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Catholic official: Church aims to confront abuse, work with educators after Penn State scandal
Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, says “education in this area is phenomenally efficacious.”
November 15th, 2011
03:07 PM ET

Catholic official: Church aims to confront abuse, work with educators after Penn State scandal

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The Roman Catholic Church is willing to partner with American educational institutions  to educate the public about child sex abuse after the Penn State scandal, according to the head of the U.S. church.

"One of the good things God might bring out of this evil and this tragedy would be now some type of alliance between religion and the educational establishment in a major national campaign to see that this is faced head on," said Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the top Catholic official in the United States.

"That would be a partnership that the Catholic Church in the United States would be eager to be invested in generously," he said in a Monday news conference at a meeting of American bishops in Baltimore. "And we might be able to come with a little wisdom earned the tough way, the hard way, to that table when we have that discussion."

There are many parallels in the ways the decade-old international abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and the recent scandal at Penn State have unfolded, and Dolan spoke to some of them Monday.

"One of things we’ve learned [is] tragically, more often than not, it’s people who have positions of trust that very often have an entree into children that would shatter them not only physically and emotionally, but spiritually as well," said Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In the case of Penn State, former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is accused of using his position as the founder of a charity helping young children to perpetrate abuse.

Dolan, sometimes referred to as "America's pope," said that the church has launched a nationwide program to train children, parents and teachers to look for signs of abuse and how to respond if they witness it.

"One of the things that we’ve learned the hard way - and Lord knows we’ve earned our PhD. in the school of hard knocks on this one ... is that education in this area is phenomenally efficacious," he said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Sex abuse

soundoff (271 Responses)
  1. raymond cantu

    What a bunch of hypcrites. The largest organization ever to hide and encourage pedophilia is going to help 'educate' the world. Is there any group more out of touch with reality and His truth than the Catholic church?

    November 15, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • Eva

      Completely agree....how can the Catholic Church possibly help to educate ..........they can't even fix their own house. They are so insensitive to the matter, tlak about adding insult to injury!!

      November 15, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Sky Lewis

      AMEN!

      November 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  2. oneatatime

    anything to deflect attention from the church's cover-up. They've been praying for a scandal like this for years

    November 15, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  3. PPJ

    Yeah, Catholic Church is very experienced with this matter. I would dare to say "a bit too much of experience".

    PPJ.

    November 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  4. RearAdmiral Pope

    This is so hilarious!
    ""One of the things that we’ve learned the hard way – and Lord knows we’ve earned our PhD. in the school of hard knocks on this one ... is that education in this area is phenomenally efficacious," he said."

    Sure beats clarity. I guess. "PhD" = Pedophile holy Dingbat

    November 15, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  5. THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

    THE CATHOLIC CORPORATION IS GOING TO EDUCATE PEOPLE. FUNNIEST THING I'VE READ ALL WEEK.

    LET ME GUESS, "HOW TO MOLEST INNOCENT CHILDREN 101."

    November 15, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • glorydays

      Pervert birds of a feather....

      November 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Passive Aggressive

      Turn off CAPS

      November 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  6. hippypoet

    this has got to be the worst chose of words in such an article – "One of things we’ve learned [is] tragically, more often than not, it’s people who have positions of trust that very often have an entree into children" just terrible!

    November 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      OMG

      November 15, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  7. AGuest9

    Work with Penn State on this because the church has so much experience in the area???

    November 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  8. William Demuth

    African Americans suffer from Sickle Cell in hugely disproportionate numbers, and it is normal to recognize it. In fact it is necessary to recognize it if you truly aspire to a cure.

    Few blacks would be ashamed of this simple reality.

    Yet gays disproportionately suffer from being pedos and political correctness forbids this simple observation?

    November 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • J.W

      Do you have statistics on that?

      November 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Based on previous posts, you have said you are not against gays. So why do you keep bringing it up. If more crimes are commited by a particular race, how does bringing race into it help?

      November 15, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Anita Bryant, er.....William. You are still living in the 70's aren't you. When is the last time you did any research on this issue? I'm reading textbook Gay/Pedo mythology coming from you. There are no numbers that substantiate your claims.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      You know Willaim,
      Being "militant" is nothing to be proud of.
      Being a Bigot is nothing to be proud of.
      Making up lies is nothing to be proud of.
      You are a real piece of work man.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Here, William: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

      November 15, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  9. Occupy Belief Blog

    While my evidence has not yet been peer reviewed and HeavenSent is not here to defend herself, William is now officially the dumbest person on the blogs.

    November 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • William Demuth

      HeavenSent?

      Ironic that you place me in with her assuming I am Christian!

      I am the MOST militant athiest you might ever meet, and was so well before you were born.

      You just dislike me because I say Gay pedo's are deviant, and you fear becoming one.

      Get a grip and defend the kids.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Hooah

      I disagree. William is a bit rough around the edges, but he is nowhere near as dumb as gerald or any other clueless fundie.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      William I have question for you if you will humor me with a response. How did you the idea that not thinking the priests are Gay is protecting them? I have as much disdain for the SOB's as anyone. How did you get that twisted around?

      November 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Athiests can be morons too. William proves that.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      OMG William, again with your stupidity. Using your name in the same sentence with HS does not mean I am calling you a Christian. What is wrong with your brain?

      November 15, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Occupy Belief Blog

      It is not as you say.

      I can ASSURE you I have been railing against this since prior to 1972. I have seen such blatant deviance flourish and many suffer.

      My concern is the Gay rights community (whom I support) wants to pretend Pedos are indifferent to orientation, and simple observance and statistics prove otherwise.

      If we REALLY want to protect kids, we need to NEVER shy away from the obvious.

      Being Gay is normal, but being a Pedo is a disease. But to cure a disease, one MUST study it.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • John Richardson

      William isn't stupid. But he punts his brain every so often during one of his creepy meltdowns. So, dumbest person on the blog? No. Biggest jerk? You bet!

      November 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      @William
      Well you should probably get started then!

      November 15, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      @john
      LOL – Well he seems pretty dumb to me, but ok I can live with biggest jerk. Besides, HeavenSent would be heart broken if she weren't the dumbest person on the blogs any more.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  10. The Real Kay

    NOW the church is going to confront abuse?

    Please.

    Too late for them to make a positive impression on me.

    November 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • The Real Kay

      The history of the Catholic church is just horrendous. Whatever good they have done cannot begin to make ammends for all the harm they have caused to inidividuals, families, and cultures all over this globe.

      Shame on the people who continue to support them.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  11. William Demuth

    To deny the link between child bugger and gay priests is a lie and a disservice to the victims.

    Spare me the political malarcky and protect the damn kids.

    Be it the Vatican or Penn State, when you have a known deviant, you have an OBLIGATION to do something about it.

    November 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Ummmmm

      "To deny the link between child bugger and gay priests is a lie and a disservice to the victims."

      The experts in psychology are the ones that disagree with you fool!

      November 15, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      @William
      You don't have the slightest idea what motivates these creeps yet you speak as though you are an authority on the matter. Clearly you are not. Little boys are not men, and pedo's are not (typically) Gay. They are driven by very different impulses that have nothing to do with hom o se x uality. You will need to find another subject to apply your ho mo phobic bigotry.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • J.W

      So william are you suggesting that if they had used alter girls instead of alter boys that none of this would have happened?

      November 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Occupy, my education in the area is ten times yours.

      I understand it must humiliate non pedo gays, but that is your problem not mine.

      J.W.

      No, but perhaps FEMALE priests might have prevented it. While many would not be straight, they would be far less violent

      November 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      There you see William, again you can't help proving your stupidity. Why would you say anything regarding my education or se xual orientation without knowing what either is? Your stupidity is factual and will stand up to scrutiny based on your posts, but I have not made up any lies about you.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • J.W

      I agree with you about female priests. And I think they could be allowed to marry. But do you have any statistical data showing a gay person is more likely to be a pedophile?

      November 15, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • William Demuth

      J.W

      Within the church?

      Yes TONS of it!

      November 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • TR6

      Does anyone know the ratio of altar boys to altar girls? I suspect so many more boys get buggered because there are so many more of them. But I’m just guessing

      November 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • J.W

      I meant in general. Obviously within the church it has been male on male.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  12. AvdBerg

    The effort by the church to confront abuse will be all in vain (Matthew 15:9). For a better understanding of the subject issue and the reasons ‘why’, we invite you to read the articles ‘Se_ual abuse in the Churches’ and ‘Se_ual Abuse ~ Vatican Involvement’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    Also, to give people a better understanding of the issues that divide this world we invite you to read the article ‘CNN Belief Blog ~ Sign of the Times’.

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how this whole world has been deceived as confirmed by the Word of God in Revelation 12:9. The Bible is true in all things and is the discerner of every thought and the intent of the heart (Hebrews 5:12). The truth is that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14). This is why we call all of mankind to repentance.

    Seek, and ye shall find (Matthew 7:7).

    November 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Packers 45 : Vikings 7

      November 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Still recruiting for your cult you degenerate?

      November 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • .....

      This is a CULT and a TROLL – Click the report abuse link to get rid of this TROLL!

      November 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      William, are you talking to yourself?

      November 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • YeaRight

      "CNN Belief Blog ~ Sign of the Times’."

      I read it and its FULL OF LIES! You are a LIAR which means you are NOT a true christian!

      November 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      YeaRight
      You read the article? Dang it I forgot to read the article again. Hey where is Fallacy 101, this one has a doozy.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Occupy Belief Blog

      My assumption is you are some kid, so I will take it lightly on you.

      I have been fighting the church since before most of these posters were born.

      We knew about the deviance in the 70's, and apologists like yourself permitted thousands of little boys to be buggered.

      Enough is enough. Spare me the propoganda and protect the kids.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • The Thing Is

      YeaRight, "I read it and its FULL OF LIES! You are a LIAR which means you are NOT a true christian!"

      It's just a little different twist on the LIES that you believe.

      I'll be that you think that YOU are a TRUE Christian. You are so funny.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      My as sumption is you are old, so I will take it easy on you. William, I know more about this subject than you will ever know. You don't have the slightest idea what motivates these creeps yet you speak as though you have are an authority on the matter. Clearly you are not. Little boys are not men, and pedo's are not (typically) Gay. They are driven by very different impulses that have nothing to do with hom o se x uality. You will need to find another subject to apply your ho mo phobic bigotry.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Hooah

      Occupy, I think you'd better explain it to us, as your veiled references do not make for a good argument.
      Educate us, O lerned wun! What are these impulses and why are they absolutely not ho-mo-s.xual in any way?????????

      November 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Hooah
      Learn it for yourself. I am not getting paid to teach your lazy a ss.

      November 15, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  13. Reality

    Failures to follow two phrases of good human conduct, "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, the Citadel et al.

    No Christian god or other god(s), or partnerships of the RCC with universities/colleges required, needed or desired !!!

    November 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Amen to that.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Ummmmm

      "Simple math prooves you a fool. If you were correct, and EQUAL number of boys and girls would have been harmed.

      Reports say anywhere from 90 to 97 percent of the victims wer male."

      LMAO! You just keep showing what a moron you are, girls can't be alter boys! LOL!

      November 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Guest

      More of your cut and paste. This is about the 20th time that I've seen you post this same commment. How stupid are you?

      November 15, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Reality

      Once again, reiteration is a major component of a good education as demonstrated by the number of times the OT has been reiterated over the last 3000 years and the NT over the last 2000 years. Rational Thinking and Truth are simply catching up. Deal with it and learn.

      November 15, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Why is anyone commenting anyway?

      Consider the time Reality is saving by copypasting compared to other people taking the time to type original content.
      Who's the dummy here?
      Why waste time saying anything here at all?

      November 16, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  14. Jessica, NJ

    The last thing the Roman Catholic Church should be doing is helping with this in any way given their track record and their continued excuse of blaming it on gay priests when it is in fact peadophile priests doing the molesting.

    November 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      If at first you don't succeed....

      November 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Jessica

      Don't aid in the falsehoods.

      Priests molested BOYS, thus making the gay as well as being pedo's

      When you deny that basic truth, you act like them.

      These priests were recruited knowing full well they were what they were.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      William you are a complete moron.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Occupy Belief Blog

      I guess the truth scares you? Perhaps you might explain my errors?

      November 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Ummmmm

      "Priests molested BOYS, thus making the gay as well as being pedo's"

      Yo moron – they are NOT the same thing abuse of boys by gay pedophiles is rare, and the abuse of girls by lesbians is rarer still. The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      I can't even explain how you tie your own shoes you are so stupid.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Let me guess? Your gay?

      Only an IDIOT would make such a claim.

      The church INTENTIONALLY encouraged both Italian and Irish families to "give" their gay children to the church for over 100 years.

      Any adult who harms a child is sick, but do NOT try an deny the links.

      Priests rarely molest girls, because they are GAY

      November 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Ummmmm

      "Any adult who harms a child is sick, but do NOT try an deny the links.

      Priests rarely molest girls, because they are GAY"

      Yo moron...I was quoting the research – you'll say anything to justify your bigotry and prejudice but its not based on facts.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Frag'em ALL

      I think that maybe Jessica should have put "gay pedophile priests" instead of "pedophile priests", yet her comment doesn't suffer much from the technical omission, William.
      But when these religious idiots need deprogramming or death, who cares about leaving out the "gay" when everyone knows that they are gay?
      It's not like people come here for actual facts or anything.
      When we have the death penalty for child molestation, then there will be thousands, if not millions, of kids who can breathe a little easier. Why don't we have the death penalty for this crap?

      November 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Liar and apologist.

      I have had enough of your ilk.

      Protecting the deviant priests.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      William, did I catch you sneeking a peek at my bottom sweety. Naughty boy!

      November 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Frag'em ALL

      So true.

      They have their own agenda. They want no stigma for gays, so they throw the kids under the bus.

      Frankly they can bugger any adult who wants it, but harm a kid, and given the chance I will slit your throat.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @William, being molested as a child does not "make you gay". Also, pedophiles are not gay.

      This has been explained to you before.

      gay men are attracted to men
      straight men are attracted women
      gay women are attracted to women
      straight women are attracted to men
      pedophiles are attracted to children (some to boys, some to girls)

      You do not learn to be gay. You either are gay or not gay, though you could be not gay in several ways.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • William Demuth

      myweightinwords

      Like the bible has been explained as well, by the same liars.

      Simple math prooves you a fool. If you were correct, and EQUAL number of boys and girls would have been harmed.

      Reports say anywhere from 90 to 97 percent of the victims wer male.

      And I have NEVER implied that the victims were turned, in fact I suspect most were straight.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • DementoDetector

      someidiotsweightinwords,

      Judging from your lack of technical knowledge, I'd say you are one of the stupidest ignoramuses to show up here today.
      Simplistic lists, like the one you posted, are stupid, incomplete, and misleading.
      But hey this is a comment blog, so I guess you like showing us examples of your idiocy.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Frag'em ALL

      So when are we going to see the death penalty for these pieces of sh.t?
      Anyone?

      November 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • TR6

      @Frag'em ALL: “When we have the death penalty for child molestation, then there will be thousands, if not millions, of kids who can breathe a little easier”

      We don’t have to kill them to let the kid’s breathe easier. Just cut off the priest's offending equipment. Jesus even recommended it

      "For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." Mat: 19:12

      November 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  15. John Richardson

    Ya gotta admit, those Catholics know how to pick cool hats.

    November 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Just like Green Bay.

      November 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Amusingly phalic shaped I might add.

      How appropriate

      November 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      William, when you talk that way it makes all goose-pimply!

      November 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • JarJar Sphinx

      And I'm all sparkly-glowy!

      November 15, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  16. Occupy Belief Blog

    "One of the good things God might bring out of this evil and this tragedy would be now some type of alliance between religion and the educational establishment in a major national campaign to see that this is faced hard on, err....head on."

    Wait isn't this all God's fault in the first place?

    November 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Of course it is, if he exists.

      Omnipotence is absolute.

      Maybe thats why Jesus was gay.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  17. yankeesx

    It just goes to show that america's morals (or shortage of morals) leads to the ab use that we read about. It can be church officials, public officials, or school officials. We don't like religion and criticize reli gious folks all the time. Now, see what we've got.

    November 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      A Dolphins team sitting at 2-7 half way through the season. It's wrong.

      November 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "We don't like religion and criticize reli gious folks all the time. Now, see what we've got."

      Wasn't it people trusting religious folks that got them and the RCC into trouble in the first place? If this scandal has taught us anything it should be that criticism is a good thing.

      November 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • J.W

      The Catholic Church is unable to take criticism. I think that is part of the problem. If anything sheds a negative light on the Catholic Church, that means that it is not infallible. So basically they have to cover things up that will make them look bad.

      November 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  18. hippypoet

    does that priest look alittle red-faced to anyone else? atleast hes not red-handed!... not yet anyway!

    November 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      That is just "flushing" caused by his Erectile Dysfunction medication.

      November 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nah. He's just been sipping too much Communion wine.

      November 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Perhaps that is what is causing his Erectile Dysfunction.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  19. Fookin' Prawn

    They're going to teach them how to cover it up better next time.

    November 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Agree, that would not appear to be the correct group to "help" out.

      November 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      I meant this reply to be down there on the first post. I am an idiot. But since I am here, It wasn't for lake of trying! State might be able to give the good church a few pointers.

      November 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Guest

      Occupy Belief Blog said ",,,,,,I am an idiot" ,,, Finally you've said something that I completely agree with. You are an idiot.

      November 15, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      I know right? My GOD I am stupid, spending my time on this blog.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:40 am |
  20. sh3llz

    Youve GOT to be kidding me........ Some one please tell these people to sit down and shut up. They havent ( and cant) clean up their own house to be coming to the fore talking about..

    "HEY We've been there! Let us help!"

    November 15, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • J.W

      I can agree with that. I'd like to see less talk and more action.

      November 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
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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.