Dallas Charter Culture and the Covington Controversy

National Catholic Register

January 29, 2019

Father Raymond J. de Souza

How could the bishops of Kentucky get it so wrong?

It’s partly another consequence of the sexual-abuse crisis, wherein the protocols for handling allegations have created an environment where immediate action precedes investigation. That post-Dallas Charter culture is well-known inside the Church, but can be a bit surprising when encountered by the general public.

And it was only because there was video evidence to exonerate the students that the bishops were forced to reverse themselves. Otherwise, an investigation would have ground on for weeks or months while the students’ reputations were effectively destroyed. That would not have been an accident, but business that now is usual.

Still, despite the quick exoneration, it was a very bad week for the boys of Covington Catholic High School. It was a worse week for the bishops of Kentucky. It is a terrible thing to be the victim of slander due to rash judgment. It is morally worse to perpetrate slander because one is guilty of rash judgment.

The bishops of Kentucky were lightning-quick to condemn the conduct of the Covington Catholic students after the March for Life. The Diocese of Covington, led by Bishop Roger Foys, and Covington Catholic High School condemned the students the very day the original video came to light, without waiting to view the entire recording or even hear alternative explanations.

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