A guilty plea will help Fr. Manning’s suffering victim. But it will also protect the reputations of Manning’s church supervisors and peers who we strongly suspect hid suspicions of his misdeeds.
With a possible plea deal next month, it’s more crucial than ever that people who saw, suspected or suffered Manning’s crimes speak up. Otherwise, he gets little or no jail time and may be able to hurt even more children.
Very often accused child molesting clerics claim or exaggerate health problems to win sympathy and lighter sentences.
If Fr. Manning does plead guilty, we hope this prosecutor will hang tough and insist on disclosing as much as possible about wrongdoing by this priest, his bishop and other church staff.
Kids are safest when the truth is known, not hidden.