Making the victim a suspect

Making the victim a suspect

A Seattle priest dropped a bombshell on his parishioners last weekend. He informed his parish that he had been abused by a priest as a child, which is shocking enough, but he also said that he is leaving the priesthood rather than be forced to undergo an intrusive psychological evaluation ordered by the archdiocese.

Excuse me, but what exactly did Father Lawrence Minder do wrong? Well, nothing. But by coming forward with his accusation, he has made the jittery legal-types and head-shrinkers at the archdiocese say to themselves that since most current abusers were themselves abused as children, then Fr. Minder must be a potential abuser, too. I’m sorry, but as logical as that may sound, it’s also lacking in compassion or Christian charity. The fact is that it’s not automatic. On that pretense, since just about any adult could have been abused as a child, they could all be potential abusers and should have intrusive psychological exams performed on them too.

There’s a bit too much of the reflexive CYA mentality involved here. It seems to me that Fr. Minder’s good isn’t the first priority here, but that of certain Seattle archdiocese officials. So once again the victim of abuse is abused again and made to be the bad guy, and the priest-victim is guilty until proven innocent. Is that any way to treat a priest?