Today I want to share a story of accountability. When folks do bad things we want them held accountable for their actions. That is the way of civilized society – we all agree to operate under a set of norms. Some norms are so important to the maintenance of a civilized society that they become laws. If you run afoul of these laws you are held accountable.
This past week, Monsignor William Lynn from Philadelphia was sentenced to three to six years in prison for covering up child sexual abuse claims against priests during the years of 1992 to 2004. I imagine the Catholic Church cringed at that moment…and cringe they should.
It’s all about accountability. We all need to be held accountable for our actions. Men of God shouldn’t get a pass – indeed, they should serve as pillars of character in the community. We expect them to be virtuous, trustworthy, and above the garden variety temptations that regular folks deal with.
The Monsignor allowed children to be abused by priests under his supervision. He is being held accountable by our justice system. This is good.
I’ll pray for you Monsignor. I’ll pray that you come to understand the full implications of your action and inaction. I’ll pray that you come to understand how big a betrayal it is when a trusted man of faith does not protect children’s well-being. I’ll pray that you come to understand that your actions have soiled the church and shaken folks’ faith in religious leaders.
Alas, there isn’t any amount of prayer that can change what you will face when you meet your maker. Good luck with that.
Day one thousand one hundred and seventeen of the new forty – obla di obla da