Thursday, April 15, 2010

For the Love of God...

In October 2000, Father René Bissey was sentenced to 18 years in jail for sexually abusing 11 boys between 1989 and 1996. Bissey's bishop, Pierre Pican of the Diocese of Bayeux-Lisieux, had known of the abuse but refused to report Bissey to French authorities and instead sent him for psychiatric treatment.

Pican's actions resulted in his own conviction in 2001 for "failure to report a sex crime against a minor younger than 15 years old." The bishop was sentenced to three months in prison [Yay!].

That sentence led Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, then head of the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy -- the department overseeing Catholic clergy policies around the world -- to write Bishop Pican a letter effusively praising his actions in shielding the abusive priest. At the time, Castrillon Hoyos was a colleague of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- now Pope Benedict XVI.

"I congratulate you on not having reported a priest to the civil authorities," Castrillon Hoyos wrote to Pican on Sept. 8, 2001. "You have done well, and I rejoice at having an associate in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and of all the others bishops of the world, will have chosen prison rather than speaking out against his priest-son."

Castrillon Hoyos added that he would send a copy of the letter to all the bishops' conferences "to encourage the brothers in the episcopate in this very delicate area."
These men are SICK in the head. The "priest-son" language demonstrates just the sort of twisted psychosexual dynamics, going back to mandatory celibacy, which I've been discussing.


sortacatholic said...

First off, congrats to the French judicial system for acting promptly and appropriately regardless of the machinations of the hierarchy.

A Cardinal that praises the obstruction of justice? Yeah that is "sick in the head" for sure. This is another point to bring up in that hypothetical letter we've been thinking over here at RT.

I'd be difficult to have a secular priesthood without deference to episcopal authority. Without apostolic prescident, the priesthood would unravel into crowds of vagantes.

How could the promise that a secular priest makes to his bishop at ordination be reinterpreted to prevent the situation evidenced here?

Castrillon-Hoyos is a big fave on the trad scene. I bet a lot of people would defend him on this one.

A Sinner said...

Yes, I would have liked to add this to the letter. But it wasn't hypothetical and was already sent out last night by the time I found out about this. Just pray the victims in Malta get to meet with the Pope.