New Catholic Bishop Has Chance to Heal

By Michl Uhde and Barbara Blaine
Quad-City Times [Davenport IA]
November 24, 2006

Bishop Martin J. Amos has just taken over the divided and troubled Davenport diocese. We believe that he must take bold steps to bring the healing that this Catholic community truly deserves.

After years and years of horrific child molestation scandals, we hear the same sentiment from exasperated Catholics all across the country: "I just want to know if my pastor is an abuser or if he helped to hide the abusers." This concern is reflected in surveys of parishioners, too. They just want to know the truth.

Franklin unilaterally stopped all progress toward healing by rushing into federal court essentially begging a judge to halt both the truth from emerging and the diocesan responsibility toward victims in the future.

Bishop Amos should heed the somewhat encouraging advice of the Pope himself, who said just two weeks ago: "It is important to establish the truth of what happened in the past, to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent it from occurring again, and, above all, to bring healing to the victims and to all those affected by these egregious crimes."

As a sign of good faith, Amos should withdraw from bankruptcy court, disclose the names of all credibly accused predators in the diocese (both alive and deceased), meet directly with the victims, listen to their pain, and in a genuine spirit of compassion and concern for all, work toward a justice that reveals the sordid past for all to see. This, ultimately, will lead to a safer future and a stronger diocese.

Michl Uhde, Davenport

Barbara Blaine, Chicago


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