For almost 35 years, Miami Catholic officials have known about credible child sex abuse allegations against Fr. Neil Doherty. Only now, however, is Fr. Doherty finally pleading guilty to criminal charges.
So while an egregious child molesting cleric will be deemed guilty today, dozens of his complicit Catholic colleagues will continue to escape responsibility for their recklessness, callousness and deception.
It’s still possible, of course, that both Fr. Doherty and other current and former Miami archdiocesan staffers can still face other charges – for either committing or concealing more child sex crimes. But it will take even more brave victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step up for that to happen. We hope it does.
Doherty has been jailed before. This time, we hope he stays there forever. By any measure, he’s a sick and dangerous man.
Our hearts ache for the dozens and dozens of kids he drugged and raped. Whatever sentence is handed down today, those courageous individuals should feel proud of their role in putting a serial child molester behind bars and away from kids.
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