Seeming parallels abound in Penn State, Catholic Church abuse scandals
The statute of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, who was fired Wednesday, in State College, Pennsylvania.
November 10th, 2011
04:10 PM ET

Seeming parallels abound in Penn State, Catholic Church abuse scandals

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Both are managed by male dominated-hierarchies. Both are revered by millions of people. And both allegedly dealt with accusations of sexual abuse of children internally, without going to law enforcement authorities.

To many victims’ advocates, commentators and others, the parallels between this week’s allegations about how Penn State dealt with reports of sex abuse and decade-old revelations about sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church are uncanny.

“It is really a striking and almost identical factual pattern that has emerged in the Catholic Church cases and at Penn State,” says Jeffrey Anderson, a lawyer who has represented hundreds of American abuse victims in lawsuits against the Catholic Church.

Penn State: A campus divided

“The only difference is that two people have been fired at Penn State who were in revered positions,” says Anderson. “That’s in contrast to every diocese in the U.S where a cover-up has been revealed.

“Not one bishop, archbishop or cardinal has been fired or disciplined.”

Anderson is referring to Wednesday’s firing of Penn State President Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno, days after former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with abusing eight boys, including in a Penn State locker room.

My Take: Paterno's unfulfilled ethical obligations

Two top Penn State university officials who were allegedly told about the abuse and declined to notify authorities have been charged with perjury and with failure to report suspected abuse.

Anderson says both the alleged abuse by a Penn State coach and the institution’s apparent response mirrors the abuse scandal in the Catholic church.

“In both cases, very trusted and revered male offenders used their positions and their care, cunning and trust they enjoy not only to access the victim but to keep those around him from speaking out,” says Anderson.

Prosecutors have alleged that Sandusky used a charity he founded for troubled youth to help lure victims, allegedly engaged in fondling, oral sex and anal sex with young boys over more than 10 years.

Photos: Responding to scandal

Many of those outraged by the allegations against Penn State, including that Paterno had reportedly been told about the abuse but declined to notify authorities, have pointed a finger at what they say was the school’s and its football program’s commitment to maintaining a sterling public image, drawing parallels to the church.

“Both institutions are big and powerful and hierarchical and have very carefully crafted public reputations that they value,” says David Clohessy, national director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “There’s an obsession with an institution’s image over children’s safety.”

Clohessy says news of the Penn State scandal has triggered a wave of calls and e-mails to him from victims who say the new revelations evoke their experiences with priest abuse.

He and others allege that an aura of righteousness surrounding Penn State football, an object of worship in State College, Pennsylvania, and the Catholic Church helped fortify them against accusations of abuse in their midst.

“When we idolize any institution or individual, it’s unhealthy,” says Clohessy. “We almost invite them to act like they're above the law.”

Share your thoughts through iReport

Anderson says a related parallel between the Penn State and Catholic Church scandals is the existence of hierarchies that apparently allowed personnel to report abuse allegations up a chain of command without higher-ups taking decisive action.

“It’s not because they’re bad men or want kids to be harmed,” said Anderson, speculating about the motives of top officials at Penn State and the church who allegedly kept quiet about abuse allegations, “but because they want to preserve the reputation of the institutions.”

Anderson is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania but would not say whether he is representing any of Sandusky's alleged victims, saying he would want to respect their confidentiality if he was.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which represents the American Roman Catholic hierarchy, declined to respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Many abuse victims applauded Penn State for firing top officials and criticized the Roman Catholic Church for not taking similarly dramatic action.

“What happened at Penn State tonight is a lesson to officials of the Catholic Church,” said Robert M. Hoatson, who leads a New Jersey group that assists abuse victims, in a statement after Wednesday night’s firings at Penn State. “The only just solution to the clergy abuse scandal of the Catholic Church is the wholesale removal of bishops.”

Church experts say Penn State’s decision to fire its president and its football coach reflect more of a top-down approach to personnel than in the Catholic Church, where issues are expected to be resolved locally, at the diocesan level.

“The American model of accountability drove the decision on Paterno, which is that ‘accountability’ means losing your job,” says John Allen, CNN’s chief Vatican analyst. “Whereas the Roman model tends to shape decisions on bishops, where ‘accountability’ means staying put and cleaning up your own mess.”

Still, some Vatican watchers say the church sex abuse crisis has helped shaped Penn State’s reaction to last weekend’s indictment.

“The Catholic Church's experience with this has raised public awareness, which probably helps to explain the swift reaction in this case,” says Francis X. Rocca, who covers the Vatican for the Religion News Service.

“It is a lot harder than it was 10 years ago,” he says, “for administrators to argue that they didn't understand the gravity of the problem or thought it could be dealt with internally.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pennsylvania • Sex abuse

soundoff (765 Responses)
  1. myklds

    To those who have faith, NO explanation is necessary. While to those who don't have (faith), NO explaination would be enough to satisfy its necessity.

    May God Bless all atheists with faith.

    November 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "To those who have faith, NO explanation is necessary."

      LOL what a cop out.

      November 14, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • tallulah13


      Yes. It's much easier to let others think for you. If you try to find information for yourself, you might be disturbed by what you discover. It's a nicer world when you are protected from horrible things like facts.

      I hope that you as an individual someday are given the gift of intellectual curiosity.

      November 14, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Nonimus

      May nature bless all Theists with reason.

      November 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  2. Alan

    Faithful cops and politicians helped "the church " cover up abuse.....AT PENN ST. it was apparent that Sandusky was abusing children & it WAS reported to local police in 1998 and in 2002.....The politicians & law enforcement in Centre County PA covered it up.....Also the Centre Co, DA dissapeared about the time of the 2002 case.......Commonwealth of PA is one of the most corrupt states of all 50.....Our NOW Governor was the AG then , the news media are now looking into what he knew then !!!!

    November 12, 2011 at 3:07 am |
    • victim of gang sod-omy by 4 priest at age 9

      the bigger difference is that the catholic churches cover ups were organized bu the popes and the vatican. They were instructed to threaten small children, scaring them from telling.

      November 12, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • victim of gang sod-omy by 4 priest at age 9

      ..the bigger difference is that the catholic churches cover ups were organized bu the popes and the vatican. They were instructed to threaten small children, scaring them from telling.

      November 12, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • victim of gang sod-omy by 4 priest at age 9

      More so, the cover ups continue today as the catholic church lobby's to stop laws that would expose the abusers. That's right, dirty politicians support the church over abused victims. ,

      November 12, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Why, then, do voters consistently vote for scoundrels who misuse their power to abuse the voter? The must WANT it. Cops .. well they get restrained by the same politicians and judges and policy manuals ... the crooked politicians even put soldiers on trial for murder (what!). In fact they had a prison where everyone from the General to the Lieutenant were party to torture and crime .. and one Pfc got prison time. The rest lied their way out. People must want that because they keep voting for it.

      November 12, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  3. Keith

    The ironic thing is that PSU was promoting keynote speaker Patrick Califia Rice at the same time Sandusky was sodomizing this innocent 10-year-old boy. 10 years old. Sandusky performed a h0m0s^xual act on this child. An illegal act. A g^y act. Califia is also a pedophile who promotes such activity. Sow the wind. Reap the wirlwind. Reap it PSU. Here's your wonderful h0m0s^xuality in action. What a hellhole.

    November 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • hippypoet

      god damn jesus christ mary and joseph... you are so hateful and judgemental! I hope your god smites you!

      November 12, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • Keith

      No hippypoet. It's called righteous anger. I will defend those who can't defend themselves-whether it's an unborn baby in the womb or a ten-year-old boy being sodomized by the h0m0's you love and defend so much. I will stand on the side of righteousness every time-get used to it. You can call me names. You can hit report abuse. You can save everyone of my posts to use against me in the event I am charged with a "hate crime" for simply expressing my opinion on this blog. If you had your way, I'm sure that would have been done long ago. But guess what? I will NEVER stop doing what I believe to be right-even to the point of death-so get used to it. And while you are at, get over yourself. You simply aren't that good.

      November 12, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • Keith

      Hippypoet, Judgemental? In order to judge, one must have a baseline determining right and wrong. Otherwise-"In those days, there was no God in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes." God is being removed from our society at every turn. Case in point: the current administration has removed references to "God" from quotes by FDR and Douglas MaCarthur from the WW ll memorial. If you jokers don't like something, you simply have history re-written. If you don't like the definition of a the term "h0m0s^xuality", you simply re-write the definition to suit your wants and desires. And if someone disagrees with you, you(which you've admitted to, by the way) hit "report abuse". If this were Nazi Germany, you would have had me killed by now. Just so you know, though, I won't be such an easy prey for the likes of you.

      November 12, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • RightTurnClyde

      There are thousands of colleges and universities MOST of them *liberal* .. way out professors who ADVOCATE licentious behavior from s.e.x. to d.r.u.g.s. CNN Belief blog recently posted (and ridiculed) the campuses that had a Christian inclination. Higher education favors liberal life style.

      November 12, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • claybigsby

      "I will defend those who can't defend themselves-whether it's an unborn baby in the womb or a ten-year-old boy being sodomized by the h0m0's you love and defend so much. "

      unless the pedo–phile is a priest...thats cool.

      November 14, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Sid

      RTC, higher education such as mine favors the smart. Too bad you aren't one of us.

      November 14, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • tallulah13

      By your standards, Keith, ALL men are pedophiles, because female children are victims, too. People like you are dangerous because you make judgements without basis in fact. You just want a scapegoat to make you feel as if you've accomplished something. Gay or straight, christian or atheist, bad people do bad things. Try accusing the guilty parties, not just the convenient ones.

      November 14, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • J.W

      I think what Keith is trying to say is that pedophilia is OK as long as the victim is not the same s3x as the offender.

      November 14, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • tallulah13

      Thanks for clearing that up, J.W.

      November 14, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  4. NurseK

    As an atheist I must say that a lot of atheists on this board are as imbecilic as the believers they speak against. Some are talking as though the Bible is a rag start to finish and that there is nothing intelligent, ethical, true, or relavent in it's pages. I've read the book many times as a student of philosophy and psychology and know that those of you who insist that it's false cover-to-cover are FOS.

    Remember.. just because someone is an atheist does NOT mean that they have been adequately educated, that they are rational, or that they actually comprehend what has been written into the doctrines of the world. In fact, when it comes to the Bible, most atheists don't seem to be any further along that most theists in that they speak fo the godhead as though it is real, of the genocides as though they actually took place, and of the various books as though all the writers were literalists.

    November 11, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • NurseK

      Just wanted to add that the ignorance of some atheists when it comes to reading comprehension and ancient writings shouldn't come as a surprise given that so many were once under-educated theists who didn't take the time to actually learn about what they profess to believe and are now merely aping what they have heard other atheists or scientists say.

      November 11, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, go suck HS.

      November 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Not only are you absolutely correct but then *tom-Tom8 provides you with an example of an atheist who is totally ignorant and un mannered

      November 12, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • RightTurnClyde

      You absolutely correct and n *tom-Tom* provides you with a good example of ignorance .. proves your point.

      November 12, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  5. NurseK

    Have any of you who support the RCC ever read its history? Good grief you might as well be supporting the devil.


    November 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  6. catholic engineer

    I grew up in a small town outside of which was a Benedictine Monastery. The monks took care of our parish. Over many years,I was very often in the presence of priests and monks, ALONE, in cars, sacristies, rectories, empty classroms, confessionals. On NOT ONE single occasion did I ever experience anything inappropriate (maybe a little grouchiness).
    I don't deny abuse when it is discovered and proven. But too many bloggers here are seeing the Catholic church through dirty glasses handed to them by the media or their own prejudices.

    November 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Concerned Catholic

      I agree completely with that statement. Thank you for pointing out that not all priests are like that.

      November 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • *frank*

      "Over many years,I was very often in the presence of priests and monks, ALONE, in cars, sacristies, rectories, empty classroms, confessionals. On NOT ONE single occasion did I ever experience anything inappropriate"
      This proves nothing (other than that you were an ugly little boy).

      November 11, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • victim of gang sod-omy by 4 priest at age 9

      People as yourself only see the tip of the iceberg. There is not a single diocese across the USA that was free of pedophilia. And multiple pedo priests. All bishops covered up the crimes leaving the child to fend for themselves.

      Bishops across the US stood up and lied to parishioners and authorities. And they got away with it. In NY where I was abused, the bishop who is loved by those as you, sodomized me.

      And to those who think catholic charities is such a wonderful organization? They live off our tax dollars. The catholic church would close it down if it was not a money maker. Just as they closed down churches, schools and hospitals.

      November 12, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  7. Edfraud

    Penn State should leverage what Western Seminary and Steve Korch have done in order to cover up Korch's misconduct and the knowledge Western had. They worked with their accreditors and the U.S. Department of Education in order to offer education for cover up to gag knowledge of misconduct with an underage girl. See http://www.steve-korch.com, http://www.educationalfraud.com.

    November 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  8. Reality

    There are a few short phrases that define good human conduct.

    Failures to follow two such phrases, "Do No Harm" and "Call A Cop" define the current "vomit inducing" situation at Penn State, the Boy Scouts of America, the RCC, the Southern Baptist Convention, Seventh Day Adventists, Judaism et al.

    No God, god(s) required, needed or desired !!!

    November 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  9. Ando

    Here you go again. Some sick person breaks the law and CNN feels it has to immediately start slandering the Catholic Church again. Like in any large organization, the mission statement expresses the goals and intentions. The people inside are expected to abide by those goals. Unfortunately, sick people gravitate to situations where they can get what they crave, like pedophiles and rapists seeking jobs with access to vulnerable children. It is horrible, but it's not the fault of Penn State or The Catholic Church that these sick people break the law. I just do not see the point in biased slandering of religious organizations that intend good, because a few clever criminals found a way to slip through there system. Could things be handled differently? Sure, but clinically, the administrators are looking out for the organization, like corporate executives look out for the stockholders, like parents look after their children. You may not like it but it is reality and seemingly human nature to make these mistakes. It is especially bothersome that you would slander this one church group in such a biased manner. The Catholic Church failed to recognize the infiltration of sick people, because they were busy leading a congragation in their choice of worship. A faith community of peaceful and loving religious, expects similar people with similar interests to join them. Realizing a sick criminal entered your world is shocking, like the shock of a home invasion by a thief. I am not even Catholic, but I feel guilty for you, that you seem to be motivated by hatred for this church, more thay by advocating punishment on the criminals that created these situaions. Try reporting the abundant positive events, as well as the relatively few negative. It may not be all the glamor and filth you seek to get ratings, but if you perpatrate a constant stream of negatives, you only hurt this country. You don't help any of us.

    November 11, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Ando, the catholic church protected pedophiles. Instead of punishing or even stopping them, they just moved them. How can you assign any moral authority to ANY organization that does that? Stop protecting those who protect pedophiles and consider the victims, if your selfish faith will allow.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "Unfortunately, sick people gravitate to situations where they can get what they crave, like pedophiles and rapists seeking jobs with access to vulnerable children"

      Sick people will gravitate to places where they know they will be safe. The RCC has, in mutlple instances, in multiple areas, and for multiple decades, protected, harbored, and implicitly allowed these sick people to perpetrate their unspeakable crimes. It's sick that you attempt to defend them.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • victim of gang sod-omy by 4 priest at age 9

      You are right, Ando.. The Catholic church has done far more damage to children. Especially since they lobby lawmakers to stop laws that would expose pedos. (Likely to protect themselves.)

      November 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      CNN does pass up a chance to slam Christian. I am glad that so many posters see through the transparent facade that this BLOG is about "belief." It is focused on defaming Christian belief, pitting it against other beliefs, and elevating atheism. (leftists).

      November 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • victim of gang sod-omy by 4 priest at age 9

      Problem becomes that religion is just another business. The faithful will buy anything, which is why they are religious. Sad, but so true.

      November 11, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      Ando, here are some things we never see in the news: Rachel's Vinyard, a Catholic organization is 22 countries helping women cope with the effects of abortion (doesn't sound like condemnation to me). Here in Oklahoma in the 70-80's, large numbers of Vietnamese refugees made it here, some of them "boat people". This state has a thriving Vietnameze community thanks largely to the assistance of the Diocese of Okla City. When the state legislature wanted to pass a law felonizing anyone even offering food to an illegal, the Church stood toe-toe against the state and refused to obey this law. In the '80s, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a letter condemning even the posession of nuclear weapons. The bishops withstood enormous public rebuke because they followed the Prince of Peace.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Concerned Catholic

      Ando i agree with some of what you are saying but we also need to remember that the church did just move those priests who abused children around early on. They dropped the ball big time on that. However, the Church as a whole is not bad. The failure to bring those priests who abused kids to justice is wrong absolutely. But what the church teaches about faith and values is not. One question I have for anyone here is why are we only talking about a microscopic amount of Catholic priests that abused children. What about other professions that had people abuse children. Other faith leaders, teachers, coaches anyone really. People need to realize that the Catholic Church is not the only religion or profession that is dealing with this issue.

      November 11, 2011 at 6:24 pm |



      November 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • NurseK

      Wah. Wah. Wah.

      The RCC has done more damage to itself than CNN could ever do.

      Frankly, I worry about the mental and spiritual health of anyone who continues to support the RCC after all the absolutely heinous, irrational, unethical things it has done over the centuries to obtain and maintain power.

      Shame on you if you continue to support them.

      November 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      Righ tturn Clyde..Atheists are from all walks of life and can be left ,right and center. Not sure what you leftist myth is all about...Oh of course myths are central to your mindset....sorry..

      November 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Ando

      Call me a simple thinker...or whatever you want. I guess I do not think the acts of a small number of sick people should condem an entire organization. Admitidly, anyone who "covered up" or just "moved the accused" did not do service to the church, community or the victims and the day comes that they answer for their decisions. However, and I will certainly anger many of you with this belief, but here goes, it is not the responsibility of the church to legally prosecute these sick people. It is the job of te legal system. A victim or a witness should call the police to report crimes. I support that the church officials involved needed to cooperate and act to correct this horrible situation, and they did not satisfy. I am not sure they could have satisfied all, regardless of what they did. All I am saying, is that historically the church, like most churches, have an infinitely longer tradition, goal and history of positive spiritual guidance and positive impacts on the world than they have negative. If you listed every single good deed done by church members, officials, clergy and the Catholc church as a whole, and measured it against the negatives, I believe the scales would tip toward te positive most aggressively. Because history provided events of noteworthy nature, it does not seek to express the balance of volume, with respect to positive vs. negative. I certainly believe criminals shoud be removed and punished, and my heart goes out to any victims of these crimes. I simply can not lump all of the Catholic church into a broadly painted stereotype because sick criminals infiltrated their midst, and I dislike the media's apparent desire to slander anything that tries to provide positive religious and social guidance to our world, all in the name or attention and ratings.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  10. Dan


    November 11, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  11. www.childrescuebill.org

    We all pay.. understand the effects on the victims and on society http://www.childRescueBill. org

    November 11, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  12. GSA

    @hippypoet – great post. Most only equate radical groups with Muslims these days when in the US most radical groups have some affiliation with the Christian or Catholic religions. Sucks cause most Christians/Catholics are great ppl, the few radicals get all the media time.

    November 11, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • hippypoet

      knowledge is power. Understanding before the judgement is key to justice....for without knowledge and understanding, those who we condemn have been done an unjustice. Maybe they were doing the right thing, whoes to say without knowledge of there reasons and understanding of who they are as people. Its like condemning those who kill while in war, yes they are murderers by definition, but we understand the reasons for such actions and so find them in the right. Now i am in no way saying that the KKK is right, because they are most definitly FUKED in the heads... you get my point.

      November 11, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • catholic engineer

      GSA, I don't know what your age is. Hippypoet has mentioned loving his children (child?) and as a Dad, I find that a huge plus so I bet he's okay. However, you might investigate the radical behaviour of hippies in the 60's-70's. Much of what they did is an embarassment to us Baby Boomers, particularly those of us among the working class.

      November 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @catholic engineer, are you new to cnn? you seem to argue like my children! I have stated that i am 25 many times, well, before i was 24 – but that was before i turned 25...and so i have stated also many times that i am not a proper HIPPIE of the age...but am infact just a bestowed man of a t!tle , known as hippie – but i said no, being i have respect for the real hippies – said lets make it hippy and since i became a poet – Hippypoet...Get Over It!

      Now, for my kids, you leave them alone please...they have litte to do with this conversation... and if they ever do, its because I brought them up...is that agreed? I hope so! Because i don't take kindly to people hating on children...Its just wrong! I will hit abuse on every post against children! Unless you make a proper argument. "Proper" being suspect to the topic and response.

      November 12, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  13. Dan


    November 11, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  14. capitalismsucks

    No Money-God worshippers are innocent to throw the stone at other Money-God worshippers.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • www.childrescuebill.org

      ..yes. the church and its $$$$$$$$. Money and reputation are far more important than childrens lives.

      November 11, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Concerned Catholic

      That statement is false and anyone who believes that is either ignorant of what the Catholic Church teaches or biased.

      November 11, 2011 at 6:26 pm |




      November 11, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  15. hippypoet

    todd – this is for you and your statement that the KKK is not a christian group –

    directly from the KKK.com website – here ya go –

    "There is a race war against whites. But our people – my white brothers and sisters – will stay committed to a non-violent resolution. That resolution must consist of solidarity in white communities around the world. The hatred for our children and their future is growing and is being fueled every single day. Stay firm in your convictions. Keep loving your heritage and keep witnessing to others that there is a better way than a war torn, violent, wicked, socialist, new world order. That way is the Christian way – law and order – love of family – love of nation. These are the principles of western Christian civilization. There is a war to destroy these things. Pray that our people see the error of their ways and regain a sense of loyalty. Repent America! Be faithful my fellow believers. "

    November 11, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • tallulah13

      But hippypoet.... They weren't REAL christians.

      November 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • victim of gang sod-omy by 4 priest at age 9

      were the real christians those that ran the Inquisition?

      It is good people, that includes atheists, who do good works. Religions pick and choose. Many religions steal the good works of people and claim it for themselves.

      November 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Concerned Catholic

      Hippypoet the kkk are a dangerous, lawless, and immoral organization. The acts that the kkk are responsible for are some of the most brutal killings in this country. Particularly in the 20th century. They may claim to be Christian but their actions tell me otherwise. I think you need to go back and do your research and look at what the kkk has done and rethink what you had previously posted.

      November 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm |


      November 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Right, you may want to rethink some of your own posts Concerned catholic... the believers in your god have committed some of the worst crimes in history! But i'm sure you already about those...and agree with them!

      November 12, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • HotAirAce

      And we shouldn't forget Rwanda.

      November 12, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • HellBent

      "They may claim to be Christian but their actions tell me otherwise."

      Where's our fallacy spotting poster when you need him/her? @Concerned Christian – please google the No True Scottsman fallacy and try not to commit it again.

      November 12, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • HotAirAce

      As an atheist, I am absolutely not competent to determine if a believer is who or what they claim to be so must take them at their word, Of course this causes me to form opinions, perhaps invalid, about the believer and the cult they claim to be a member of, but I don't see that as my problem. If a recognized cult leader was to publicly proclaim that an individual or group was not a member of the cult they claimed, I would pay attention, but I do not expect this to happen much as the charlatans leading the cults know that it is bad for the believer business overall when there is Infighting.

      November 12, 2011 at 1:32 am |
  16. capitalismsucks

    this is the story of the Money God worshippers.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Know the truth - victim of catholic church

      yes. the church and its $$$$$$$$. Money and reputation are far more important than childrens lives.

      November 11, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  17. Dan

    and you can't even name ONE! so much for your credibility, Mr. Anti-Semite.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  18. R. L. Hails Sr. P. E.

    Let's get real. Push your legislator to drop the statute of limitations on child molestation. Make it a felony for any boss who fails to file a police report, if the boss learns of prima facia evidence of a child molestation crime being commited within his sphere of control.

    Then prepare for over flowing jails, filled with politicians, judges, mayors, school administrators, teachers, doctors, cops, clergy, and media types.

    The chances of passing such a law is less than zero, for a reason.

    Some people have a hobby of smearing the Catholic Church. Let them look in the mirror. Evil is not out there; it is in our neighborhoods. Get real. Lay off the decent Catholics priests who are trying. They are the vast majority, and currently are the victims of your hate (not just anger).

    The only unique fact about Penn State is that the bosses finally canned people who did not do their job. It is not unique that many decent people hurt today; they have been betrayed.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • maggie

      Sorry but that "habit" comes from thousands of well founded examples. Seems the Catholic Church formed that habit long ago. We belatedly discovered it.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Know the truth - victim of catholic church

      They are changing statutes of limitations, they are wiping them out. These are the worst crimes.

      Want to see children who were abused? Take a look in your downtown area, yes, the homeless, the drug a-ddicts, suicides. Then stop by a mental inst-itution and see all those who were not born with mental illness, who are there. Guess what happened to most of them? These children never had a chance to reach their potential. It's not a choice, it's an illness caused.

      Now go back and read your statement to remind us that you don't care about the child.

      November 11, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  19. jsutton

    That's right. When in doubt, blame the Jews. Age-old tactic.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  20. RiadaKram

    The blatant hypocrisy of all who are supposedly outraged by this dark episode is on full display. They (you) are the same people, writers, and talk show hosts who defend the “right” of gays (read: qu ee rs) to adopt little boys. Gee, I wonder why they do that? The same people that rightly speak of the evil of Sandusky to actually create a “charity” to facilitate his perversion are blinded to the obvious parallel.

    November 11, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Know the truth - victim of catholic church

      ..problem is that being gay has nothing to do with pedophilia. The catholic church tried blaming gays. They even funded a study. Bottom line is they found out they were wrong and gays had nothing to do with it. They are now blaming the 60's culture. If you want to back the real criminals, at least stay in step with them, use the 60's culture as the blame.

      Sad is that they miss the point. They are to blame. It was the cover ups that destroyed childrens lives. Had these children received early help, many would not have committed suicide and others mentally ill due to the abuses.

      November 11, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Keith


      November 11, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • jsutton

      Absolutely right, KnowtheTruth. But that gay canard is still out there and active. We should all speak up against it whenever possible.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Know the truth - victim of catholic church

      however most acts of pedophilia are against girls, not boys. Think of this for a moment. Most parents would NEVER let their daughter go with males. In the church, girls were not allowed to be 'alterboys'. This makes boys far more accessible. If there were such a thing as altergirls, expect far more girls getting abused.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Keith

      Then again, as with most of you deluded folk, if you don't like the definition of something, you just re-write the definition.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Know the truth - victim of catholic church

      Definition of what? men abusing small girls and boys are gay?

      November 11, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Brad

      I've known, lived among , worked with and, occasionally, been close friends with gay and lesbian people for the 50+ years I admit to. I've never known one that was a pedophile. The statistical sample is large enough that I can be pretty confident that such inclinations are no more common among them than in the general population and perhaps less so. In fact, I feel uncomfortable referring to them as "them". They are us. Just folks.

      November 11, 2011 at 10:24 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.