15 March 2012
A Brief Reflection on the Bishops v. SNAP
I have finally succumbed. I have grudgingly entered the 21st Century and am blogging to you today from an iPad. Blame my brother-- ironically the same one who said my blog jumped the shark long ago.
The SNAP follies have been the current "thing" lately. The bishops, or at least their lawyers, have shown a surprising new vitality in using the available tools in a hostile legal system to push back against the agents of death-by-lawsuit. The outcome of the effort to force SNAP to comply with Court-ordered document production may slow down the machine a little. It isn't surprising that it took the bishops so long; in addition to the usual reasons, it is useful to remember that lots of reprehensible acts did in fact occur at the hands of priests who too often were sheltered by the bishops. The mind reels at this, and it is understandable that mounting an aggressive defense against those who would use this for personal gain and to destroy the very inconvenient Church (and I am not talking about real victims here but the false accusers and their parasite allies) might appear, well, unseemly.
On the other hand, it has to be remembered by the bishops that the Church herself is indefectible, is true, and is the ordinary means of salvation. They must defend her. Horror of the past cannot freeze them into inaction.
And then there is SNAP. They wish to be shielded from scrutiny of their motives and methods. Well, sure. But hypocrisy is not pretty, and even those who are sympathetic to them can't get behind this idea of noble secrecy. My sometime correspondent, David Clohessy, sent me this link to a New York Times editorial parroting the SNAP line that allowing the Church due process rights "hurts the victims" of abuse. This begs the question, of course, of whether any litigant is a "victim". This is what the Court must decide.
Sorry, we're not quite at that point yet, Mr. Clohessy. Give it a few months more.