Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Church is NEVER Wrong... unless it is...

Milwaukee Archbishop Listecki has been on the defense lately. A couple of weeks ago, Listecki was criticized by a police chief in his previous diocese for a having a sexual abuse policy that asks victims to first tell the diocese, instead of the police. The reason for this criticism resolves around a priest who is accused of assaulting a married woman during a counseling session. She first went to the diocese, which did nothing. Then she went to the police, who arrested the priest, who is now facing charges of sexual assault.

For the first week of this news, Listecki ignored it. No comment. Maybe he thought it would go away. Last week he sent out an e-mail to church workers defending his action, but was silent to the press. Yesterday, he finally defended his actions to press, stating that it was a case of "he said, she said" and no further action was needed. He also stated that in his previous diocese, all allegations against minors are reported to the police.

There is a lot wrong here. First, you should tell all victims to go straight to the police. And if they come to you, call the police. Even if you think the allegation is complete nonsense, call the police. Getting the picture... call the police. Not calling the police makes it look like you are not taking the allegations seriously. Scratch that, he did not take the allegation seriously. That is why he did nothing. He stated that he did nothing because since it was "he said, she said," who was he to play judge and jury. He forgot to mention that by doing nothing, he did play judge and jury! His doing nothing was a statement that the priest is probably innocent and he let this possible sex offender continue to serve the community.

There is something that Listecki could do to improve the situation. APOLOGIZE. Bishops are wrong sometimes. Do not be arrogant, because that is exactly how Listecki looks right now.

A Faithful Catholic


Mark said...

Your point is well taken. A good number of all legal cases are "he said, she said." The bishop shows the typical Catholic bishop cover-up.

Dad29 said...

She first went the diocese, which did nothing

Wrong. The Diocese investigated.

Dad29 said...

First, you should tell all victims to go straight to the police.

Did the Diocese tell her NOT to go to the police?


CatholicSoldier said...

Course, you are playing judge and jury as well ;)

That being said, I think the response by the Diocese here was not correct. That being said, it was a better reaction than that ever taken by Archbishop Weakland. That doesn't make it acceptable, but I think your past praise of Archbishop Weakland to some degree, reduces your ability to speak on the matter.

CatholicSoldier said...

I'm going to assume that Mark is speaking about former Archbishop Weakland, someone he's taken quite a bit of time to champion and praise. ;)

The woman was encouraged to go to the Police (according to the Church -- which is by definition also a she said, she said), but didn't. I'm not going to discredit the victim, because she is the victim, but there were some bad judgement calls on all sides.