We Need a Plan to Deal With Narcissist Clergy

National Catholic Register

November 27, 2018

By Patti Armstrong

Could it be that the Church does not yet have a plan to deal with the sex abuse scandal and the crises of confidence because self-preserving, narcissist personalities stand in the way? Humble servant leaders dedicated to shepherding are not adept at handling that.

Priests and bishops creating personal fiefdoms put themselves above others; even God. Their goal is self-enhancement and they establish a network of like-minded friends in high places. Hard-working, and hard-praying clergy are not working to form powerful networks. Their own honesty also leads them to take others at their word which is a disadvantage when dealing with the duplicitous. For instance, most never imagined the hypocrisy of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s speech (at the 1:20 mark) at the Dallas Charter in 2002 when he expressed a desire to clean up the Church all while sullying it with behind-the-scenes decadence.

The narcissists have brought suffering to the entire Church. In the U.S., there is divisiveness, confusion and money getting withheld. There are plans for more state attorney general investigations and threats of RICO, and many Catholics who remained loyal through previous scandals are now leaving.

A potentially globally disastrous consequence also looms due to the last-minute intervention at the opening of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) fall meeting. The bishops intended to vote on two measures responding to the sex abuse crisis, but the Vatican instructed them to stand down and await a meeting of global episcopal conference leadership with Pope Francis in February.

That move may have undermined a previous defense used by the Vatican to avoid responsibility for damages when victims of clergy abuse sue. The 2010 suit O’Bryan vs. the Holy See attempted to depose Pope Benedict XVI in the U.S. district court in Kentucky. A Vatican lawyer argued successfully that the Vatican is not responsible for the U.S. bishops’ policy on protecting children, and nor is it responsible for day-to-day operational policy.

So now, what will be the Vatican’s defense on a new class action suit filed Nov. 13 against the Holy See and USCCB? Six men claim they were sexually abused by clergy as children and are asking financial damages as well as public contrition and reparation from the Church. The suit claims that the Vatican and the bishops covered up for the “endemic, systemic, rampant, and pervasive rape and sexual abuse” of the plaintiffs and others.

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