Tom Doyle Comments on Cardinal Levada’s Remarks During Papal Visit to US

Following are Tom Doyle’s comments on Cardinal William Levada’s recent remarks reported by David Gibson and published on the BeliefNet blog Benedictions: The Pope In America.

(Also see “Levada Says No Bishops to Face Sanctions” published on this blog 4.19.2008.)

* * *

I vividly recall briefing Levada in May, 1985 when he was an auxiliary bishop, about the sexual abuse crisis. I also have seen volumes of documents and sworn testimony from depositions that clearly shows that most, probably all, bishops clearly knew that priests were raping and otherwise sexually abusing kids as far back as the 40’s….and I limit it to that era because I have not gone beyond that in studying documents. So, Levada’s statement is either an outright lie or evidence of a very narrow understanding and perception of reality.

Bishops have been shifting the blame to psychologists for a decade. This too is grossly dishonest. I have seen scores of reports wherein psychologists said that priests were not fit for ministry. Some bishops just ignored them and many others twisted them to interpret them in a way that would be favorable to their needs. The bottom line is that bishops were intentionally negligent. Any adult male leader of anything who claims that he did not know that grown men having sex with minors is wrong and insidiously harmful to minors, is either an idiot or a liar or both. Levada’s arrogant line is the same as everyone else in the Vatican and most bishops……basically they are saying it’s someone else’s fault and in reality, it’s their fault.

The sexual abuse crisis is far from over. Victims continue to come forward with great regularity…some who were abused decades ago and some who were abused months ago. The press may not jump on it every time but the filth is still present because the system that spawned it is still denying its responsibility.

Leave a Reply