Saturday, April 29, 2006

Fabian's Local Paper Finally Catches Up with The Story

The Lincoln Journal Star, hometown rag for the Diocese of Lincoln, has finally caught the story about Bishop Bruskewitz's dismissal of the National Review Board.

What took so long, you ask? Maybe it took a while to get Call to Action, too busy with the national press, to return the Journal Star's calls:

Linda Pieczynski, media spokesperson for national Call to Action, said Bruskewitz “has defiantly refused even to self-report for the audit process with no consequences at all.” Ewers’ urging fraternal correction against Bruskewitz, she said, was “an absolutely useless gesture. It is time to ask whether the Charter for the protection of Children and Youth is living up to its promises in the real world, and not just in a report.”

Or maybe it took considerable time to find some local Call to Action people:

“It is unsettling to see a Christian bishop claim that he and his diocese is above correction because he is in keeping with the letter of the civil and ecclesiastical law,” said Jim McShane, a local member of Call to Action.

McShane agreed that the National Review Board and bishops have “no canonical authority to compel anything,” but they do have moral authority. The bishops set up the review board to restore confidence in their care for young people after the sex abuse scandal, he said. For Bruskewitz to reject the process “can only undermine further the confidence the bishops are so anxious to restore,” McShane said.

Getting Call to Action's comments on this story is like polling Iranians on U.S. immigration policy: certainly hostile, and almost entirely irrelevant.

The delay in publishing the story, most likely, was caused by the Bishop's general reluctance to speak with the press. But, nonetheless, Fabian get's his $ 0.02 in:

In response to a question by the Journal Star, Bruskewitz explained the policies and procedures in the Lincoln Diocese to protect children and respond to any allegations of abuse by clergy, teachers, other staff or volunteers.

“The Diocese of Lincoln has in place a very strong program of instruction and training for all priests, religious and lay people in the diocese who are in any way, directly or indirectly, connected with children and youth. There are very careful and thorough background checks done for all people who are employed by the diocese, or by institutions, parishes or agencies which have any connection whatever with the diocese. All people, including all children and youth, are regularly instructed to report any incidents of abuse immediately to law enforcement authorities.”

In addition, any credible allegations of abuse will be presented to the diocese’s own lay review board “and then appropriately acted upon in accordance with the canon law of the Catholic Church,” he said.

Whatever the reason, the story got out. On the on-line edition, a solitary comment was appended to the story:

Viewer Comments:
Rev. Ronald Trojcak, Ph. D. wrote on April 25, 2006 7:54 PM:"I suggest that this bishop's stance, not only on this matter, but on several, provides plausible justification for abandoning the Roman church, in which I have been an active priest in the 43 years since my ordination."

Of course, one cannot add any more comments to the thread, thus leaving the errant priest's comments as the last word on the story. I'm attempting to follow up with Rev. Trojcak for an explanation.

Miserere nobis

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