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Chicken-Fried News: Catholic lapse

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INGVARD ASHBY
  • Ingvard Ashby

In August of 2018, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced that it would be investigating its clergy for claims of sexual abuse and misconduct, but following multiple postponements of the promised report, a local victims advocacy group is decrying a conflict of interest.

“While numerous other dioceses across the nation called on law enforcement to lead similar investigations, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City turned its investigation over to McAfee and Taft, an Oklahoma City-based law firm that has worked with the church for nearly 15 years,” The Oklahoman reported.

Archdiocese chancellor Michael Scaperlanda’s son Christopher Scaperlanda, coincidentally, is a partner at McAfee and Taft.

A statement issued by Nick Yascavage, the Oklahoma City coordinator of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called the relationship between the law firm and the archdiocese “the definition of conflict of interest.”

"The public is relying on an organization that has harbored and enabled sexual predators to investigate crimes they themselves have purposely hidden for decades,” Yascavage said.

The archdiocese announced in June that the report — first scheduled for release in November of 2018, then postponed to February and then to March — now has no set release date. In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter seven, Jesus asks, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” To be fair, though, Jesus doesn’t specify whether you have to remove the two-by-four from your eye socket immediately or if you can just leave it hanging there indefinitely while everyone cringes. What’s the worst that could happen?

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