Years ago, I attended a lecture by a noted Episcopal Priest who was asked to comment on the child abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church. He said that there are two kinds of capital-financial capital, and moral capital. The problem with the Catholic Church, he continued, is that they felt that they had so much financial capital that they could sacrifice their moral capital.
Those days are over. The child abuse scandals have destroyed not only the moral capital of the Catholic Church, but much of the financial capital as well. The latest disgrace concerns the Archbishop in my area, John Myers of Newark. Long accused of protecting abuser clergy in NJ and covering up their crimes, it is now being reported that there is incontrovertible evidence that he covered up abuse by clergy in his past diocese, that of Peoria.
Despite serving in one of the most impoverished areas of the country, Newark, NJ; Rev Myers has avoided using his position to strongly advocate for the poor and suffering. Rather, he rather prominently joined the ranks of ultra conservative priests who threaten anyone who disagree with his teachings with exclusion from Holy Communion. He has repeatedly threatened faithful Catholics who vote for pro-choice candidates.
Rev Myers uses the time honored “I knew nothing” when confronted about his cover-ups. Nothing will happen to him-he is too powerful and well connected to ever go to jail or even be defrocked. But as a fellow clergyman in his region, I have no problem saying that he is a disgrace.