Cardinal Francis George and one of his top bishops are stirring up controversy because of statements they recently made criticizing lawsuits from victims of priest sexual abuse.Wrap your head around that for a moment.
In a letter obtained by the Sun-Times, the cardinal earlier this year wrote to the parents of a victim and apologized "for the terrible abuse suffered by your son at the hands of Ken Ruge and Robert Becker," two Chicago area priests who are now dead.
The cardinal also wrote that money was the motivation for proposed state legislation that would allow adults who were abused by priests as children to sue their perpetrators in cases where statutes of limitation have expired.
"This is irresponsible, is not about the safety of children as the sponsor claims, and is clearly, to me at least, about money," he wrote.
It's been very clear for a long time that the Cardinal is loyal to the Vatican, and the Vatican is now rewarding him richly for it:
Cardinal Francis George, a staunch Vatican loyalist, was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops today.Yes, indeedy -- the same man who says it's all about the money is leading the body that develops sexual abuse policies for the Catholic Church in the U.S.
This elevates George’s profile in the American church. But the position is more symbolic than powerful since the Vatican approves all major decisions.
The conference is the organization by which U.S. bishops conduct business, such as implementing Vatican guidelines for liturgy or developing sexual abuse policies.
In the wake of the explosion of clergy abuse scandals in 2002, George often served as national spokesman for the bishops. But he initially argued for a less stringent policy than the “zero tolerance” measure eventually adopted by the bishops. [Emphasis mine]
Never has a candidate been as widely protested by clergy victims, who point to his handling of cases.Is it any wonder?
The Vatican looks out for the Vatican, and not for the Catholic Church itself (see definition 3).
It's actions like this that lead me to practice my own faith outside the confines of organized religion. The hypocrisy is stunning.