They Just Don’t Get It

Souls are being lost while the bishops fail to act.

The Vatican’s stunning request that the American bishops press pause on voting on a plan to address the abuse crisis highlighted the sad fact that they still just don’t get it.

When the news stories broke about sexual abuse over a decade and a half ago, many Catholics were quick to defend the Church, pointing out that the great majority of priests were good men. We also pointed out that the many of those gleefully pointing out the Church’s sins were loath to uncover the shortcomings of other institutions such as public schools. And while that was all true, it didn’t change the sad fact that the Church was in trouble. The embarrassment over this issue crippled the Church for years and made the jobs of priests much harder.

But we consoled ourselves with the thought that things were getting better. That’s what we were told. And that’s what we told ourselves. But when all the news broke recently about Cardinal McCarrick and the horrific report coming out of Pennsylvania a few months ago, we were all stunned. Reading the details of a cabal of priests handing children over to each other for abuse was probably the worst thing I’ve ever read. It became clear that a culture exists that propagates these sick practices. And one of the most disturbing comments we began hearing over and over was “Everyone knew.”

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