Just when Catholics thought they had cycled through all the bad Priests, law enforcement opened a new front. A Monsignor in Philadelphia, head of Diocese personnel, was convicted for assigning priests with suspicious behavior to parish work. The case also involved another priest.
This is the first time an administrator has been convicted for covering up suspicious priests. The Church is full of accusations of this kind of cover up. A Bishop in Kansas City is headed for trial this fall.
The conviction is curious in so many ways. First, it asks of Catholics, “Why do you give such open-ended authority to your clergy?”
It is simply more circular reasoning where the Catholic Clergy says it was given sovereign authority by God to run the church without oversight. No one else is authorized to ask God if this is so.
An important aspect of the case is the Diocese spent 12 million dollars in legal fees. If Catholic clergy are humble men of God, why did they take 12 million dollars from Church programs in an unsuccessful attempt to save themselves from prison?
The Monsignor could have said, “Instead of taking millions from Church programs, I’ll just take one for the team–plead guilty and others can fill my spot.” That is what Martin Luther King, Ghandi and Nelson Mandella all did.
In spite of its thousands of wonderful priests, the Catholic structure is an invitation to the worst of human impulses.