Then in August, we got the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing more than 1,000 cases of abuse by more than 300 priests over seven decades. Across the country, other states have launched similar investigations, so all the hiding, stalling, law- and commandment-breaking ends here: Basta.
Already, in a joint investigation, The Boston Globe and The Philadelphia Inquirer have found that more than 130 American bishops — almost a third of all of those still living — have been accused of failing to deal appropriately with sexual misconduct by priests in their dioceses at some point in their careers.
“I’m shocked by that number,” Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who really is the top clerical abuse adviser to Pope Francis, told The Globe. “It raises a lot of questions in my mind.’’
I’m shocked that he’s shocked, and his surprise answers a couple of questions in my mind: After all these years, is this really the level of understanding of how long-running and far-reaching the rot was and is? And if this is the cardinal who is most on the case on this matter, is it any wonder we are where we are?