Still hoping for the best

Still hoping for the best

Just received word that the first Talking about Touching review meeting for the Archdiocese of Boston will take place tomorrow. (In case you hadn’t heard, Archbishop Sean O’Malley has appointed Auxiliary Bishop Richard Malone to form a committee to review the program, a committee that will include opponents and proponents of the program. Eight meetings have been scheduled with the first one being tomorrow.)

The Concerned Catholic School Parents group that has been leading the charge against the program found out today that they need to be prepared to present their side of the story tomorrow at 3 pm. And they will get 15 minutes to talk. That’s 15 minutes out of a total of 8 meetings. And if they can’t speak tomorrow, they can speak at the January meeting. Are these monthly meetings? That means they’ll still be discussing this next summer.

When asked who the members of the committee are, the parents’ group was told that this is confidential. Um, unless they will be wearing hoods at the meeting tomorrow, won’t the presenter from the group find out then anyway? What they were able to find out is that the committee is composed of a priest or two, some college professors, someone from the archdiocese’s oversight and implementation committee that put Talking about Touching in schools and churches in the first place, and a victim of sexual abuse. Once again, no parents are included in a process that could have lifelong impact on their children. I guess they are taking to hear the archdiocesan spokesman’s comment that the parents just have to trust them and “buy into the system.” I mean, it’s worked out so well for Geoghan’s and Shanley’s and .... victims, didn’t it?

  • Will all the persons and groups who will speak to the review committee be (1) given equally short notice and (2) be equally unaware of the committee’s composition, criteria for evaluation, etc.  This looks like a scam from the start.

  • I think there’d be more rejoicing if the committee didn’t look like it was stacked from the beginning against those who don’t like Talking about Touching. Hope? Yes. But realism is also called for. We can hope that they’re so disorganized that it was a misunderstanding that they only gave the parents 24 hours notice for their 15-minute presentation, rather than sabotaging their efforts. We can hope that they’re just being bureaucratic in trying to keep the names of the committee members secret, rather than trying to prevent us from learning that they’re all pro-TaT.

    For those who have had dealings with diocesan bureaucracies and who have gotten the brush-offs and dead-ends time after time, this committee and its ways look awfully familiar.

  • Patrick,

    If you knew the parents, especially the one who will be giving the presentation, you would have no worries about them. In fact, throughout this whole situation the parents have shown saintly levels of patience and humility, much more than I’ve had, and especially considering the danger to their children.