In my quest for truth and justice in the Diocese of Duluth, I pose this question: Has Duluth Diocese Bishop Paul Sirba read any of Pope Francis’ writings on the abuse crisis in our Holy Catholic Church?
I feel that in the case of Fr. William Graham, a travesty of justice has continued for more than three years, Bishop Sirba has demonstrated seemingly little regard for civil law or for Canon Law.
The first week of August, on the feast of St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests, Pope Francis wrote a 5,000-word text about the abuse crisis. Among his words were: “To my brother priests, I shared with the Italian Bishops my worry that in more than a few places our priests feel attacked and blamed for crimes they did not commit. I mentioned that priests need to find in their bishops an older brother and a father who reassures them in these difficult times, encouraging and supporting them along the way.”
No one can mistake Bishop Sirba’s response in Fr. Graham’s situation as even a semblance of support — much less mercy, brotherhood, or justice. Perhaps Bishop Sirba might take the time to read some or all of Pope Francis’ recent text. It can be found in the newest issue of America magazine as well as at many Catholic websites.
I pray Pope Francis’ words help Bishop Sirba become a good shepherd for our diocese and a brother to its priests.