I recently posted a statement by Archbishop Listecki of Milwaukee. Several commenters challenged the piece and now comes this statement which deserves our attention.
In a Jan. 4 letter to the members of the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki explained why he felt forced to file for bankruptcy, explaining “priest-perpetrators sexually abused minors, going against everything the church and the priesthood represents.”
This is true as far as it goes, but it is hardly enough to address what many experts have described as the most significant crisis in the Roman Catholic Church’s over-2,000 year history, possibly even eclipsing the Reformation.
This evil emanated not only from the sexual violations of innocent children by predatory priests, but also from the failures of enabling bishops to protect them.
Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is really about keeping the whole truth of this tragic matter from being made public. The filing has most likely delayed, if not canceled, the previously scheduled deposition of its former auxiliary, Bishop Richard J. Sklba among others.
Is Archbishop Listecki encouraging Sklba to go ahead with his deposition in the interests of truth and justice or isn’t he? Remember that Sklba had already pursued legal grounds to have his deposition sealed.
A public statement from Listecki that Sklba’s deposition should go forward regardless of the Chapter 11 filing would be a sure sign the archbishop is more concerned about accountability and transparency, truth and justice than in keeping secrets and avoiding episcopal responsibility.
Listecki does not mention the actions of enabling or complicit bishops in his letter nor the fact that such actions would have triggered criminal charges in a majority of jurisdictions except for the inadequacies of statutes of limitation across the U.S. Most perpetrators and enablers have escaped criminal prosecution because of this, and access to justice in civil courts is being thwarted by bishops and Catholic Conferences in state after state.
(Read the entire column by Maureen Paul Turlish here.)
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