Ten years ago, a Boston Globe series put the Catholic abuse and cover up crisis on the front pages of newspapers across the globe.
Now, a decade later, is a good time to re-examine the question that so many people have asked: "how did Catholic officials successfully conceal so many child sex crimes by so many priests, nuns, brothers, and seminarians for so long?
Here's the simplest answer: "because they could."
And why could they? Because of the archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly statute of limitations that actually and perversely gives criminals and their supporters the incentive to destroy evidence, intimidate victims, discredit whistleblowers, threaten witnesses, fabricate alibis and run from law enforcement.
The sad thing is, church authorities were often told of these crimes because victims and their families expected better. They had gone first to police and lawyers, but were told “the statute of limitations has run out, there’s nothing we can do.” In a last ditch attempt for healing and justice they turn to the church, but again find only empty promises and more betrayal.
So is there is a better way - other than to repeal and reform these dangerous deadlines - to "celebrate" the ten year anniversary of the ground-breaking work by victims, advocates, police, prosecutors and journalists, and to bring this on-going crisis to widespread public attention?