Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rudy's priest problem

No, not the one about how they should be denying him Communion--I mean the one about how he has a priest who happens to be an alleged sexual abuser for an adviser. columnist Deal Hudson assesses the potential scandal of Giuliani's association with Monsignor Alan Placa:

Although the relationship between Placa and Giuliani has been widely reported, it has yet to become an issue in Giuliani's presidential run. Could it be that Giuliani's capacity for loyalty to an old friend is more important to voters, particularly Catholic voters, than anything else?

The suspension of Placa's priestly duties has now reached the five-year point, far beyond the norm in such cases. Will Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre remove Placa's priestly faculties during the presidential campaign? That would be both an embarrassment for Giuliani and an implicit admission by the diocese that the case against the monsignor was serious. Of course, given Giuliani's legendary influence in the New York metropolitan area, Placa's faculties are not likely to be removed before the election.

If Giuliani becomes the Republican nominee, his pro-abortion view is not likely to be the only issue troubling to Catholic voters. Catholics in the United States have just passed through the most tumultuous period in their history since the public school riots of the mid-19th century. Catholics want to put the sex abuse crisis behind them -- and a Giuliani nomination will keep the name of Msgr. Alan J. Placa in the headlines. It will become widely known that Placa stands accused of abuse, but perhaps more importantly, he stands accused of preventing and delaying "the discovery of criminal abuse by priests."

This hardly comports with Giuliani's law-and-order image, and it will not help him to convince Catholics to trust his judgment as the future leader of our nation.

If it's not an issue now, you can be darned well sure that, should Giuliani somehow win the nomination, Hillary Clinton will make it an issue.

And that makes it one more big hole in Giuliani's case for the GOP to abandon its principles simply because he's "electable."


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