Sunday, February 3, 2008

There's Enough Blame For Everyone

By now, we have all heard of how bad things really are for the Milwaukee Catholic Diocese, and the stunning revelations about the cover up that was involved in it. Now, Whallah! will not go into denigrating the Catholic Church. I firmly believe in coexisting and that everyone has a right to chose how they practice their religious beliefs, as well as if they even have religious beliefs.

But has horrifying as the abuse suffered by the victims truly is, the tragedy is only being compounded by how some people are reacting to it.

Sykes is leading the way, by pointing out the crimes that were committed by Archbishop Rembert Weakland. On his show he also blasts former Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann for his role in trying to sweep these assaults under the rug.

Whallah! agrees with Sykes on these condemnations. That said, we must also say we agree with the Brew City Brawler, who points out that Archbishop Dolan is not to be abolved of the role he played in the obscenity:

Let the Brawler make sure he has this straight:

Archbishop Timothy Dolan booted the pedophile Franklyn Becker out of the priesthood.

He paid him $10,000 -- with no limits on how the money should be spent. He sent him to Mayfield Mayville-- he informed the sheriff but not the neighborhoods or the community. And he didn't provide for counseling.

And now, per Peter Isely, the Midwest director of the Surivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Becker is living in an apartment with a view overlooking a playground?

And somehow Dolan's going to skate on this?

That would appear to be the case as of 12:03 a.m. (late night for the housework-tasked Brawler). The name Dolan appears not once in the Journal Sentinel story
about the scandal that appears due for Friday's paper.

Now, the Brawler fully expects the amoral likes of Charlie Sykes to politicize this, to say "Look what happened under Rembert" while saying Dolan has done an "extraordinarily good job in trying to clean up this mess."

Charlie says that a lot of people are in denial about what transpired under the liberal Rembert Weakland. And when he says people he means liberals. To which the Brawler says: prove it.

The Brawler says let the Lord have mercy on Rembert for what happened under his watch. The Brawler, being human, brooks no excuses.

But the suggestion that Dolan is somehow above the mess is absurd.

And for those of Charlie's dumb ass commenters that are trying to insist that this is only a display of homosexuality, they need to remember that it was not only priest-on-boy abuse that was happening in the Church. Furthermore, they also need to be aware that sexual assault is rarely about the sex, but the control, and can happen in any sexual combination.

And being just as egregious, McIlheran focuses on the cost to the Church, indicating that the Church shouldn't be made to pay for something that happened decades ago. Leave it to him to put money before people's very lives. He should be ashamed of himself for even writing this post. And I feel safe to say, that I bet that the victims would have been glad to forego any money they might receive in order to have never been abused in the first place.

UPDATE: The Brawler provides us with some more history of Dolan's involvement in the cover up and his shortcomings in addressing the issue here, and he also takes McIlheran to task for his misplaced priorities here.


  1. Waiting for McIlheran to grow a sense of shame could be a long-term project. It'd be more likely that Sykes could develop a sense of fidelity. At least Sykes believes he can be faithful until the next woman comes along.

  2. I hope someone checks the Toad McIlheran's Catholic bonafides, because on this point, as on so many others, he directly contravenes the ageless teachings of the Church of Rome. How else can it be that he ignores the necessity, deriving from the virtue of penance, of making reparation?

    Just when the offense occurred does not matter on a continuum where movement is infinite: the bad acts in question offended God, offended His Church and it offended His Children.

    The requirement of making satisfaction for the sins is necessarily so for a number of reasons, not least of which is for the education of men (and women). This notion of education is at the heart of the legal system that seeks to prevent bad acts by allowing juries to award damages for bad acts. Lawyers are one mechanism toward this required justice, no matter that they may not wear the same spotless garments of someone like, say, the Toad McIhheran, a full throat for war.

    Anyway, his making a utilitarian argument that the good works of the Church will suffer by making the reparations is a willful rebuke of the penitent virtue that's required here, to say nothing of how it objectifies the Truth that flows from Gospel and from Church.

    I don't like the consequences of making good, so I'm not going to make good. I choose that truth over the other.

    But seriously engaging the Toad McIlheran is fruitliess because everything he writes is all bunk to begin with. In fact, there's absolutely nothing consistent about this character except his meanness, his denseness, his hypcrisy and his prissy petulance. In essense, if you had to ascribe a theology to him, it would have to be done so negatively, for the Toad McIlheran is more secular than anything. Unless Dumb or Movement Right-Winger are religions.

  3. I arch my eyebrow and sigh at those squawking commenters who suggest that the proper punishment for these abusers would be to send them to jail because there they can be serially raped. Such compassion! Rape is more funnier when it's in prison, I guess.

  4. Great point, John. For those who make suggestions such as that, one can only say that ugliness is easily dispensed at a distance.

  5. [Dolan] informed the sheriff but not the neighborhoods or the community. And he didn't provide for counseling.

    And now, per Peter Isely, the Midwest director of the Surivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Becker is living in an apartment with a view overlooking a playground?

    Do you really expect Archbishop Dolan to personally inform neighborhoods?

    He DID inform the community when he notified the sheriff. The onus is on the sheriff, not the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

    Criticism of Dolan on this count is misplaced.

    Is it Dolan's responsibility to monitor Becker for the rest of his life?

    Was it the responsibility of Jeffrey Dahmer's past employers to monitor his acitivities and his places of residence?

    Gee, I wonder if Taco Bell is keeping track of me...

  6. Mary-

    You could be right on the Sheriff dropping the ball on his responsibility. However, given the long history of the case, Dolan's previous statements (see the link to Brawler's second post on Dolan), and the Church's overall mission, I think Dolan did try to sweep this one under the rug.

  7. I don't think Dolan INTENDED to sweep the case under the rug.

    One might disagree with how he handled it and complain about specific things he did or didn't do, but I don't believe that Dolan made an attempt to conceal anything.

    In the past, there was an orchestrated, shameful effort to conceal the crimes committed by members of the clergy.

    No more. That disgraceful era of secrecy is over.

  8. Becker should have been turned over to the authorities, not allowed to view children from his bedroom window.