A Catholic priest in Wisconsin has been suspended because of allegations that he molested a child in Montana. All child sex crimes are heinous and devastating. They're even worse, however when committed by spiritual figures on innocent, vulnerable and isolated children in already-oppressed minority groups.
We applaud the brave individual who reported Fr. Druggan's abuse. We hope this move will lead to greater healing for this courageous victim. We know that it has already made kids safer.
Montana's Catholic bishops have a duty to aggressively seek out others who may have been hurt by Fr. Druggan. They should use their vast resources to beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to step forward. They should visit every church facility where Fr. Druggan worked, urging victims, witnesses or whistleblowers to speak up.
Montana's bishops will no doubt try to pass the buck and claim that this obligation falls on Fr. Druggan's religious order, not on them. But they're wrong. As shepherds of their flocks, they're responsible for the safety and healing of everyone in those flocks. It doesn't matter who signs a predator priest's paycheck - whether a bishop, a pope or a religious order head.