Catholic League president William Donohue commented today on the two letters issued by the 12 U.S. cardinals in Rome regarding the sex abuse scandal in the U.S. His comments also reflect his sentiments on the press conference that was held following the meeting. Here is what he had to say:
“The meeting of the U.S. cardinals in Rome proved to be fruitful if incomplete. No one realistically thought that this serious matter would be resolved in a few days, and that is why Bishop Wilton Gregory was right to dub the letters ‘skeletal’ in nature. It was reassuring to hear Bishop Gregory say that there was a growing consensus towards a zero tolerance policy for sexual abuse.
“Some will not be happy with that part of the letter which draws a distinction between the proposed Church’s response to child molesters and to cases that are less egregious. The Catholic League believes this to be just right. There is a profound difference between a predatory priest who victimizes minors and a priest who, straight or gay, drops his guard one evening with an adult. While the latter is patently wrong and inexcusable it would smack of an obscene moral equivalency to treat both instances the same. For this reason, it is proper that the cardinals not take the bait that some have thrown and attempt to issue a blanket policy for every conceivable offense.
“There is little doubt that when the bishops meet in June they will hammer out a national policy that will fine-tune what the cardinals set out to do in Rome. It is important to remember that the vector of change is positive and for this all Catholics can be grateful.
“Finally, it is highly significant that in the ‘Final Communiqué’ there was mention of the need for the Pastors of the Church ‘to promote the correct moral teaching of the Church and publicly to reprimand individuals who spread dissent and groups which advance ambiguous approaches to pastoral care.’ Debate is one thing, open rebellion quite another.”