The Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal has legs. It has an evil life of its own. It keeps going and going because the bishops are doing everything in their power to keep it alive. One can safely say that what is really happening is that the bishops are doing NOTHING, let me repeat that, NOTHING to take responsibility once and for all for the horrendous actions done in the name of the Church.
Priests are still blaming the media, they are still blaming victims, they are still blaming the lawyers of the victims and the bishops are doing nothing to stop that. I posit that if victims were treated humanly and with respect and also the love of Christ when they first came forward then they would not have had any need for lawyers in the first place.
Maybe the inner workings of the various diocese are totally a mystery to me but I do know the perception that is prevalent in the secular, (and for some in the faithful), consciousness. The perception is the reality. The perception is that nothing has been done. The perception is that there really was/is a cover-up by the men who work in the upper echelons of the Church, (read the hierarchy). And still they are doing nothing. Bernard Cardinal Law should not be at the Vatican he should be in prison. Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua should have died in prison. And the list goes on…
Oprah Winfrey once said that if a member of her staff had a serious lapse, (sexual harassment, theft etc.), she would make sure they got help. In that way she would see to it that they would be taken care of, however they could not work for her any longer. She would see to it that they got the help they needed and would still hold them accountable for how they behaved. Being responsable for their actions would cost them their job. Why couldn’t bishops do the same thing with priests? If you molested you deserve to be helped in any way you can be helped. You also merritt the loss of your job.
Here are just a few signs that the issue is still not understood by many:
People saying to a priest that victim X is a liar, was a liar in school and is a liar now, shows me the depth of the misunderstanding and misinformation that individuals have. As a presbyterite we were never told by our bishop that the vast majority of accusations against priests were/are credible. There is a myth that if I wanted money from the Church then I could just make an allegation and get my name on the list for payment. I actually had a priest go out of his way to say to me that most of the people involved were in it for the money. UNBELIEVABLE!!! He also thinks it is suspect that so many came forward to get on the bandwagon and then asked me why they would get lawyers involved. That is the kind of ignorance you can’t fight.
The other point I need to address is the feeling that some of the faithful feel victimized by the abuse victims and their lawyers. Again it is blaming the sexual abuse victims. Blame belongs squarely on the shoulders of the bishops. Joe pew dweller is also a victim but a victim of the failure of the hierarchy to handle the many problems with priests sexually abusing youth.
Hindsight is 20/20 but at least it should be clear vision. The bad guys in this, the victimizers are the hierarchy.