It would be hard to find a more vacuous document on the subject of clergy sexual abuse than the one released by the Leadership Roundtable; it was based on a summit held prior to the February Vatican meeting on this subject.
The most serious flaw in the report was the refusal to address the reasons why priestly sexual abuse occurs.
It was encouraging to read on p. 4 a section that addresses the “Twin Crises of Abuse and Leadership Failures.” Just as encouraging was a section on p. 5 that discusses the “Root Causes” of these problems.
Regrettably, absolutely nothing in the report even attempts to examine the root causes of sexual abuse; only leadership failures are noted.
Yet on p. 4 it admits that “there are twin crises that need twin solutions.” True. The scandal involves two parties: the enabling bishop and the molesting priest. Why didn’t anyone associated with this report bother to question why only the former is discussed?
Three cardinals, Blase Cupich of Chicago, Joseph Tobin of Newark, and Sean O’Malley of Boston, participated in the summit. Surely someone, if not them, should have seen the gaping hole in this report.
The report follows the establishment-talking point, adopted by Rome, that puts the entire blame on the bishops, thus avoiding a discussion of the priest who acted out. This explains why clericalism is mentioned twelve times; there is no mention of gays or homosexuality.
Whatever role clericalism may have played with some bishops, it is of no explanatory value accounting for why a priest molested a postpubescent male. And since this describes 80 percent of the cases, why was there no discussion of the role played by homosexual priests?
Just as was true in the Vatican summit, there is a reluctance to come to grips with the overwhelming role played by homosexual priests in the sexual abuse scandal.
What do those associated with this report think Pope Francis meant when he took up the issue of a “gay lobby” in the Church?
What do they think Father Donald Cozzens meant when he said the priesthood risks becoming a “gay profession”?
What do they think Father Richard McBrien meant when he spoke about the “gay culture” in the Church?
What do they think Father Andrew Greeley meant when he wrote about the “Lavender Mafia” in the Church?
None of these men are known as die-hard conservatives. If they were honest enough to discuss the obvious, why aren’t those at the Leadership Roundtable?