The truth is, Anthony Bevilacqua was no saint. If the grand-jury allegations are true and he transferred known sex offenders to other parishes instead of notifying the police that crimes were occurring on his watch, his conduct was criminal.
Stop right there, Christine, that's great. No need to elabora—
And yet, perhaps it was his sense of propriety - and redemption - that led him to shuffle priests as if they were chess pieces, believing that the interest of the church, the priests and the alleged victims would be better served by silence. It's a concept that doesn't carry much weight in a society that now rewards shouts and exhibitionists, and calls anything less than full exposure a "cover-up."Oh, hell.
Maybe Bevilacqua really did believe that stuff. It does not redound to his credit.
The idea that child rape should be reported, so that authorities can prosecute it, is not the product of reality-show television culture—is not a sign that our society has become frivolous and flighty. It's an idea born of the idea that children are innocent, deserve our protection, and that forcing sex on them—or on anybody, child or not—is a criminal act, among the very worst acts it is possible to commit.
Child rape is against the law. It is also a sin.
There is nothing honorable about shielding priests from prosecution. There is nothing honorable about putting families at risk—families that rely on your authority and guidance!—in order to protect the interests of the church. And if a "sense of propriety" kept Bevilacqua from taking other, better, actions, then that "sense of propriety" was twisted into a criminal—evil—series of actions.
Flowers is so eager to stick it to liberals that she is sometimes incapable of simply calling a wrong thing wrong. She makes excuses for the cover-up of child rape. How sad. How wrong. So let's be clear: Anthony Bevilacqua died a disgraced man. That disgrace was well-deserved.