The day after a ruling that would have compelled Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua to testify in the cases against the Church in pedophilia scandals, it is announced that the Cardinal died overnight.
The first thing that popped into my head was a Cardinal wears the color red because he commits to spilling his own blood to protect the Church. I know what that last statement started to sound like, but I have to be honest, it was the first thing I thought of, so please forgive me.
God has a sense of justice, and a sense of timing. We can only stand back and wonder at what God’s Plan was here. We are allowed to look at the pieces afterward for a post-mortem and try to learn something.
The Cardinal was fighting the courts for years on the fact his testimony would be needed to explore the damage done by Church cover-ups on sex scandal charges. The Cardinal’s last line of defense was that he had cancer and was mildly senile. His testimony would be shaky at best.
Attorneys argued it would be inhumane to put such a man through the rigors of a court case and appearance.
Yesterday, when it was announced that the Cardinal would have to testify, I wrote that had he manned-up to these charges years ago, he would not be in the mess he faces now. His mental facilities would have been whole and the truth would have been garnered in a legitimate court of law. Parties injured could be made partially whole again.
Since the Cardinal was looking at life through the fog of Alzheimer’s, it was a cruel bit of karma that he may have been cognizant enough to understand his surroundings and what may have happened, but not sharp enough to defend himself. Kinda like the young victims of the sex scandals.
The Cardinal’s passing puts a totally different spin on everything now. If the Church is to get out from under this, smart defense attorneys may now be setting a system of arrows to point directly to the Cardinal. Tough question after tough question can now be referred to the questionable “fact” as to whether the Cardinal knew something or not. He will not be here to defend himself. It is the ultimate dead end.
But his name will have spilled the blood to defend the Church.