Bishop Richard J. Malone’s Nov. 5 press conference was unsatisfactory partly because he left most of the explanations and difficult questions to his lawyers. They repeatedly stated that most of the priest sex abuses occurred in the 1960s and 1970s before Malone’s arrival. While those abuses were a horrific betrayal, what happened since his arrival has angered many people.
Malone states he will not resign because a shepherd does not abandon his flock in a time of crisis. This is a crisis of his creation.
A good shepherd does not hide the names of predatory priests for five years and then release them only when pressured.
A good shepherd does not hide the whereabouts of the predators, thus worrying his flock about their safety.
A good shepherd does not let his flock learn from others that this was only a partial list, thus increasing their anger and anxiety, maximizing the pain of abuse victims, and putting good priests under a cloud of suspicion.
A good shepherd does not allow a staffer to present an unconvincing tale about the creation of a database to explain the delay in releasing further names.
A good shepherd protects his entire flock and does not hide the names and abuse charges of priests because they concern adults and not minors.
A good shepherd does not endanger other shepherds’ flocks by doing the unfathomable and writing a glowing job recommendation for a predatory priest.
Malone and his lawyers have criticized 60 Minutes and Siobhan O’Connor for presenting a misleading report. Instead, Malone and his lawyers, by their words and actions on Nov. 5 and over the past six months, have proven that “60 Minutes” and O’Connor created an accurate picture of the state of our diocese.