Monday, February 9, 2009

Archbishop Dolan's Response to SNAP is Troubling

As reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dolan stated that he does not have authority over priests who are in orders in the Milwaukee Archdiocese, even if they are the recipient of serious allegations of sexual misconduct. Now, I realize it was Julie Wolf, the Archdiocesan spokeswoman who said this and not Dolan. But when Dolan is not available for comment and the spokeswoman is, she is only saying what Dolan told her to say.

Dolan (Julie) stated that "he can't force them to distribute names." While that may be true, if he knows that certain priests are in town, he should be distributing their names. This is his Archdiocese and he is supposed to be watching out for his flock (laypeople included, not just priests).

I could understand if he did not know that these priests were here since they are in an order. But he (Julie) did not state that that was the case, just that his hands are tied. This is very disturbing.

A Faithful Catholic


Dad29 said...

The Abp. does not have control over Order priests, although he CAN tell an Order to leave town (or come into town.)

But you're right--playing 'hide-and-seek' with criminals is not a good policy.

Faithful Catholic said...

Dad, I was going to say in my blog that he can throw the order out of town, but with established orders I am not sure if he needs Rome's approval or not.

At the very least I'm sure the order could initially appeal to Rome. And I suppose that would at least get the discussion going that the orders are "cheating."

But saying he cannot do anything is unacceptable. I think we completely agree on this one. And this is an IMPORTANT issue.

Terrence Berres said...

"This is very disturbing."

Do you regard Archbishop Weakland's shuffling around priests who were known child molesters more disturbing? Or would you still, overall, prefer him as Archbishop?

Anonymous said...

Terrence Berres' entry reminded me of the child's tactic used to avoid the issue at hand "ya but he hit me first!"

Terrence Berres said...

Anonymous' Response to My Comment Troubling, in the sense of the trouble involved in adding it to my blog's sidebar testimonials.

Dad29 said...

We agree that bad guys should NOT have a home in Milwaukee--unless they are virtual prisoners, unable to meet with/talk with ANYONE who could be another victim.

But I don't know enough CanonLaw to know the extent of Dolan's authority.

Terrence Berres said...

If he doesn't have the authority to ask an order to make this disclosure, or to leave for this reason, he could tell us what he's doing to get that changed.

If he doesn't have the authority over an order short of requiring it to leave, he could say he has not, so far, judged that step appropriate, but continue to press it for disclosure.

If he's not available for comment when the press calls, he could leave word with the "Communications" people about when he will be.

I've noticed his people haven't responded to the Faith In Our Future campaign by saying Sorry, I'd write you a check but my hands are tied. Seems a little one-sided.

CatholicSoldier said...

That's the problem with religious orders, especially established ones. The Society of Jesus for example is incredibly independent from any Catholic archdiocese and still pretty powerful (despite their lack of Orthodoxy). On the other end of the spectrum, Opus Dei is a Personal Prelature, I think that makes them subject only to the Pope.

I think an Archbishop could declare an Order Persona non Grata, but for established ones, would probably need Curial backing.

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