Review board member fights for church while facing ALS
Published: April 1, 2004
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (CNS) -- Oklahoma business executive Ray H. Siegfried II focuses much of his attention these days on two passions -- helping rid the Catholic Church of sexual abuse and dealing with the progression of ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, in his body. The National Review Board member spoke of both in an interview with Catholic News Service at his home in Indian Wells. Siegfried answered questions by spelling words with eye-activated computer commands from his wheelchair, since he no longer has use of his voice. Despite his disabilities, he continues to participate in the board's business. He recently hosted a meeting of the board's subcommittee on diocesan audits, which he heads. Two of his key recommendations to prevent a recurrence of the abuse crisis are training prospective or newly named bishops how to do their job well and establishing "some mechanism to performance-review the bishops" once they are on the job. He acknowledges there is resistance to such changes but hopes there are "some smart ears in the Vatican" to hear what is needed and take action. Seminary training is the other major key to the abuse problem, he said. "We didn't screen candidates for the priesthood properly ... then did not prepare them in their formation on the blessing of celibacy, its responsibilities. ... By the way, (this is) all fixable."
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