Indifference

I saw a couple of quotes by Elie Wiesel that are relevant to the discussion on the continuing sex abuse crisis and the inability of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church to do the right thing.

We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor,  never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

I think I could say this until I am blue in the face. Abuse thrives in an atmosphere of secrecy.  If you are silently standing on the sidelines waiting for the “Church” to do the right thing, you are complicit in the cover-up of sex crimes committed against children and vulnerable adults.  If you continue to tithe to the church, fill the collection plate and fund the diocese, you are lending material support to leadership that is actively campaigning to prevent justice for victims of abuse.  If you are not challenging your bishop, your pastor or your parish council about the damage inflicted, for decades, upon the most devout and vulnerable families of the church you are silently in solidarity with the people who have allowed these crimes to be covered up.

What hurts the victim the most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander.

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

I have heard all the excuses.  People are supporting their own parish, not the bishops.  That is really not the case, and if that is your position, you are lying to yourself.  Change can come from within. If that is the case, why hasn’t it happened?  We don’t have that problem in our church! Are you sure about that?  Isn’t the “church” more significant than just your parish backyard?

An editorial by the National Catholic Reporter released on 9 November is worth the read.  You can find it here:

Open letter to the US Catholic bishops: It’s over

If you are not standing up now and demanding that the bishops be held accountable and responsible, what is it going to take?  Or are you siding with the Bishops?

 

 

1 thought on “Indifference”

  1. Michael,

    The bishops, through the USCCB, also obtain money (our tax dollars at work) through the Federal government. I was alerted to the following site by another person’s comment on another blog. The site is

    USAspending.gov

    This site “…tracks federal spending to ensure taxpayers can see how their money is being used…”. This is a public site and anyone can access the data and review it. When you get to the site, scroll down about half way until you see, “Select Search Type” and choose ‘Keyword Search’ and put in either USCCB or 003260072 (USCCB’s Data Universal System Number). A set of tabs and tables will come up and you’ll see that the bishops have a number of contracts as well as grants. As you explore this dataset you’ll see the various types of compensation that the bishop’s conference gets for resettling refugees to freight reimbursement to jet fuel. It’s an eyeopener. The Grants section is the most startling. For instance, look at Award ID
    SPRMCO18CA0009. “This grant was awarded to United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops for $24,746,704.” TO PROVIDE R&P SERVICES TO REFUGEES AND SIVS WHO ARRIVE THROUGH THE USRAP IN FY18
    Period of Performance
    10/19/2017 – 12/31/2018 (1 year, 2 months). Now go to the sub-awards tab and you’ll see that there were 258 sub-awards totalling $11,769,806. It appears that every diocese in the US received monies on October 31, 2018. This is just one grant out of hundreds. This is $24 million for ONE year.

    I thought about this and realized that the Federal government is funding an organization that has covered up known, credibly accused child sex abusers. Kind of ironic.

    And as far as any of us “laity” having any power by withholding our monies, Bishop Bambera is compensating credibly accused priests to the tune of approximately $1200 per month (Father Skotek and about 9 others) to “provide sustenance to priests who need funds to survive.” Funny, how I saw one of these priests, in August, at a local parish driving a new car. The article says that, “the Most Rev Joseph Bambera, has no authority to halt the payments.” Here’s the link to this August 24, 2018 article,

    http://www.citizensvoice.com/news/predator-priests-still-receiving-monthly-stipend-1.2377483#.W-r0YBsardU

    Following up on Bishop Bambera seemingly having “no power” we have from this morning’s paper, “Embattled ex-bishop Timlin defies diocese, attends national conference”

    https://www.timesleader.com/news/724566/bishops-delay-votes-on-sex-abuse-response-was-timlin-at-meeting

    I’m outraged, I’ve withheld my money. In church, this past Sunday, we got the “guilt” talk, after Mass about how all the poor in our diocese will suffer because the Bishop’s fund amounts are very low. The bishop will get the money because he’ll just take it out of the parish funds, so all the profits from the summer bazaar, the pierogy sales, and the fund raisers will still get to the bishop. And it’s sad to see Timlin at a very upsacale hotel (I’ve been to the waterfront area in Baltimore) but the local soup kitchen can’t serve dinners more than three nights a week.

    Anyway, this is my “rage” for the day. Michael, you are in my prayers. By the way I met with Senator Lisa Baker’s field representative last week and gave him a copy of your article, “What do I want?” I expressed my opinion that a compensation fund was not what the victim’s wanted. He, at least, listened to me.

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