What is it with this Michael Miner, I ask? Is he trying to make less sense than Bernie Lincicome? Let’s take it from the top. Hot Type of December 3, 1993. “Where’s Greeley When We Need Him?” Maybe I’ve missed something, but is it generally understood that Greeley is an “old, familiar, but astute voice whose concern for both Cardinal Bernardin and the victims of sexually abusive priests was beyond dispute”? Does an editor ponder such bona fides when assigning a reporter to cover a story such as this? How many reporters could prove that they measure up? Is an old familiar voice beckoned when a pizza delivery man or a janitor is accused?

Miner cites some of the analysis proffered by this indisputably astute cleric editorialist–“For years the leadership of the Catholic Church has tried to protect priests who are guilty of the sexual abuse of children.” Sounds like a story here. One that some enterprising reporter with inside sources might have broken. He did say that there has been a conspiracy to protect predatory pedophiles by the church hierarchy, right? Isn’t it a felony to protect felons? I must have missed the series of reports that Greeley surely filed with the Sun-Times chronicling this outrageous criminal behavior by the shepherds of the Catholic flock. Maybe he felt it best to simply bring these charges to the State’s Attorney. But Miner does not report that Greeley took this course of action. Greeley is quoted thusly, “Since 1986 I have been warning the leadership of the church and the leaders of the organized priesthood that this would happen unless they faced the problem and established a credible review mechanism. . . ” Here’s where I really get confused. Greeley, the news hawk, has been warning those engaged in conspiracy to conceal felonious child assault that the chickens will come home to roost. For the past seven years? Establish a credible review system? Like a grand jury, maybe?

Whew. What a time for Greeley not to be on the scene with a forum. Still he is quoted by Miner as having stated that “the Cardinal is innocent, the victim of networks of evil generated by the follies of past Church policy and by the perhaps sincere efforts of misguided individuals to right what they mistakenly believe to be a wrong from the distant past.” Somebody please give it to me in English. The “networks of evil” must be the “this” that Greeley has been warning the leadership would happen. The “distant past”? Is this indisputably concerned old voice hedging his bets?

Miner warns that “this is the wrong time for Greeley to lack a forum in Chicago. He’ll find one but not the old one.” Yeah, well you don’t scare me.

Greg Devens

N. Hoyne