In recent months, as horrifying allegations of homosexual and pedophiliac activities among Catholic priests in the United States have multiplied, the response of the American Church has been, to say the least, disheartening. Remarks by Bernard Cardinal Law of Boston, Roger Cardinal Mahoney of Los Angeles, and Francis Cardinal George of Chicago have clouded the issue. Amid the turmoil, the words of Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, the second-largest diocese in Illinois, have seemed a “voice crying in the wilderness.” Writing in the February 22 issue of the Observer,
The words of Christ regarding those who harm the innocence of children are to be before our minds as we think about these things. “It would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea”. . . I say without fear of contradiction that every priest who so violates the confidence placed into his hands at ordination by molesting children or adolescents sexually or in any other way or for any purpose should suffer that fate.
the newspaper of the Rockford diocese, Bishop Doran condemned clerical sexual abuse in no uncertain terms:
Since no allegations of sexual abuse have emerged in the Rockford diocese, it is tempting to say that, finally, Rockford has found an area in which it is not simply average, but to do so would be to join the media...