What lengths for punishment?

What lengths for punishment?

The Crosiers religious order in Minnesota is under fire because they did not reveal the extent of sex abuse at a prep school and parish. This was the interesting piece of the story:

    Parish leaders are scheduled to meet in a mediation and conciliation session with the Crosiers early next month to address concerns that developed after parishioners learned that a Crosier brother who admitted to sexual abuse in the 1980s at their prep school in Onamia, Minn., was worshipping at the church. ... They also haven’t disclosed the whereabouts of Brother Gregory Madigan, who the Crosiers say admitted to molesting teenage boys in the mid-1980s at the Onamia prep school. The Crosiers moved Madigan to their Shoreview headquarters two years ago without telling neighbors or lay leaders at the St. Odilia church and school next door. Earlier this year, after revealing he had been living in Shoreview, the order moved Madigan to an undisclosed location.

On the one hand, I can understand parents wanting to know about an alleged child molester in their midst, but it seems the guy wasn’t in the parish as a religious brother. So what do we do? Should we, can we tell child molesters that they can’t worship in our churches, even if they are not involved in any ministries? Can we tell them that they are not allowed in our pew at Mass? How far should we go in rooting out the sin? If so, what about other sins? Which one of us has never committed a mortal sin? Should we be shunned as well?

I’m not saying the guy should be allowed to live in the rectory and wear a habit, but if all he’s doing is living in the area and registered as a sex offender—if there is a registry in the state—then what else can we morally do? Shouldn’t he have access to the sacrements too?

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli