Saturday, February 19, 2005

New Priest Abuse Numbers

The publication of over a thousand new reports of priestly abuse is not mitigated by the additional info that most of the accused are now former priests or dead. The screening of candidates for ordination was atrocious and now even when some of the screening instruments have been refined and greatly improved, it still remains in the hands of those who estimate the candidates. Many still are caught up in various kinds of denial about problems, cannot directly confront them or even acknowledge the need for competent assistance. In the church, there is still very inadequate evaluation, even by those who have much better information. Sadly, people are still being passed on whose serious problems are known, talked about but not properly included in evaluation. Frankly, the diminishing number of priests and candidates presents yet another fear that makes for serious neglect. The problems being glossed over cover a wider range than sexual abuse and I expect more problems in the system that produces our clergy. We need to involve many lay people and professional people, and take them seriously.