Pulled under in the wake of the abuse crisis

A side effect of the large number of abuse cases that started to become public in recent years in Europe (but longer ago elsewhere) is that it tends to pull in victims from the sidelines. First and foremost are of course those whose were abused. They have been involved, often anonymously, from the very start. But innocent people who are working with either victims or offenders (or both) are also seriously affected by the horrors and the stress that comes out now.

One of these is Australian Bishop Michael Malone, of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Or, rather, formerly of that diocese. His resignation was accepted by Rome on Monday and various Catholic news media now reveal the resign why the bishop requested early retirement.

“I’m emotionally drained by what has happened and feel disillusioned,” he told local newspaper the Newcastle Herald. “I toss and turn at night over the sex abuse committed by clergy and experience a lot of anxiety.”
 
Now 71 years old, Bishop Malone asked Rome to appoint a coadjutor bishop (that is, a bishop with right of succession) last year, knowing that it is often a lengthy process to select a bishop. Upon his retirement, that successor was found and appointed , by the way: Fr. William Wright of the Archdiocese of Sydney.
 
Since his appointed to Maitland-Newcastle in 1994, Bishop Malone has been dealing with several high-profile abuse cases, in which priests where suspended and sentenced. He was also a critic of the silence of the Australian bishops and, last year, he issued a full-page apology in the aforementioned Newcastle Herald (which led to criticism from his clergy, to the effect that he did not offer sufficient support to them). Bishop Malone saw his job as being “both pastor and policeman for the diocese.”
 
An example of how far-reaching the current crisis is. Even those who try to fight the good fight can sometimes lose.