Don’t believe it for a second.
Brisbane’s Catholic bishop claims he and his colleagues were “caught like rabbits in a headlight" regarding clergy sex crimes.
He also claims one case is a "dramatic failure of oversight" that showed a "spectacular bungling."
Two US media outlets today mentioned scandals over crimes against children. One involves 6,000 potential crimes in one jurisdiction. The other involves potentially 16 times that many likely predators.
Let’s compare them.
The New York Times reports that more than 6,000 possible crimes against children have not been investigated by state officials in Arizona.
Imagine this: A bank robber shoots and kills two people – first a custodian and a then a teller - as they run away seeking safety.
The criminal is held responsible for the custodian’s death but not for the teller’s death. Why?
Because when the bullet hit the custodian, he was on bank property but when the bullet hit the teller, she was actually standing on a public sidewalk.
Sometimes, I find hope in odd places, like the "international" of yesterday's New York Times.
On page one, there was a story about the hundreds of paintings that were stolen by Nazis and finally recovered decades later.
That’s how one of the most heroic whistleblowers in Catholic history describes her efforts to expose predators and protect kids.
“I didn’t do enough.”
What haunting words. That must send a chill up the spine of anyone who works – or worked - for any Catholic entity in Minnesota.
When allegedly celibate men use words and phrases about sex that you’ve never heard, that’s when you know something’s being hidden.
For example, do remember when you first heard the word ‘ephebophilia?’ Chances are it was around 2002. And chances are you heard it used by a Catholic official who was desperately trying to avoid having people think that a priest was a pedophile or a child molester.
Both are smart female Catholic lawyers who became part of Archbishop John Nienstedt’s inner circle and enjoyed his ear and his trust.
One of them, Jennifer Haselberger, became part of the solution.
The other, Greta Sawyer, remains part of the problem.
Haselberger’s story is widely known. She’s a courageous whistleblower. Here’s a recent profile of her:
I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard a victim tell me that this is what her local Catholic officials have said about her report of child sexual assault.
(The latest such case involves Fr. Michael Keating of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese. In 2006, a young victim disclosed to church officials that Fr. Keating molested her. Archdiocesan staff kept quiet, however, and deemed he report “unsubstantiated.” So they kept the predator on the job for nine more years. He’s stepped aside, now that he’s being sued.)