you know. Just what Jesus would have done. He didn’t think his followers would treat children that way and He forgave sinners.

    1. The number of priests who have fathered illegitimate children over the centuries is a crisis in itself. The crisis has been handled the way clerics handle crises in general– silence, secrecy, denial, pay offs, threats, intimidation, distancing, and neglect. You have to wonder when clerics will realize that it is not their sins and crimes per se that create crises, rather it is their ingrained compulsion to hide them and avoid accountability.

    2. Very fine PBS documentary……four parts. Just finished watching this. Have to love these insights re Church history……..the more things change, the more they remain the same.

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