Figures of authority get called out on hypocrisy

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

To the editor:
Pointing out hypocrisy in positions of power is not exactly a difficult task but I will do it anyway, mostly because it is not a difficult task.

The Roman Catholic Bishop, John D’Arcy, whose diocese includes the University of Notre Dame, says he will boycott U.S. President Barack Obama’s May 17 commencement speech claiming the federally funded project for embryonic stem-cell research has the government, for the first time, “supporting direct destruction of innocent human life.”

At first I thought two things. One, how muddled the logic is that using embryos after the abortions have occurred (to help save lives) somehow causes abortions and this so-called destruction. Second, this wouldn’t be a “first” for America; place any Latin American nation followed by a year and you have a counter-example (Nicaragua 1933, Guatemala 1954, Chile 1973, Nicaragua 1981).

Then I remembered a documentary I watched a few years ago, Deliver Us From Evil, and was immediately hit by the pungent odour that surrounds most political institutions around the world: hypocrisy. This documentary chronicles the Roman Catholic priest Oliver O’Grady who from 1973 onward to his conviction in 1993, raped, molested and abused as many as 25 children in California. In 1976, after being caught, O’Grady wrote a letter of apology to the parents of his victims. The Bishop of Stockton at the time received a copy of this letter and he responded with swift action " moving O’Grady to another parish less than 100 km away.

This pattern occurred many times, O’Grady would be caught, the Church would be notified, and he would be moved to yet another parish and to yet another group of children whose parents unquestionably trusted this man-of-the-cloth. This becomes all the more enraging and disturbing throughout the documentary because we are receiving a lot of the details through the mouth of O’Grady.

So, when a representative of the Roman Catholic Church condemns someone for actions that support the “direct destruction of innocent human life,” it should not be in front of the cameras, but in a confession booth.
" Eric Bombicino
Philosophy V

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