The Rockford Files

Cui Bono?

You cannot hope to bribe or twist / (thank God!) the British journalist.
But, seeing what the man will do / unbribed, there’s no occasion to.

—Humbert Wolfe

The June issue of Chronicles was literally on the press on May 7, when local radio talk-show host Chris Bowman announced that Bishop Thomas Doran of the diocese of Rockford, Illinois, whose February statement on the sex-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church I had praised in my June column, was about to hold a press conference.  Considering the media coverage over the past six months, what the bishop revealed was not surprising.  “I am here,” Bishop Doran said,

to respond to allegations that a priest in the diocese, Father Harlan Clapsaddle, was involved in acts of sexual misconduct with minors.  I can confirm that such charges were made regarding incidents that occurred about 25 years ago.

I can also confirm that these charges were brought to the attention of the Diocesan Intervention Committee more than five years ago, in December 1996, and that the . . . Diocesan Intervention Committee investigated the charges, determined that they were credible and recommended immediate removal of the priest from his pastoral assignment.  I approved that recommendation and he was removed on Jan. 8, 1997.

Bishop Doran then explained why...

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