The Boston Globe | Abuse in the Catholic Church


Scalia dissent questions bishops

By Lyle Denniston, Globe Correspondent, 6/22/2002

WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the nation's most prominent Roman Catholics, has sharply challenged the moral authority of American bishops to speak out on issues of crime and punishment.

Scalia struck out at the bishops Thursday in his dissenting opinion to the court's decision striking down the death penalty for mentally retarded inmates.

Scalia criticized the court majority for citing, in support of its decision, a brief filed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

arguing that execution of the retarded ''cannot be morally justified.''

Without mentioning the priest sexual abuse scandal explicitly, Scalia said, ''The attitudes of that body regarding crime and punishment are so far from being representative, even of the views of Catholics, that they are currently the object of intense national [and entirely ecumenical] criticism.''

This story ran on page A4 of the Boston Globe on 6/22/2002.
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