We’re encouraged that Msgr. David P. Talley has been promoted to be Atlanta’s auxiliary Catholic bishop. We don’t know much about him but it can only help that he has worked as a caseworker for abused and neglected children.
At the same time, knowledge doesn’t guarantee courage. And a lack of courage has prevented, and still prevents, many Catholic officials from acting responsibly in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. So while we are mildly optimistic about Talley’s new role, we are also cautious. Hundreds of Catholic staffers understand child sexual abuse. Only a handful of them, unfortunately, have been brave enough to buck an unhealthy, self-protective and secretive clerical culture.
Regardless, every single current and former Catholic Church employee and member who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sexual misconduct should play it safe and report to secular, not church officials.
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