If you haven’t read this article, prepare to be appalled. You won’t be shocked, not if you’ve been paying attention for the last couple decades, but you certainly should be angered by it. Pope Benedict actually claims that other institutions should be held to the same standards as the Catholic Church in handling child abuse.
Pope Benedict XVI told bishops from New York state that “all other institutions” in society should be held to the same “exacting standards” as the Roman Catholic Church in preventing and reporting sex abuse.
Benedict spoke on Saturday (Nov. 26), one day before New York’s Syracuse University announced that it had fired its associate men’s basketball coach, Bernie Fine, over charges that he had sexually abused young boys.
Speaking to a delegation led by New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, the pope praised the bishops’ ”honest efforts” at protecting children against sex abuse, and dealing “appropriately and transparently with allegations as they arise.”
Now join me on this planet, where the Catholic Church spent decades covering up cases of child sexual abuse, moving the predators from one diocese to another to provide them with fresh victims. And where this pope himself ordered the bishops not to turn over those priests to the police but to handle everything internally. And where, until just the last few weeks, not a single Catholic bishop had been held legally responsible for doing so.
I am all for all institutions being treated the same in their obligations on this issue, but they aren’t. And it’s because the Catholic Church has been given a pass when it comes to criminal investigations and prosecutions. In every other situation where someone is in a position of authority over children — teacher, principal, police officer, doctor, counselor, therapist, etc. — it is a legal requirement that they report all cases of suspected abuse to the police. Only the Catholic Church is exempted, even after the hundreds and hundreds of cases of pedophilia uncovered.