Cardinals Deposed, by Kristine Ward

Published on February 21, 2013

It should be a jarring thing for Catholics in the pews and the society at large that two Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, Timothy Dolan and Roger Mahony, are being deposed regarding sexual abuse cases before their flights to Rome to participate in what is called their “sacred duty” to elect the next pope.

Quite a juxtaposition of the sacred and the profane.

Cardinal Dolan is being deposed regarding Milwaukee cases and Cardinal Mahony for a case involving a fugitive priest who fled to Mexico.

The fact that these depositions are taking place is eminently noteworthy:

  • they are rare instances in which hierarchs, particularly Cardinals are questioned under oath for what they did and didn’t do regarding sexual abuse by priests in their dioceses
  • they are strong and stark reminders that the crisis of sexual abuse in the Church cannot be swept away by frivolity, back slapping, joking demurring or casting one self’s as a scapegoat
  • their timing bears the whiff of vigilance against flight to a sovereign state

In the midst of the once and future pope gush and hoopla and buzz and betting, justice’s wheels are slowly turning.

It is a welcome sound and sight.

— Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition,


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