Had It Catholic's Take on Today's Press Conference

By Susan Matthews
The Catholics4change
May 5, 2012

While I put together my thoughts on today, I thought I'd share one of our commentor's thoughts. – Susan

by "Had It Catholic"

These are SOME of the things that disappointed me as I watched the live stream of the announcement, today:

1. Neither Chaput nor the woman in charge of this weekends parish-based "counseling initiative" ("response trauma") could articulate how it will proceed after this weekend. They are going to watch things and see. The initiative lacks scope and clarity at this point.

2. The "counseling initiative" was presented, today, in light of the fact that, statistically, 1 in 4 people will be victims of sexual abuse. The "counseling initiative" was presented in a way that seemed more focused on the national epidemic of sexual abuse than the Philly AD's history of abuse and cover up which is THE main cause of parishioner distress and lack of trust. The "counseling initiative" seems to want to take the focus off the AD and put it on the general issue of sexual abuse.

3. How can the "destruction of trust" be repaired by the AD when the fates of so many accused priests remain on the table? It looks like Philly Catholics will be exposed to a series of calculated doses of priest-fates that could conceivably go on for another year or two. To think that trust can be repaired in this broken up, no timeline, no deadlines, and unfinished scenario is ridiculous. While the fates of priests remain on the table, there is no trust.

4. Does Chaput limp? He seemed to be limping, today. Is Donna Farrell friendly? No. She's short with people and intent on protecting her people from hard questions. She's a rottweiler.

5. When Chaput was asked by Susan Candiotti of CNN why it took a grand jury report to get to today's announcements, he responded, "I don't know. I've only been here 9 months…" Trust me, he knows!!!

6. Chaput said that the facts and details of individual priest-cases would not be released in order "to protect the victims." Why can't victims remain anonymous while the facts and details of individual priests are released? In not releasing the info, naturally, the priests are the ones protected!

7. Chaput is in charge of monitoring the 5 priests who will not be returning to ministry. God help us. Of course, won't be Chaput, but may be the person who holds Lynn's former position. What expertise, skills, methods and devices does the AD have for monitoring abusive priests?

8. There is a humanizing feel to everything that was delivered, today. Everyone's (victims, abusive and falsely accused priests, parishioners, etc) best interest is always taken into account by Chaput, the commission that investigated abuse cases, and the woman in charge of the "counseling initiative. The Gospel ethic is the effect. But the only one's who, presumably, seem to really feel, or experience, or benefit from the effect are the priests.

9. Susan asked how the "counseling initiative" would reach people who have left the Church. The response to her question, by Chaput, I believe, was unclear to me. All I can say is, from a person who has left the Church, today's announcement only reconfirmed for me that I did the right thing. The entire media event made me sick.

I invite everyone on C4C to go to Ralph Cipriano's piece, written today, and read the comment under it (if there are multiple comments, it's the first one). I like Ralph's piece, but the comment says it all.


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