Priests want due process

Priests want due process

Apropos of an earlier discussion, many priests are unhappy with the lack of due process for accusations. The illustrative case here is that of Msgr. Charles Kavanagh of New York who was accused of a sexual relationship with a high-school seminarian 20 years ago. Many of his supporters say that since he was suspended in the summer of 2002 he hasn’t gotten his fair due process.

t was in August of last year that Egan told Kavanagh that an archdiocesan review board of laypeople had determined that Kavanagh had, in fact, had an improper relationship with a student 20 years earlier. Kavanagh says he was denied the panel’s written findings or any information about how the decision was reached. Instead, he says, Egan asked him to resign.

“They wanted me to go away,” Kavanagh said during an interview with The Journal News yesterday. “But I’m not going anywhere. I’m not going to hide.”

Instead, Kavanagh has appealed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Unfortunately the CDF is so overwhelmed with appeals that the cases take forever.

  • sounds like it’s just a bad proces.
    the problem is whenever a bureaucracy tries to solve the problems created by bureaucracy, it just creates more bureaucracy.

  • All priests should be provided due process.

    However, during that period, that should be banned from access to children.

  • I am all in favor of doing what needs to be done when a priest has been shown to be guilty of one of these situations.

    BUT the problem is that there are priests who have lost their faculties over this, even though they have not done anything. 

    At least one bishop I know of, and probably more, have used this panic wrongly to:

    1) punish the orthodox priest who has done nothing wrong except displease the bishop,
    2) cover their rear end in the case that the priest did nothing wrong but there was a rumor or unproven suspicion. 

    In some of these cases, there have been no hearings, investigations, nothing.  No due process whatsoever.

    And that’s not right.