Even the best policy isn’t enough

Even the best policy isn’t enough

Two years ago the bishops’ conference of England and Wales put into place guidelines on how to handle priests accused of abuse, based on the report of a commission headed by a Lord Nolan. It was similar to the guidelines put in place for the US based on the Dallas Charter of 2002.

But a story from England in the past week shows the shortcomings of relying on such a policy, because in fact any policy is only as good as those who have to enforce it. Father William Hofton was sentenced to prison last week after being convicted of abusing teenage brothers over a five-year period. But that came after Hofton had already been sanctioned for an earlier case of abuse.

Hofton originally admitted abuse after he was contacted by a former victim in 2002 about incidents at a seminary in 1986 when the youth was 17. The priest reported the incident to the church authorities, who called in the police, removed him from parish duties and sent him for independent psychiatric assessment. That concluded that he was a low risk and he was moved to another parish under conditions which stopped unsupervised access to young people, though his church was connected to a school. The police did not pursue their investigation after the victim did not press charges.

  • Iti8373arhnn0r.shtml”>President Bush’s speech to the convention had just about everything it needed. It had specifics. It had moments of deep emotion and of lighthearted humor. He recalled 9/11 and the War on Terror, and he spoke of domestic policy issues. He didn’t eviscerate his opponent, but neither did he let him off the hook. Overall it was just about enough of everything.

    Did you notice the roar of the crowd when he mentioned the protection of the unborn? The party elites may be leaning in a more “moderate” position on abortion, i.e. hedging their bets, being a “Big Tent,” but the rank-and-file Republicans are still very strongly pro-life.

    His self-deprecating humor was just the right touch.

    You may have noticed I have a few flaws, too. People sometimes have to correct my English I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it. Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called “walking.” Now and then I come across as a little too blunt and for that we can all thank the white-haired lady sitting right up there.


    2004-09-03 11:21:59
    2004-09-03 15:21:59


    2004-09-06 17:27:25
    2004-09-06 21:27:25
    I must say that my favorite moment was when Pres. Bush was describing the support he received from families who had received a folded United States flag, a flag that once draped their loved one’s coffin. Pres. Bush stated something to the effect that he is amazed at the strength of those who pray for him after suffering such a loss. Tears started to well up in the President’s eyes and he was clearly close to losing control. If anything accentuated Pres. Bush’s humanity and decency it was that; therefore, Old Media has summarily ignored it.

    Does anyone honestly believe that the loss of a single American soldier would affect John Kerry this way? Oh, sure, maybe if it affected his re-election chances.

    Ooooh, cheap shot … I’ll take the re-election comment back. But I’m certain that one would never see a moment like from Kerry.

  • The portion of the speech which nearly caused Pres. Bush to break down:
    “And I have met with parents and wives and husbands who have received a folded flag, and said a final goodbye to a soldier they loved. I am awed that so many have used those meetings to say that I am in their prayers to offer encouragement to me. Where does strength like that come from? How can people so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride? It is because they know their loved one was last seen doing good. Because they know that liberty was precious to the one they lost. And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, and idealistic, and strong.”

    Contrast that with Sen. Kerry’s own words about Vietnam Veterans in 1971:
    “I would like to talk to you a little bit about what the result is of the feelings these men carry with them after coming back from Vietnam. The country doesn’t know it yet, but it has created a monster, a monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence, and who are given the chance to die for the biggest nothing in history; men who have returned with a sense of anger and a sense of betrayal which no one has yet grasped.”

    And Kerry thinks he has what it takes to be Commander in Chief.

  • The speech showed a President, a Commander-in-Chief who is comfortable in his own skin, being who he is and plain-speaking.  It’s not obsessed with his legacy.  He’s on a mission.

    Kerry’s mission is his ambition to be President.  Opinion polls asking people “What is Kerry’s position?” are turning up results all over the map.  We’re still waiting for Kerry to define himself.