Monday, November 24, 2014
WHAT MUST HAPPEN...BUT WILL IT?
I originally posted the following as a reply to a comment. I am reposting here with some additional information:
The archdiocese's sex abuse policy makes the archbishop the center of justice. However, in this case, he is the one who stands accused. Thus the policy is of no use.
Justice and neutrality demand that Deacon Claros (the sex abuse response coordinator) refer the matter to the Nuncio. The Nuncio has only to ask the Archbishop if the accusation is true or not. The Archbishop has only to tell the truth, and the Nuncio has only to vouch for the Archbishop. Barring a victim coming forward, this would be the end of it.
Will Deacon Claros refer the matter to the Nuncio is the question.
Meanwhile, on the legal front. The crime, if there was one, has exceeded the statute of limitations, so there is no going to the civil authorities. The bill introduced by Senator Cruz and signed into law which lifted the statute of limitations on sex abuse crimes in 2011 only lifted the statute of limitations for two years. The window closed in 2013.
It is in the best interest of the victim, if there is one...or if there are more than one, for him/her/them to send an account of the alleged molestation to the Nuncio and also copy the Roman congregations listed under the Contact Nuncio tab. Rome would take it from there.
We cannot be sure that Rome will act, but the alleged victims will have done what they could and will have protected their privacy.
This is important.
In crimes of sex abuse (as we have seen with rape), the victim is most often too ashamed or personally wounded to come forward about it. So just to say that "no victim has come forward" and dismiss it all on that count is a gross lack of understanding of the type of crime this is.
In civil society, we spend great amounts of time, money, and energy trying to create a safe environment for rape victims to feel safe enough to talk. We don't just sit back and say "well there is no victim." We do our best to find them and create that supportive environment necessary for them to come forward without fear.
However, it seems that because we are talking about the Archbishop here, everyone is suddenly forgetting all of this and running for cover.