Bob Schieffer - Church's Problem Is the Cover-Up, Not PR

I have been a habitual watcher of CBS News' "Face the Nation" for more years than I care to count, and for most of those years, I have enjoyed the end commentary of its current host, Bob Schieffer, as much for his common sense as for his incisiveness. Today (4 April, 2010), Bob decided to hold forth on the current dilemma in the Catholic Church, and while I haven't the respect he has for the church's "knowledge" or values, I am very much pleased to hear such a doyen newsman hold forth in the manner he has here:


I am not a Catholic; I am a Protestant. But I have long admired the Catholic Church as the repository of knowledge through so much of history, and with the Jewish faith, for shaping the values on which Western civilization is built.

We are all the product of those values, so we can only feel remorse
as we watch the spectacle in which the church finds itself embroiled at, of all times, the holiest week of both great religions.

Eight years ago - and yes, it has been that long - I wrote that the cover-up of child molester priests had no place in theology but everything to do with bureaucracies that grow so old and large and out-of-touch that they lose all sense of accountability.

I said then that aging leaders had put their own survival ahead of the church's reason for being, and in the process had forgotten the church's own history. It was resistance to reform, after all, that led to Protestantism.

How the church organizes itself - whether priests should marry and so on - is the church's business, not mine. But child abuse is everyone's business.

The church's problem is not public relations as some of its leaders want to believe, but the cover-up of vile criminal acts. Until the church bureaucracy truly comes to terms with that, at whatever cost, and again places its reason for being ahead of the survival of its leaders, the church as an institution remains at risk.

People will seek God in many ways, but never in ways that endanger their children.

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Comment by Loren Miller on April 9, 2010 at 6:12pm
Well, lessee ... we got this latest little document from Joe the Schmoe, and there's also that policy statement from back in the 60's regarding handling such cases with the utmost secrecy. I know I'm indulging in wishful thinking, but what do you suppose a subpoena of documents served at Vatican City would produce regarding the process of Bernard Cardinal Law's emigration to the Vatican before he could be indicted in Massachusetts, never mind the more recent proceedings in Ireland?

The Vatican wants to call this all "petty gossip." I wonder if they have any concept of how petty (or NOT so petty) the parents of abused children think this issue is?
Comment by Loren Miller on April 8, 2010 at 7:30am
Maybe so, but I don't think the pressure is off the RCC JUST yet ... though I wasn't wild for the back-and-fill job the Archbishop of Canterbury pulled recently.
Comment by Loren Miller on April 4, 2010 at 11:34am
We see how damaging failure of integrity and authenticity are to the body of Christ. Shameful abuse took place within the church of Christ. The response was hopelessly inadequate.

Merde, man ... could you say it any better???

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