As a Catholic wife and mother in Southern California, Kate Williams' "Happy Anniversary, Padre," (http://www.sonomasun.com/pub/a/1124?full=1) brought back many frustrating and painful memories this time last year. "Happy Anniversary, Padre" says it exactly like it is - as a society, are we paying attention to the Enablers of the past that are continuing as Enablers of today? (http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_debby_bo_070331_clergy_sex_abuse__26_s.htm)
The sudden disappearance of Father Ochoa, a priest in Sonoma County, under the supervison of Bishop Daniel Walsh last year, was shocking to say the least. Afterall, how many times will a sex abuse crime get lost in political and religious interference? Bishop Walsh's failed memory enabled another sexual predator to escape from accountability in the United States?
Public opinions will differ regarding the events surrounding Bishop Walsh's delay in reporting a sex crime, as mandated by law, and the Sonoma County District Attorney's office decision not to formally charge Bishop Walsh with a crime. However, one has to wonder exactly who and what Enabler intefered this time around?
Thanks to Kate's article, another one year anniversary memory is in order, "What Happened to the Bishops?" (http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_debby_bo_060620__22what_happened_to_th.htm). While Ochoa was escaping from sex crimes committed in the United States, thanks to Bishop Walsh's reluctance in reporting a sex crime as mandated by law, 300 Bishops and members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Los Angeles.
We may never know what was discussed that weekend but one has to wonder if Bishop Walsh's delay in reporting Father Ochoa's sex abuse crimes was placed on the priority list. Afterall, sexual predators should not be free to roam in our society. Bishop Walsh's failed memory and reporting is serious stuff. However, there was obviously lots to discuss that weekend because none of the Bishops had time to view a "Survivors Quilt" (http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_debby_bo_060615__22survivors_quilt_22.htm), specifically displayed across the street from the hotel to open dialog with Church leaders and request some type of due process.
In reflecting, survivors of clergy sex abuse, supporters of justice, child protections and families waited patiently for the Bishops to walk across the street to view the "Survivors Quilt." Sadly, I will never forget the feeling when the truths hit. Out of 300 Bishops attending the USCCB meeting in LA, not ONE Bishop had the courage, love or compassion to walk across the street to view the Survivors Quilt and/or meet face-to-face with survivors of clergy sex abuse, their families and faithful supporters of justice and peace.
In reality, how long would it take to walk across the street? How long would it take to speak with one of the survivors? How long would it take to view the Survivors Quilt, a creation that reflects the faces of precious children at the age they were sexually abused by a member of the clergy? Happy Anniversity U.S. Catholic Bishops! How long will it take for you to do the right thing? You know exactly what that is!
Without justice there will never be peace and without peace, faith and our country's laws are empty. May God Bless all the Fathers and families of the world -- Happy Fathers Day!