April 12, 2013
Getting (back) to the point
Bob Hockett persists in obscuring my principal point. The offense that I am complaining about (here) is that an official U.S. Army document [mysteriously, that document, which I just tried to reach again, can no longer be reached from the link I have] spoke grave untruth about the nature of the Church. (Bob, do you deny that?) An army author/presenter and publication, the job of which included officially reaching and officially sharing true judgments of fact (no?), told falsehoods about the Church. Whether the offence occurred intentionally or whether it occurred unintentionally is not material to my present point, about the need for hierarchical accountability for false statements of fact. The Army was quick to say that this falsehood came from "outside" of "the chain of command." Good, but too little too late. Let's be clear about the inappositeness of the question Bob won't (he says) bring himself even to type. When a priest or other "responsible" official in the Church rapes a child, such a crime is not perpetrated within the perceived scope of the criminal's office. That's obvious. The lie told by the Army official and publication about the Church -- equating her with al Qaeda, for relevant purposes -- was, by contrast, told within the scope of the official's putative office. I do indeed expect the Army to repudiate lies told in its official name. I do also expect the hierarchy of the Church to repudiate lies told in her name. And, needless to say, I grieve that our bishops did not do more to root about the evil of abuse of children. But raping priests are relevantly different from officials lying in their official capacity. Doesn't matter how lowly the *government* official is.
I am gratified that the Archdiocese for Military Services (USA) made the following statement, here. Perhaps Bob considers the Archdiocese's statement unwarranted?