The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


DiMarzio: “Enough is enough!”

posted by jmcgee

Earlier, I offered the press release announcing Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio’s homily, which was delivered at this evening’s Chrism Mass.

Here’s more, from his prepared text:

In recent weeks, we have all been reminded of the evil that some of our brothers inflicted
upon children. These men are our brothers and we all, priests and bishops, share some of the responsibility for the harm they have done, for we could not believe it was possible. For this reason, we must resolve to be vigilant in the protection of those young people in our care. We must humbly seek forgiveness of those that have been robbed of innocence and the faithful whose trust was abused.

I do want to take a moment to speak about The New York Times mischaracterization of the role of the Holy Father when he was Archbishop of Munich and then Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The fact is that the paper omitted significant facts with respect to the case of a certain priest in Wisconsin. The reality is that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did not have competency over Canonical Trials in 1996 when the case is believed to have first been referred to Cardinal Ratzinger. Moreover, the priest in question, a
Father Murphy, was in the midst of a Canonical Trial. He died before a verdict was rendered. The case of the priest in the Munich Archdiocese also is presented as a definite error of judgment when all the facts are not known.

This evening, I am asking you to join me in making your displeasure known to the
editors. I might even suggest cancelling our subscriptions to the New York Times, but we need to know what the enemy is saying. Enough is enough! Two weeks of articles about a story from many decades ago, in the midst of the Most Holy Season of the Church year is both callous and smack of calumny. I ask you to stand up with me and send a message loud and clear that the Pope, our Church, and our bishops and priests will no longer be the personal punching bag of the New York Times.

The Church and broader society everywhere looked upon sexual abuse as a moral failing. Such behavior was thought shameful and sinful. Tragically, we and other social institutions failed to recognize that it was a crime. As a result, the offender was not sent to prison but for treatment and rehabilitation. The Church sought not to buy the silence of victims but to offer any assistance that would help in bringing about healing. In most cases, the Church sought to not publicize the matter because of the scandal that it would cause and the family of the child did not want the matter to be public.

In the intervening years, we have all learned a great deal and as a consequence how we
handle these cases is radically different. Today, no one anywhere in society is doing more than the Catholic Church to protect children and bring about justice for those who were robbed of their innocence. We recognized first and foremost that we are dealing with criminal behavior. As such, it is immediately reported to the authorities because it is their competence to investigate crimes and not the Church’s. Our emphasis has moved from avoiding scandal to protecting children and so such behavior is immediately publicized, reported to the District Attorney and not kept secret. We immediately seek to offer whatever assistance psychological, medical, financial, a victim requires and we begin by offering our sincere and deepest apologies. The priest still receives treatment and we are concerned for his welfare because he remains our brother.

You can read the complete text of the homily for more.



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Comments read comments(32)
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Paula Gonzales Rohrbacher

posted March 30, 2010 at 11:47 pm


I’m out – I’m starting to experience PTSD symptoms. See you after Easter, Greg! Maybe the news will be better by then!



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Todd

posted March 31, 2010 at 1:16 am


I appreciate Bishop DiMarzio’s passionate defense of the pope.
Unfortunately, predators were moved without treatment in some cases–cases I’m aware of as a victim advocate in a former diocese. The message sent was most definitely not the protection of minors from scandal. In fact the outrage that a predator was reassigned to a high school was the last straw for more than a few to leave the Church.
As for the case of the German priest, Archbishop Ratzinger’s delegating authority wouldn’t pass muster by the standard he set in his recent pastoral letter. However, it looks as though his approach has evolved over the years–and we should be grateful for that.
The real work yet to be done is among the bishops. They’ve lost credibility not because of the media, which, by the way, has done well to expose the cover-up scandals among the episcopacy. Somehow, they’ve got to express as individuals and as a corporate body, a part of the Church, that they are truly reformed, as the pope appears to be. They need to clean up the serious slips we’ve seen from Bishop Walsh and Archbishop George. And they need to reach out more to victims and families.
Meanwhile, it might be better to simply state the facts–the real role of the CDF, and avoid hyperbole about nobody doing more to protect children. First, it is we parents who are far more observant and vigilant these days. And second, social workers do a great deal to protect child clients.



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Sean Keller

posted March 31, 2010 at 7:53 am


‘nuf said! Can we move on now? Reliving the past and attempting to implicate the Holy Father smacks of anti-Catholicism and I have had about enough. Further, trying to tie the Holy Father to the actions of a sick pedophile in Wisconsin is like trying to make President Obama responsible for a murder that took place in Paris twenty years ago.



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RP Burke

posted March 31, 2010 at 9:11 am


In most cases, the Church sought to not publicize the matter because of the scandal that it would cause …
And this misunderstanding — that the coverup intended to avoid a scandal was itself scandalous — is the source of the lion’s share of the anger and disbelief that the church faces today.



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bruceLull

posted March 31, 2010 at 9:25 am


Todd:
the lion’s share of these cases are decades old and in many cases civil authorities decline to prosecute for lack of evidence or length of time since the allegations(as seems to be the case with the monster from Milwaukee). the Church in the U.S. has in recent years educated 6 million children about protecting themselves from abuse, every person in any kind of child relatd ministry is trained on this issue and about 2 million background checks have been performed.



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Reaganite in NYC

posted March 31, 2010 at 10:49 am


Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio: “I might even suggest cancelling our subscriptions to the New York Times, but we need to know what the enemy is saying. Enough is enough! Two weeks of articles about a story from many decades ago, in the midst of the Most Holy Season of the Church year is both callous and smack of calumny. I ask you to stand up with me and send a message loud and clear that the Pope, our Church, and our bishops and priests will no longer be the personal punching bag of the New York Times.”
This Bishop speaks for millions and millions of Catholics around the country. We mourn what happened to the victims so many years ago. But I think, too, the New York Times “shot themselves in the foot” with sloppy, shoddy and biased reporting and severely damaged their credibility.



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Leo

posted March 31, 2010 at 6:50 am


If you read the following quote you may conclude as I have that the US Catholic Church is negligent in defending it’s good name and that of its’ Pope. The Catholic League should be suing the NYT and all other news outlets that commit slander and liable. The Civil authorities should also be pursuning these criminals.
“Father Raymond J. de Souza at National Review Online explains how I can make the statement above [The NYT is Lying...] about the New York Times.
The New York Times on March 25 accused Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, of intervening to prevent a priest, Fr. Lawrence Murphy, from facing penalties for cases of sexual abuse of minors.
The story is false. It is unsupported by its own documentation. Indeed, it gives every indication of being part of a coordinated campaign against Pope Benedict, rather than responsible journalism.”
Where is the Catholic League??? Where is anyone with the guts to stand up to these criminal bullies???



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Diakonos

posted March 31, 2010 at 10:59 am

Your Name

posted March 31, 2010 at 11:34 am


Bishop DiMarzio is a perfect example of what is wrong with our Church. Careerist, corporate leadership that is bereft of true pastoral skill, or even inclination. Granted, some of what he said is accurate, especially regarding the way the Church handles child abuse issues now. However, he and the vast majority of the Bishops who are like him miss the point entirely. The Church’s moral authority has been greatly damaged, and continues to be damaged, by a devastating failure of leadership on the part of Bishops like him, who continue to attempt to minimize the moral failings of Church leadership through demagogic appeals to “circle the wagons” to defend against anti-Catholic prejudice, real or perceived. The NYT does have a bias against the Church, I believe. However, the stories the NYT and other media outlets are reporting are real, and should trouble any Catholic. The Church’s problems start at home, with the failure of its Bishops, Cardinals, and yes, even our Pope, to lead the Church in accordance with their responsibility to spread the Gospel, rather than protect the instutional church (lower case is intended here). I fear for the future of our Church.



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BillW

posted March 31, 2010 at 3:54 pm


“…In most cases, the Church sought to not publicize the matter because of the scandal that it would cause and the family of the child did not want the matter to be public.”
That’s a joke, right? Does anyone believe that?



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Curious

posted March 31, 2010 at 4:38 pm


What exactly would you like the bishops to do now for what happened in the past—should we tar and feather them, torture them or maybe crucify them? Most of the American bishops now were not even in leadership roles when much of this happened.



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wineinthewater

posted March 31, 2010 at 5:02 pm


Your Name 11:34 AM,
I would agree that DiMarzio is lacking pastoral care here. He over-defends the actions of the hierarchy in the past. I do not doubt that many were motivated to various degrees by a desire to protect the victims and protect the mind of the Church from scandal. I also agree that we are talking about an era here where society was ill-equipped to deal mentally with the issue of child abuse. But I also do not buy the argument that many of them were also motivated to various degrees to CYA.
But beyond that, he is right about the media. They have demonstrated a pronounced bias in their reporting. It has been shoddy, misleading, and even downright deceitful. We have every right to call them on this. We also have every right to call them on the fact that reporting on child abuse and even cover-up has been horrendously lop-sided.
I don’t want them to stop covering the story. Actually, I want them to *start* covering the story. Right now, what the media is doing is not journalism, it’s a witch-hunt.



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hlvanburen

posted March 31, 2010 at 7:24 pm


Curious writes: “What exactly would you like the bishops to do now for what happened in the past—should we tar and feather them, torture them or maybe crucify them? Most of the American bishops now were not even in leadership roles when much of this happened.”
I think a good first step would be for the Vatican to simply remove Cardinal Law from all of his current duties and commend him to a life of prayer and penitence for his neglect of pastoral duties in the Boston Archdiocese.
http://www.wbur.org/2010/02/10/irish-priests-followup



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Dan Cirucci

posted March 31, 2010 at 9:05 pm


I can’t believe DiMarzio’s assertion that the church didn’t recognize that this was a crime.
Didn’t recognize it as a crime?!?
Really, how naive(or just plain stupid)does the Church think we are?
This is nothing less than insulting.



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Curious

posted March 31, 2010 at 9:16 pm


And removing Law would accomplish what? Whatever pride or dignity he had is long gone. He is basically living in exile. It may sound like a cushy job but it is a nothing. In a year and a half he will be 80 and unable even to vote for a pope. He is already a has been.



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Susan

posted March 31, 2010 at 11:28 pm


If only you defended the victim with as much vigor as you defend the priest. If only you denounced the pedophile priests with as much intensity as you do the New York Times.
It is easy to make the media the whipping boy. Politicians do it every day–oops, I forgot…the church leaders are politicians in the most important state–God’s state.



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hlvanburen

posted April 1, 2010 at 12:15 am


“And removing Law would accomplish what?”
Correct a mistake made by a prior Pope, and demonstrate in a very visible and tangible manner that this Pope truly understands that those responsible for the cover-up do not have a place within the church.



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Doug Sirman

posted April 1, 2010 at 5:59 am


“Tragically, we and other social institutions failed to recognize that it was a crime.”
This is a lie and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio is a liar.



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Fuquay Steve

posted April 1, 2010 at 8:40 am


Oh ye of little faith. Secularists and non-beleivers have been foaming at the mouth for so long that it should be anticipated. Sure there are criminals in the Church, it is a human institution after all. Do not be shaken by this, in every generation from that Friday over 2 thousand years ago, there have been scandals and attacks on the one true faith. There have been countless saved and there will be in the future-through God’s grace.
I’m sure of one thing though – I know the answer to the question : ‘Where you there when they crucified my Lord?’
God bless and keep you from harm.
Fuquay Steve



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Curious

posted April 1, 2010 at 8:41 am


Doug, I see your true Christian spirit in these days of the Triduum. Happy Easter to you too.



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Mike

posted April 1, 2010 at 9:46 am


Curious, Doug is speaking objective truth. How sad that you and other bishop-defenders don’t recognize truth.



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Curious

posted April 1, 2010 at 10:21 am


The truth is that many people and institutions looked at it as a sin and not criminal. They were wrong. How many families who found that a child in the family was abused by a family member called the police? I doubt many did because they did not want it made public. I think there was a similar feeling in institutions. Was it right? No we know it wasn’t. But it happened and it has been acknowledged and apologized for ad nauseam.



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Curious

posted April 1, 2010 at 12:47 pm


I wonder how many who frequent this blog have ever made a mistake, told a lie to cover one’s back or misjudged a situation. I think that would include most of us. Were you forgiven? Where is the forgiveness that Jesus preached and acted upon so often? I don’t find it here. I don’t think anyone acted with evil intentions but they made serious mistakes which they will have to account for before God who will judge each of us. Happy Easter.



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Doug Sirman

posted April 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm


Curious,
I’m sorry you feel that way. I say “feel” because actual thought is obviously not a part of your regular routine.
Rape is a crime; it is a crime if an 80 year old is raped, it is a crime if an eight year old is raped. The liar, Bishop DiMarzio knows this. So did the liar, Cardinal Egan. So does Egan’s historical revisionist, Timothy Dolan. So did virtually every Bishop who lied, and all the many, many priests who looked the other way, so very many times.
For the liar, Bishop DiMarzio to use Lent as a time to tell his lie, during the mass no less, is nothing short of degenerate. For you, Curious, to call his evil good, and my good evil, is equally degenerate.
Go To Confession.
Doug Sirman



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Curious

posted April 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm


It is easy to call people liars. Juvenile but easy. I wonder how many of the know it alls here would have handled the cases of abuse had they been Bishops. If everyone believed it was a crime why didn’t families call police and not wait 20 years to reort these cases? Sounds like some parents covered it up too.



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Mike

posted April 1, 2010 at 9:00 pm


Priests raped children. Bishops covered it up. The Church is responsible. Nothing else matters.



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Observer

posted April 1, 2010 at 9:59 pm


Abortionists murder babies. President Obama legalized abortion – he is responsible.



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Curious

posted April 1, 2010 at 10:02 pm


Yes, Mike and what would you like the Church to do about it. Rewind the tape and erase it?



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George

posted April 1, 2010 at 10:26 pm


The NY Times is a communist propaganda rag and we know how much communists think of Christianity. This is the paper that whitewashed the atrocities of Josef Stalin in the 30’s. They are not to be trusted.



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Your Name

posted April 2, 2010 at 7:11 am


While many of these stories are decades old, we can all bury our head in the sand if we like, the story is about what he knew and when he knew it. That story is only a few years old and seems pertinent to me.
Please read Bishop Joseph Duffy’s words while attending the Pope’s summit, February 15 & 16 on the sex abuse scandal in Ireland:
“It’s my information that the pope is very well clued in on this whole issue, that even before he became pope, he had access to the documentation, that he knew exactly what was in the documentation, and that he wasn’t living in a fool’s paradise.”
– Michigan Catholic – February 19, 2010-02-21
The context of Bishop Duffy’s quote was in answering a question on whether or not he felt the bishops would try to protect the pope from the details of the scandal. His comment however begs the question; if the pope was aware of the content and extent of the abuse in Ireland, even before he was elected, why now, four years after his election and publication of the independent reports of the abuse, are we hearing the voice of the Church?



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Your Name

posted April 2, 2010 at 9:23 am


We judge all of this with out looking into what is the real reason that has caused all of this. It the same reason other countries can not destroy America so in order to do this you destroy it from the inside. And that is the same with the Church.
Also one of the problems we have is everyone looks at this as one dimensional. No one looks at how much is happening in our schools.
How we promote the homosexual life style which we have been doing for the last 40 years. Once we okayed abortion we have set the tone for everything else.
Last point Judas walked with Jesus and we all have feet of clay.
God Bless and have a nice day……..



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leObserver

posted May 24, 2010 at 8:45 am


Todd
March 31, 2010 1:16 AM
http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/
I appreciate Bishop DiMarzio’s passionate defense of the pope.
History now shows that the Pope has done more to prevent all of these allegations than anyone else in any societal institution, All of your arguments are being debunked now even in the secular media.
“Unfortunately, predators were moved without treatment in some cases–cases I’m aware of as a victim advocate in a former diocese. The message sent was most definitely not the protection of minors from scandal. In fact the outrage that a predator was reassigned to a high school was the last straw for more than a few to leave the Church.
As for the case of the German priest, Archbishop Ratzinger’s delegating authority wouldn’t pass muster by the standard he set in his recent pastoral letter. However, it looks as though his approach has evolved over the years–and we should be grateful for that.
The real work yet to be done is among the bishops. They’ve lost credibility not because of the media, which, by the way, has done well to expose the cover-up scandals among the episcopacy. Somehow, they’ve got to express as individuals and as a corporate body, a part of the Church, that they are truly reformed, as the pope appears to be. They need to clean up the serious slips we’ve seen from Bishop Walsh and Archbishop George. And they need to reach out more to victims and families.
Meanwhile, it might be better to simply state the facts–the real role of the CDF, and avoid hyperbole about nobody doing more to protect children. First, it is we parents who are far more observant and vigilant these days. And second, social workers do a great deal to protect child clients.



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