Yesterday I posted "Biting the Hand," a documentary about a case of clerical sexual abuse in Salem, Massachusetts. I passed the link to Dom Bettinelli, who is from Salem, and I figured he'd have an opinion on it. I wasn't disappointed:
"Living in Salem, I’ve met a few men who knew those who were abused. At least one has told me that it was common knowledge, at least among his friends, what was going on and that quite a few adults had been told as well, but either they didn’t want to believe or they didn’t want to get involved. While there’s plenty of blame to lay upon the heads of men in holy orders, there are laypeople who will someday have to answer for their actions or inaction, as the case may be."
This comment doesn't surprise me in the least, and only reinforces what I've been saying for the last five years, not only in this blog, but to the would-be reformists who can't stop yammering about "accountability" to the laity, and demanding a role for themselves in the governance of the Church. The question for which I can't seem to get an answer is... who holds the laity accountable?
Take all the time you need, kids.
[UPDATE: Still think I'm crazy? Get a load of this: "A popular Fresno priest accused in a civil lawsuit of molesting an altar boy nearly two decades ago was welcomed back by his Fresno parish on Sunday [with] a standing ovation... Nine jurors in the civil trial concluded that Swearingen had molested former altar boy Juan Rocha. But jurors, split 7 to 5, could not agree on whether the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno knew that any molestation had occurred, leading the judge to declare a mistrial." I know situations more pathetic than this one. So do some people in Springfield, Massachusetts. More on that at a later date.]