Leaders who ‘protect the house’ must account for abuse of children

By Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, August 21, 2018

A defensive mindset known as “protect the house” often seems to take hold when an institution feels threatened.

Last week’s release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report helps show that no institution went to greater lengths to protect the house than the Roman Catholic Church in that state.

“The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid ‘scandal,’” the grand jurors wrote. “It’s like a playbook for concealing the truth.”

In the 16 years since The Boston Globe and other newspapers exposed the Catholic Church’s appalling cover-up of sex crimes committed against children, other institutions have faced criticism for protecting the house.

In 2012, former FBI Director Louis Freeh released a report that found former leaders of Penn State University showed “total and consistent disregard” for child sex abuse victims and tried to cover up . . . 

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