Fonticulus Fides

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Being Non-Compliant

As a parishoner in the Lincoln, Nebraska Diocese, I've been meaning to blog about the whole non-compliance thing. Been a little busy, obviously. So anyway, here goes.

Our Diocese published Lincoln's results the Saturday before the report itself became public. This is because our Bishop wanted everybody locally to know the skinny before the nationwide media broadcast it. Our Bishop has been very forthright throughout the whole scandal -- he's not playing hide and seek as some speculate.

Regarding Diocesean behavior during the scandal and initial recovery stage, information has been continually made available in every parish throughout the Diocese. There is no sense of covering things up, paying people off, etc. here.

After the report came out on January 6, there was obviously a rise in scuttle regarding the Lincoln Diocese. All three Nebraska Dioceses were considered "non-compliant" but Omaha and Grand Island have said that though they weren't compliant at the time of their audits, they are now. Lincoln stands out as saying, "Okay, we're not totally compliant and we're not going to comply." Which of course on the surface sounds pretty bad.

In this week's Diocesean newspaper, there is more clarification from the Bishop on this issue. I'll share it here -- it's long, but I'll try to do the Cliff's Notes version for you.


A. The Diocese has been, is, and always will be in complete compliance with Church and State laws.

B. The Diocese's policy has always been to report child abuse immediately to civil law enforcement authorities, regardless if the offender is a priest or other religious or not.

C. The Charter passed by the USCCB does not have the force of Church Law, so it is incorrect to assume that the Charter is obligatory.
In other words, the Lincoln Diocese is "non-compliant" to a completely voluntary set of recommendations. Since the Charter isn't equal to Church Law (nor has the USCCB sought to have the Holy See make it so), no Diocese is required to meet all its recommendations.

D. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice study was commissioned by The National Lay Review Board, not the Holy See or the USCCB, and participation is not required by either the Holy See or the USCCB.

E. While the Lincoln Diocese has nothing to hide regarding sexual abuse by clergy, after careful consideration, the Diocese has elected not to participate in the John Jay study. Lincoln is not the only Diocese to refuse to participate, since most if not all Latin Rite Dioceses and some Eparchies are not participating either.

F. There are 10 reason why the Bishop has decided that Lincoln will not contribute to the study:

1. The study is not directed at developing programs for the protection of young people, which is the intent of the Charter.

2. The study could result in serious sins against the eighth commandment, such as slander.

3. The study includes information from inconclusive and anonymous allegations, which may be suspect.

4. Many of the accused (nationwide) are dead and therefore unable to answer allegations or defend themselves.

5. Equivalent studies have not/are not being conducted for pedophile scandals in other sectors of U.S. society (i.e., Protestant denominations, public school teachers, scout/club leaders, etc.), even though there is evidence that pedophiles use those authority positions to prey on the innocent as well.

6. The US Federal Government Office of Health and Human Services refused to grant a certificate of confidentiality for the study.

7. The study does not place its results within the context of the overwhelming majority of priests who did not and will not ever commit any sexual abuse of minors.

8. The study employs self-reporting without regard to the potential inflation and deflation of information.

9. About one-third of all Catholic Clergy in the U.S. are not included in the study, which also skews results.

10. The results of the study are to be owned by John Jay College, not the USCCB.


The Diocese's final word: "The study, like the Charter, while having some positive aspects, can be fairly judged as defective and flawed, and not useful for the Diocese of Lincoln."

Personally, I agree with most of these concerns. The study seems to be something of a examination of deviant behavior with little regard for accuracy. It seems like it's meant only to feed the sick fascination with the obscene/corrupt/lewd that appears prevalent here in the U.S. Not unlike when Elizabeth Smart was returned to her family and all over the news broadcasts, people cared most to speculate whether or not she'd been sexually molested, instead of focussing on her amazing ability to survive and reunite with her parents.

Likewise what tantilizing fodder in this scandal! Priests who are supposed to stand for goodness and morality, abusing minors. Yeah, that's movie-of-the-week material right there. The study is going to happen regardless of what Bishop Bruskewitz does, but I can see why he doesn't feel it would be of any purpose to participate in it.

That's my take on it. Opinions?


Friday, January 16, 2004

Thanks for all the kind wishes & welcomes for Laurel!

We're all doing fine, just moving slow. Laurel's jaundice is disappearing -- current hurdle is getting her through poops. She just wails her head off like, "What is happening to me?!?!?!" Poor little thing. I'm also doing fine. Well, I wasn't on Wednesday night. I felt great in the morning & started doing laundry & what not, only to practically give birth again to a blood clot nobody wants to hear about. So back to resting and creeping around the toy-strewn house.

Edyn's gotten to be such a big girl since we brought Laurel home. She delights in walking down the stairs (instead of crawling backward, feet first), taking her own plates and cups to the sink, fetching diapers, etc., and taking up her baby dolls to mimick my motions with Laurel. Zooey is back in school 5 mornings a week and seems to need the "down time" there! My husband's last day at the old job was Wednesday. Yesterday, he had a meeting with a recording studio in Omaha about getting some contract work from them...which will hopefully enable us to pay off all the equipment we just bought within the first quarter, well before the interest starts to accrue on it, thanks be to God. Today, he's home with us all afternoon and Zooey is playing at a friend's house, so I have two hands free to type!

About the name...

I really like it, too, and thanks for all the positive comments. Laurel is a bit of a compromise between my husband and I. My husband has pushed for "Victoria" for all three pregnancies, but for reasons too long to go into, I just couldn't agree. My primary choice was Flora, which he doesn't like for a long list of reasons. Well, "Laurel" is the symbol for victory, and it sounds a lot like Flora, so there you go.

Christine is after a friend of mine, who is about the most gracious, loving, generous, intelligent and beautiful person I know IRL.

We also note that there are saints with similar or identical names for Laurel to aspire after.

Thanks again for all the wonderful & prayerful support. I'll be back in touch when I can...


Sunday, January 11, 2004


Laurel Christine arrived Friday night at around 10:47 p.m. She's beautiful and healthy and looks exactly like her older siblings did at birth.

We're all home now, sitting around and staring at each other in wonderment. Zooey is really happy with the new baby and intends to babysit (!) or just sit and watch her sleep. I suggested that might get boring, and he said he might go play for a little while and then come back and watch her sleep some more. Edyn just keeps pointing to the baby and saying either "Hi, Baby!" or "Night-night, Baby!" or "Hi, Mom."

This was the most difficult of all three of my deliveries. My body really wasn't ready for it. And Laurel wasn't ready to come out. With the threat of Group B Strep looming, we used pitocin augmentation to "help along" highly irregular contractions. But even when I was 8 cm, Laurel was still high up under my rib cage, unwilling to decend, despite all the walking, swaying, rocking and silent begging I did. I'm glad I had a full compliment of labor management techniques available to me -- I didn't make TOO much noise, difficult as the contractions were. I ended up with much higher levels of pitocin this time than I had with Zooey (same scenario with the early water rupture thing), and they were simply grueling. But with my husband there to support me through each one and his gentle reminders that another one was over so that meant we were one step closer to the end, I just kept plugging along.

Anyway, we're both recovering quite well. Laurel's a teensy bit jaundiced, but my milk is in and she's eating well this afternoon, so I guess that will be short-lived.

Thanks for all the prayers!


Friday, January 09, 2004

Okay, I guess this is it!

Because I'm Group B Strep+, I'll have to get to the hospital to start antibiotics by about 11 a.m. our time. GBS is only a big deal if you don't know you have it and aren't treated accordingly. I've been positive for it with both my other deliveries, so I know that by putting me on IV antibiotics, it protects the baby from possible infection. My doctor is great and doesn't confine me to bed, even with the IV. I can just roll the IV cart around the hospital to my heart's content.

Which I'll probably do, in the hopes of getting things moving along. No real contractions still, which is a bit frustrating. I have until 5 a.m. tomorrow before my doctor will suggest any kind of intervention like pitocin. I'd like to have the baby yet today and avoid any of that. My dr. is pretty laid back -- she likes things to go naturally as much as I do, and wouldn't even be bringing me in if it wasn't for the GBS thing. I did end up going on pitocin with Zooey, but she administered it so slowly, she really used it as augmentation and not the driver of my labor. So I trust her to be careful with it again, if it comes down to that.

Not sure when I'll be able to blog again.


This is SOOOO not funny...

I'm pretty sure my water broke a little before 5 a.m. today.

I'm technically full term -- 38 weeks tomorrow. In fact, this is exactly the same day and the same way my labor started with Zooey (at 5:15 a.m. that time). I turned over in bed (massive feat these days), felt a little gush, hopped out of bed & there we are. It's not constant, just little gushes.

The not funny part is that I am really not ready. I put off preparing for a baby until after the holidays...which for us lasted until last Saturday as far as activities. Then I was sick as a dog Monday (24 hour flu, I think), so I didn't do much, and just dragged the last couple of days. There is laundry to do, a new infant car seat to buy, things to organize...

I should have known. Zooey's been talking about the baby coming out for the last day or two -- just like he did when I was about to deliver Edyn. And my mom called out of the blue yesterday afternoon, instead of waiting until it was free minutes on her cell phone. And my mother-in-law e-mailed yesterday to say she & Dad were headed out of town for the weekend & may or may not be reachable on their cell where they are going.

Siiiigh. Well, you can't stop babies from coming when they are ready. I'm in the basement trying to dig out some infant clothes and receiving blankets to toss into the washer. I'll go up and pack my hospital bag in a little while, but I'm trying to let DH sleep till his normal waking time. No contractions yet. It really is exactly like my labor with Zooey so far.

There IS a funny part though...

Years ago, I was nanny to two wonderful girls who are 18 months apart in age. Edyn was born on the younger sister's 17th birthday, July 1, 2002. When I got pregnant with a January due date, I apologized to the elder sister, saying her birthdate was a little too soon for this baby to arrive on it.

Well, she turns 20 today. So things may work out after all.

I'm going to go waddle upstairs and get something to eat while I still can.

Prayers welcome.


Tuesday, January 06, 2004

We have heat again!

The furnace guy came out and fortunately, he only had to clean off the flame sensor and unplug some tube thingy, and our furnace was humming again. Hopefully the repair cost will be minimal.

Eight below out there this morning, so it was nice to wake up to a warm house!


Monday, January 05, 2004


I'm sure Ashli doesn't read my blog or even know I exist, but I have been praying for her and her baby and the difficulties with this current pregnancy. Morning sickness has been what I would call "relentless nausea" for me these past few weeks, but I'm always conscious of the fact that no matter how icky I feel, Ashli has it worse. I wonder if God would enable me to suffer a bit in return for at least taking the edge off Ashli? Of course, that's not an entirely selfish request. I'm to the point where actually throwing up would feel like a relief after this constant sense that I might at any minute.

Prayers also being offered to Davey's Mommy over at Chirp, who is starting to feel the waves of morning sickness during this sixth (or seventh?) week of pregnancy for her. And always prayers for those of you struggling with primary or secondary infertility, who want so much to conceive.


No, the baby didn't come early...

Thank goodness-- I'm still not ready. Just have had a lot going on with holidays & all.

Our furnace quit last night & it's 2 below today. So I've got Zooey at school & Edyn staying with friends until we can get it fixed. If you have a mind to, we'd appreciate prayer for the money to pay for a repair job. We had the furnace fixed last winter to the tune of $325, and while we technically have a bit more than that in the bank, our savings have been ear-marked to pay for doctor/hospital bills when the baby arrives in a couple of weeks. Plus my husband is about to take a pay-cut when he switches jobs in 2 weeks, so we're going to be less able to scrape up the cash to make up the difference.

Did I forget to blog that he decided to take the store management job after all, even though it's a bit less money? Lots of advantages to it that outweighed the paycut, so we decided to "trust God and go for it" as some would say.

Of course, that's before the furnace quit. Ah, well, it's still probably the best choice.