The Personalist Project

Accessed on September 27, 2023 - 12:55:41

Promoting justice

Katie van Schaijik, Apr 07, 2013

I am thinking of my cousin, Fr. Bob Oliver, who was appointed Promoter of Justice by Pope Benedict a few weeks before his resignation.  He is now, in effect, the Church's top prosecutor in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the office responsible for adjudicating the sex abuse scandals, among other things.  

According to Zenit, the Pope met last week with Archbishop Müller, head of the CDF, and urged him to act decisively.

"In particular," the statement added, "the Holy Father recommended that the Congregation, continuing along the lines set by Benedict XVI, act decisively with regard to cases of sexual abuse, first of all by promoting measures for the protection of minors, as well as in offering assistance to those who have suffered abuse, carrying out due proceedings against the guilty, and in the commitment of bishops' conferences to formulate and implement the necessary directives in this area that is so important for the Church's witness and credibility."

His calling for "due proceedings against the guilty" stands out to me in relation to our ongoing discussion of "unprincipled forgiveness".  Unprincipled forgiveness preachers and practitioners have a tendency to treat such calls as essentially unchristian—no better than revenge in disguise.  They would like "proceedings against the guilty" to be dropped as incompatible with God's "unconditional mercy."

But we see in this item that mercy isn't incompatible with justice. Rather, they are two sides of one mystery. And those who are really serious about mercy must also be serious about justice.

Another reason I'm thinking about Fr. Bob today is that April 7th is his birthday.  Please say a prayer for him!