To the Editor:
Three cheers for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s investigation of the Catholic dioceses of Illinois!
The sex abuse scandal of the church has been a great embarrassment for many years. The hierarchy's tone-deaf, defensive posture and the lack of continuous reform is mind-boggling.
If the state's attorney general can hold the dioceses accountable, it may lead to necessary changes and, eventually, a return of trust.
As a Catholic father of four children, I had concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability of our Rockford diocese after the scandals in Pennsylvania, Buffalo and Washington, D.C. were reported this past summer. Starting in August, I contacted my bishop’s office on numerous occasions – by phone, by letter and in person – only to have my questions and concerns dismissed.
After four months, the bishop wrote to me that it was “not possible” for us to meet and I could find the name of his lawyer on the diocesan website.
It is clear to me that the church’s leadership is unwilling to deviate from the status quo of concealment and intransigence unless it is forced. In the Book of Isaiah, God uses Assyria as the “rod of His wrath” upon Israel.
If criminal prosecutions by the attorney general or bankruptcy is the only way to humble this great institution, so be it.