Facing the Fallout
Catholics Wise to Focus on Recovery, Not Cover-Up

Dallas Morning News [Fort Worth TX]
November 30, 2006

Court documents unsealed this week reveal the extent of sexual abuse in the Fort Worth Diocese and the cover-up by the late Bishop Joseph Delaney. Despite everything we've all read regarding this travesty in recent years, nothing dulls the shock. Nothing ever should.

The documents are outrageous on three fronts: one, in the disgusting detail of the acts these priests performed on children; two, in showing that Catholic officials kept these men in ministry despite it all; and three, in the plain fact that if their leaders had had their way, Catholics would never have learned any of this.

That they did learn of it is in large part due to the dogged reporting of this newspaper, in particular Brooks Egerton, as well as state District Judge Len Wade, who at the request of The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reversed his earlier order sealing abuse lawsuit records.

Fort Worth's new bishop, Kevin Vann, wisely chose not to appeal the new ruling and now has to live with the fallout of a situation he did not cause but inherited. Painful? Excruciating, no doubt. Yet it must be done to rebuild the trust squandered by his predecessor, who cared more about saving face than saving children from abuse.

Dallas could get a new Catholic bishop at any time. This diocese deserves a man who understands that legal stonewalling is a failed strategy and that the past can only be overcome by admitting it and owning it.{WebArch} Archive: Read Wednesday's story on the unsealed Fort Worth Diocese documents.


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