Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Get thee to a monastery.

A concise summation of Cardinal Law's troubles.

The question that absolutely must be answered is...why?

No longer can Law say that he always acted based on the best medical information available to him. He praised Shanley for ''years of generous and zealous care'' and an ''impressive record'' after a church-ordered psychiatric evaluation found Shanley to have ''a great deal of psychological pathology.''

Furthermore, Law's predecessor had referred to Shanley in writing as a ''troubled priest,'' and one of Law's own priests had written ''it is clear to me that Paul Shanley is a sick person.''

No longer can Law say that his first priority has been the people priests are ordained to serve - the stacks of documents produced yesterday provide no evidence that Law ever expressed a concern or a kind word about Shanley's alleged victims, who number at least 26.

The documents show that Law's administration told a California diocese that Shanley was ''a priest in good standing'' - even as scandals here made it important for the archdiocese of Boston to hustle Shanley out of town - and show that Law's only expressed concern about Shanley's later move to a New York hostel run by nuns was the possibility of negative publicity.

So. Why?

What did the Cardinals and the other Powers stand to gain by protecting Shanley?

What did they stand to lose by dealing with him as he should have been dealt with?

See, this where the "liberal/conservative" and "progressive/orthodox" paradigms of seeing Church problems absolutely fail. Law has been revered by many, many "orthodox" Catholics since his appointment as an upholder of why was he protecting a child predator? Might there be something else at work here that's beyond those easy paradigms?