AVOIDING THE AUDIT
By Al Hembd
The Vatican considers herself above any auditing from the laity.† And of course, they have to do thatóbecause once the laity starts to audit the bishops, then they can audit the Vatican, too--and you know what will happen once the laity starts perusing the files in the basement of the Vatican!† If Americans
can audit the bishops' files on sex abuse, then the Italians can audit the Vatican's files on the Vatican Bank, too--and then, we start unearthing termites like, "millions of dollars in the bank from confiscated assets of massacred Jews in the Holocaust."† Or, "impounded assets of murdered Serbs during the Croatian Holocaust of the Serbs during WWII."† Or, "the audit trails of Mafia heroin laundering through the Vatican Bank."
In other words, it isn't the sex abuse scandal that scares them--that's small chickens.† It's "auditing."† That doubtless has them terrified.
Sex abuse panel says US bishops manipulated it
CHICAGO - A lay panel heading an investigation into sexual abuse in the US Roman
Catholic Church has accused the country's bishops of manipulating it and
backsliding on promises, according to a letter made public on Tuesday.
The letter was one of several between the National Review Board and various
bishops posted on the website of the National Catholic Reporter which said it
had obtained and verified them.
The review panel, headed by Anne Burke, a judge in Chicago, criticized the
administrative committee of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for deciding
to delay action on some key issues until a meeting in November.
The delays among other things would push back a second round of audits to see
how well dioceses are complying with new measures designed to protect children
from clerical abuse.
The panel's letter complained that the bishops were considering the delay but
hid it from the panel at the time of a high profile February 27 news conference
so it would not become public.
At that time it was disclosed in two reports that more than 10,600 children
claimed to have been molested by priests since 1950 in an epidemic of child
sexual abuse involving at least 4 per cent of US Roman Catholic clergy.
The Review panel was formed by the bishops in 2002 after the abuse scandal had
shaken the US church to its foundations.
"It is hard to reach any other conclusion than that the failure to tell the
(panel) of these matters in a timely fashion was to make sure that they did not
come up in any discussions with the national media on Feb 27," the letter said.
"In short we were manipulated ... we are very disheartened by this apparent
decision to go back to 'business as usual'," the letter added. "To place
everything on hold for eight months will undoubtedly have serious adverse
repercussions both within and without the Church."
The letter added that delaying action on writing a document covering some of the
issues raised by the scandal is a "backslide" that "will delay necessary healing
and reopen the wounds of deception, manipulation and control -- all the false
ideals that produced the scandal."
The panel also warned people had given the bishops the benefit of the doubt
because it looked like they were turning the corner. If that turns out to not to
be the case "the wounded people-in-the-pews will find this reprehensible," it said.
The panel said it would be impossible to produce a meaningful annual report
covering 2004 if new compliance audits are not done,
The National Catholic Reporter said it had verified that the letter was sent on
behalf of all 13 board members under Burke's signature. It was sent on March 30
to Bishop Wilton Gregory, head of the bishops Conference.
The bishops Conference could not be reached for comment on the issues raised.