“You can’t protect kids in secrecy”: Local reaction to the Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse grand jury report


August 29, 2018

By Viviana Hurtado

Reforms to better protect children and vulnerable adults from predator priests has come in the form of grand jury reports like this month’s report from Pennsylvania.

August began with the Boston Globe’s reports in 2002 which exposed decades of clergy sex abuse.

Spiritual and legal reckonings around the country and world followed. In addition to some changes to beef up laws like extending statutes of limitations, as well as legal prosecution of predator priests and their superiors who don’t stop their abuse.

“The Church I don’t think failed. The hierarchy failed. And clericalism is at the heart of the problem,” said Lourdes University Emeritus professor Geoffrey Grubb, Ph.D.

Specifically, bishops who have been chosen not for their independence, but their submission to the authority of the Vatican, explained University of Toledo Catholic Studies professor Peter Feldmeier.

“What gets rewarded in the Catholic Church in the case of the hierarchy is less robust shepherds than lambs,” observed Dr. Feldmeier.

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