It is not hard to see how some hierarchs viewed their sinning priests as errant sons, as prodigals, and were all too quick to believe their promises of amendment. It is also true – and let’s be perfectly clear on this – a bishop does owe even a pedophile the promise of God’s mercy. He does not owe him another assignment working around children. This was the mistake and, yes, it was callous to make such a mistake when the lives of children were at stake. As for "unrepentant"? I do not think that adjective characterizes any American bishop. Certainly, I cannot think of a comment by any of them that would count of evidence of such an attitude but given some of the things they say about the President, perhaps I missed it. Most American bishops, I believe, have adopted the policy of meeting with the victims, apologizing for the crimes against them repeatedly, and of leading the flock in prayer and reflection and penance for those crimes.
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Indeed, that was the mistake, and it's a mistake most of the complicit bishops seem to have a tragic blind spot about - allowing trust in mercy to trump caution and justice and refusing to admit that.
Please continue to heal our Church. Our Lady of Sorrows pray for us.
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