By David Clohessy
I feel sorry for headline writers. I really do. They've got so little space to both summarize long stories AND attract readers' attention.
Five years ago, Fr. Norman Rogge died.
This week, BishopAccountability.org posted his work history. Please read just these two sentences about Rogge and let them sink in:
Two weeks ago, New Jersey's attorney general honored our state director Mark Crawford for his tireless work and ceaseless compassion for sex abuse victims. Crawford received the Ronald W. Reagan Award, which is the first of its kind given by the attorney general’s office.
Fr. John Geoghan may be America's most prolific predator priest, with at least 150 victims over a 36 year clerical career. (He's not, however, the most efficient. That distinction goes to Mexico's Fr. Nicholas Aguilar Rivera who, in just 10 months in Los Angeles, reportedly assaulted 26 kids.)
Almost exactly a decade ago, the case of Fr. Alex Anderson was resolved in the St. Louis archdiocese. Remember this case the next time Pope Francis claims the church gets "picked on" over how it deals with child sex crimes.
Catholic officials hastily cry "media bias" at many stories about clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
The Associated Press' Rome bureau reports that Pope Francis is now “using the defensive rhetoric of the Vatican from a decade ago.”
Bishops consistently claim they aren't responsible for child sex crimes and cover ups committed by religious order clerics. "They're totally separate from us," bishops repeatedly say about the Jesuits, Salesians, Benedictines and the like.
Our first SNAP member who played in the NFL and to publicly speak out about his childhood trauma, Roy Simmons, has passed away, and our hearts go out to his family during this difficult and painful time.
Many assume or believe that Pope Francis is making significant changes in the church. We're pretty skeptical of this claim.