The last place a child should be unsafe is a church...the last person we should expect to abuse a child: a pastor or priest. And yet again and again it has happened and even when made public, justice for some reason seems to fall short.
So it was gratifying this week, to see Dallas Bishop Edward Burns announce the impending release of the names of all the priests in the Dallas diocese who have been “credibly accused” of the sexual abuse of minors since the 1950s.
Why it has taken so long is a tragedy, but finally, it is here.
The Diocese in Fort Worth took this step 10 years ago. Every other diocese in Texas will now join Fort Worth and Dallas in making public a similar list of abusers where they are.
Abuse and coverups are not limited to the Catholic Church or Christianity… or religious leaders…but all of us have a right to expect that the men and women who profess to be spiritual shepherds lead a life they call the rest of us to embrace. Not that they’re perfect but if they profess to follow a higher calling, they should lead not for what they say but how they live.
There is a phrase we hear often expressed by the faithful: “What would Jesus Do?” On some issues arguments over what is the right answer might be understandable… not this one.
No line of work, no calling hiding the abuse of children is worthy of a place among us.
If we make that our vow, hopefully we can all agree: The last place a child should be unsafe is a church... the last person we should expect to abuse a child: a pastor or priest.