Chicago's Francis Cardinal George will be remembered for two over-riding themes in his tenure as head of the Chicago Archdiocese, administrator of the largest parochial school system in the world. His main theme is a relentless condemnation of all things homosexual, especially gay marriage.
His other cause, steadfastly championed by the 50-year priest is concealing both the sexual abuse of children by priests and the identities of the perpetrators. To sum up the George Doctrine: Pervs good, homos bad.
At their core, these really aren't two separate themes, just two sides of the same coin. Like John Candy said in Uncle Buck, "You’re not a gnat are you Bug? Wait a minute, Bug, gnat. Is there a little similarity? Whoa, I think there is!"
There's a scary similarity here, not to mention a perverse hypocrisy at work. Cardinal George endlessly interjects his opinion into secular affairs that don't concern him and affect mostly non-members of his Church, while condemning any attempt to root out and punish pedophile priests.
A report describing abuse by 30 of the Church's offenders and 40 of their victims is going to be turned over to attorneys suing the Archdiocese. The documents will be made public later this week. As one might guess, the Church fought the disclosures.
Included in this week's bulletin to parishioners, the Cardinal included a letter which said, in part, “Painful though publicly reviewing the past may be, it is part of the accountability and transparency to which the archdiocese is committed. It will be helpful, we pray, for some, but painful for many.” The policy of transparency to which Cardinal George refers isn't always clear to see.
Like Governor Christie, the Cardinal doesn't exactly own the problem as much as he explains how it can happen. Referring to Daniel McCormack, a convicted pedophile, he maintains that he only left McCormack in ministry after accusations surfaced because McCormack had yet to be proven guilty.
Members of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) dismissed the missive as totally self-serving. Cardinal George gave mass at St. Irenaeus parish in Park Forest, but didn’t mention the letter, although it was sitting inside the bulletin. He did advise expectant mothers to breast feed.
The gay community has their own perspective on all this, especially as it has to do with the outspoken Cardinal's condemnation of their lifestyle and their very lives. They don't understand how it can be wrong for law-abiding, consenting adults to live the way they want when the Church shields criminals who prey upon children.
You may wonder the same thing yourself. You may also wonder why these offenders have gotten free passes from both the Church and law enforcement for all this time. Why, you may ask, has the Church been allowed to pay off victims and shield offenders who were treated as if they were above the law?
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