Spade identification and recognition

There is, it appears, an innate human desire to make things sound less heinous than they are. Francis W. Porretto describes what happens when one man refuses the euphemism:

One of my parish priests described a conclave of our region more than a decade ago, called together by the presiding bishop of our diocese, to discuss the “problem” of clerical sexual abuse of children. A visiting bishop gave a long lecture to the assembly in which he deplored such sexual assaults as inappropriate behavior.

Yes, you read that correctly. Worse, all but one of the priests listening to him applauded his take on the atrocity. The one — Father Edward J. Kealey — stood up and dissented vigorously. “Inappropriate behavior,” he said, is using the wrong fork at dinner; the sexual abuse of children is assault and rape. The Church should do the most vigorous, abasing penance — he suggested that all the priests in America should converge in Baltimore and walk barefoot all the way to St. Mary’s in expiation — and petition for divine guidance about how to cleanse such evil from the Catholic clergy, such that it might never, ever recur.

The bishops present were not pleased, but Father Ed stood his ground. It’s cost him heavily in the years since that conclave, but he’s refused to relent.

To solve a problem, you first have to recognize what it is, not what it’s called.





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