Much has already been said about the moral responsibility of these two prelates to resign from their respective sees. Most of the calls have, of course, been directed at Cardinal Law, with even Boston Catholic politicians now speaking about “failed leaders.”
Whatever, I’ve been “lapsed” for 16 years, so I don’t have any personal stake in whether they retain moral authority or not.
What I’d like to see are criminal charges.
Take Egan, for instance. (obligitory IANAL disclaimer here) Under Connecticut law, sex with a child under 16 is statutory rape, and preventing prosecution of a crime is obstruction of justice. According to reports, Egan knew of a priest’s affair with a 15-year-old church worker, who later delivered the priest’s child. This occurred while Egan was Bishop of the Bridgeport CT diocese. Not only did Egan not report the matter to authorities, but he also assisted the priest in leaving the church and starting a new life as an elementary school teacher(!) OK, there is not enough evidence to convict here, but there’s certainly enough to merit a criminal investigation.
Even more to the point is Cardinal Law. Massachusetts law states:
Is there any doubt at this point that section this doesn’t apply to Law? The John Geoghan case was bad enough. Now there’s documentary evidence that he assisted a sexual predator by moving him from place to place to cover up the crimes Law knew were taking place.
It’s time for the criminal justice system to rout out the structure that allowed abusers to flourish within the Church’s protection. Arrest Law & Egan.