Somehow, the Catholic Church Is Still Getting Worse

December 21 2018

By Alex Norcia

The latest horrific revelations of sexual abuse unpunished show, yet again, that the Church’s first tactic is to make excuses and hide.

On Thursday, the New York Times published yet another damning report about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, the latest in an endless series of horror stories about a broken institution that has long provided predators with access to children. In this case, Reverend Donald G. Timone, a priest repeatedly accused of sexual abuse, was revealed to have administered mass in New York as recently as earlier this month. This despite the Archdiocese of New York, the second-largest in the United States, being under immense pressure to hold abusers to account, with the Church at large embroiled in a global scandal that shows no signs of relenting. To that end, in September, Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced a sex-abuse review board, headed by a former federal judge, to look into how crimes and other wrongdoing have been dealt with in the past, and how investigations might be improved on going forward.

According to the Times, Timone was already involved with another entity, the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, a Church-sponsored panel created by Cardinal Dolan that sounds like something Winston Smith might stumble upon in 1984. That body paid settlements in cases involving at least two Timone accusers last year, one of whom committed suicide in 2015. The logical follow-up to would seem to be the priest’s defrocking, but no, actually: The archdiocese, which previously suspended Timone in 2002, never made a definitive ruling on his “fitness”—though it has since reopened his case—which left him free to operate in an official capacity around vulnerable members of the faith.

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