Archbishop Bevilacqua Enabled Child Abuse in the Catholic Church

It takes a long time to ascend to the heights of the title of Archbishop in the Catholic Church.  The title of Most Reverend with ten tassels on each side of a holy hat could seem to indicate that the individual would exhibit a sense of spiritual leadership.  This person is the leader of other Bishops and in Philadelphia this meant a high degree of responsibility.  How is it that Archbishop Bevilacqua failed so woefully when it came to addressing the issue of the abuse of children in the Catholic church?  It was recounted, after his untimely death, that the Archbishop ordered evidence of sexual abuse against 35 priests shredded.  He allegedly ordered other priests transferred without the mention of their previous transgressions at thir respective churches.  I mention untimely in regards to his death because once he was deemed competent enough to stand trial for the misdeeds which occurred under his leadership, he passed like the next day.  Seriously. 

I was raised Catholic and I attended Catholic schools until I graduated from high school.  I am fortunate that I was never abused by any priests.  I used to feel sorry for them in my parish of St. Rita's.  It seemed like such a lonely life.  Perform two or three masses a day, drink church wine at each mass and go back to the rectory.  I seldom saw them in my community but thy might have spent more time on the other side of Broad Street with the Italian/Irish American community.  I can imagine the hell that people who have been sexually abused go through.  I can especially imagine this happening at the hands of someone who allegedly has a direct line of communication with God.  This is not supposed to happen.  Priests are supposed to be the direct representatives of Jesus in carrying out the mission of spreading the Gospel.  I feel that some of these priests went into the priesthood thinking that their predilection to abuse children could be cured through a closer relationship with God.  The thousands of abuse cases throughout the world would bear out the fact that a lot of bad people became priests.  It is a shame that the powers that be covered for many of them in abusive situations.

Archbishop Bevilacqua might have had good intentions when he ordered evidence of abuse shredded.  He probably figure that his Brethren could change.  I never saw where counseling was recommended though.  The solution was to keep moving priests away from their victims.  I think that these actions are what will tarnish the Archbishop's legacy.  The vile sin of abusing someones child should have been met with a strict discipline.  There should have been no cover up.  The thousands of adults who are trying to figure out why there were abused could have been better served by a strong leader of the Catholic church in this regard. Shame on the cowardly response to sexual predators by the Archbishop. 

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