Here’s a novel (and spurious) reason why clergy sex crimes and cover-ups should allegedly remain covered up: because shining a light on them might “fan the flames” of public outrage which might “potentially result in violence against the accused.”
The first phrase in quotes comes from a California defense lawyer, Don Steier, who represents 19 accused Los Angeles predator priests. The second phrase in quotes is the LA Times summarizing Steier’s desperate claim.
Just for the record, literally millions of Catholics feel justifiably betrayed by thousands of predator priests and complicit bishops.
We know of none who have been violent, either toward child molesting clerics or complicit bishops.
And hundreds of thousands of victims feel justifiably betrayed by child molesting clerics or complicit bishops.
We know of two who have been violent, either toward child molesting clerics or complicit bishops.
(One was more than a decade ago in Maryland. The other was more recently in California. In both cases, victims hurt their own predators. One was clearly an impulsive “spur of the moment” crime.)
Make no mistake about it: All violence is wrong. It’s never right to physically hurt another person, no matter how deeply wronged any of us have been.
But it’s extraordinarily rare for victims to attack predators. And it’s disingenuous to use that extremely remote possibility as yet another argument for continuing to protect the reputation and secrets of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesters and their allies.