James Ewens has worked as a chaplain in hospice care and with the mentally ill during his 30 years as a priest. He is retired and lives in North Lake, Wis.

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Synod document highlights epikaia: Justice sweetened by mercy

NCR Today: The synod votes affirm the long-cherished process in the church that allows an individual to assert the primacy of conscience in decision-making.

Rome does right by resigned priest

Two years ago I wrote an article for NCR titled "Surely Rome Can Do Better." It described the complexity of resigning from the priesthood — especially if you wish to get married — and was published in the "Examining the Crisis" section of the website. Forty-five people wrote comments to the article, but it was a phone call I received from an attorney that really caught my attention.

Surely Rome can do better

Let me take you into a situation that illustrates the church institution's instinctive reaction to cover-up scandal. It was a workshop in 2000 for new Jesuit superiors. The presenter, a former provincial, was discussing the circumstances when a superior could break the bond of confidentiality between himself and the men he was in charge of. He said something could be shared with the provincial "If it was a matter of danger for the individual or to others."