Did you just see Spotlight and get all fired up?
Or maybe you have noticed that your bishop’s actions don’t reflect transparency, humility … or anything remotely resembling Christianity. But you can’t quite determine the root of the problem.
And no matter how hard to try to believe that “things are different now,” your bishop’s words just ring false. What do you do?
I’m here to help.
Here is a handy-dandy quiz you can print and give your local bishop.
Your name: Bishop ______________
The only good follow-up to a yes answer is: “I wear a court-ordered ankle bracelet that requires me to stay in the confines of this home.”
Everything else is bunk—period.
If you live in California, it gets even better. The Diocese of Orange … er, I mean the parishes (see #5) … own MULTIPLE homes worth more than $1 million. This article is more than 10 years old, so we can just assume that prices have doubled from what is listed here.
2) If you found out that one of your priests sexually abused a 6-year-old boy when the soon-to-be priest was 16 or 17 years old, would you allow that priest to remain in ministry? Would you let him to lie to parishioners about what the allegations are? Would you let him travel with children? (stay tuned if you live in Chicago or LA)
3) Are there any pending civil or criminal complaints against any of your religious, volunteers, or employees? Are there any cases that you and your review boards are secretly handling? Have you made anyone sign confidentiality agreements since 2002?
4) Do you publicly post and announce USCCB “Warnings”—especially if they apply to your diocese? Why not? Aren’t you required to be transparent?
5) Are there Catholics with whom you refuse to meet? People like parents of survivors, concerned Catholics who may have dealt with an abusive cleric? Catholics who feel bullied by their local pastor?
6) Have you transferred land to parishes? Why? Do you still exercise all oversight on those properties—choose pastors, approve spending, take a percentage of collections, pay the salaries of priests? Can you cite the exact canon law where it says that parishes should own their own land? Why does your lawyer contradict you—saying that transferring the land “reduces your legal exposure” in sex abuse cases?
7) Are you familiar with the recent scandal in St. Paul and Minneapolis that came about as a result of the Minnesota Child Victims Act? If lawmakers pass a similar Child Victims Act in the state(s) where you have been a bishop and priest, what will we learn about your role in child sex abuse and cover-up?
8) Have Catholics in your diocese ever protested outside of your birthday gala? Do they continually press for your removal?
And the final question:
9) How much money have you paid to lobby against anti-crime legislation that would eliminate the criminal and civil statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse?
There you have it! Have fun and get to work!