Sunday, April 3, 2011

re: "The Scandal Snares Father Corapi" (B.C. Courier Times, 4/3/11)

Dear Mr. Mullane and Mr. Manfredonia,
Before reading Mr. Mullane's "The Scandal Snares Father Corapi," I breathed deep and recalled the words of Edgar Allen Poe: "We should bear in mind that, in general, it is the object of our newspapers rather to create a sensation - to make a point - than to further the cause of truth.” In my opinion, Poe's analysis seems particularly appropos to at least some of the Courier Times recent coverage, concerning Catholic priests. Hence, I was pleased to find that today's piece was at least an appeal for some balance:

  • "'Sometimes priests are asked to suffer. The policy applied to father does not assume guilt, but it implies guilt. The policy the bishops have in place is to appropriately deal with crimes against children,' Manfredonia said. 'I think if the policy is applied to those cases, absolutely it's appropriate to suspend. But this situation, it's not that. It's a claim of sexual misconduct with adult women....We know father personally....If these allegations were true, he would admit his failures, openly. I have no doubt about that. [Yet] Even if the accusations are true, it does not diminish the truth of what he teaches from the Catechism, or the Catechism's power, if preached with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to draw people back to the church.'"

Yesterday, my wife and I were privileged to see "Of Gods and Men," which relates the martyrdom of Catholic monks in 1996. One of the things which most struck me about that film was the psychological agony which these monks experienced, anticipating eventual torturous martyrdom - but knowing not when.

Perhaps in response to perceptions of past inaction, the Philadelphia Archdiocese - in my opinion - now seems too ready to react to any allegation against her priests - however flimsy that allegation might be. What psychological agony must be experienced by some of our own good priests!


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