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. Winston5

    OMG, this was an episode of 'South Park'...wacky headline.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
  2. Epimetheus

    Getting into bed with Dolan is like getting into bed with the Mafia. Actually, you would probably stand a better chance with the the good fellows. I don't want religion in either my government or educational system. Religion is probably the greatest single source of evil, chaos and ignorance the world will ever know.

    I have often wondered if when all of these bishops get together in their finest frocks and frills, what happens if two show up in the same gown. Does one of them have to go home and change? And if there is no god–and there isn't–doesn't that make them total charlatans and the biggest swindlers and frauds? Bernie Madof and Enron are mere amateurs compared to the clergy.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Kay4Justice

      Bravo! Bravo!

      November 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  3. billy in brooklyn

    The priests are just looking for Sandusky's little black book.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  4. Danteg8son

    Even Monty Python could never come up with a script so darkly and bizarrely humorous as the absurd utterances of the Catholic Church and its apologists.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  5. smokykoko

    If you want to know how it works Google Louie CK and the Catholic church. His video will explain it.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
  6. Dave

    I know a FOX who will tell you how to protect your CHICKENS!!!

    November 15, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  7. There are no gods!

    lol yeah I bet the catholic church has some advice for child molesters! There are no gods! jesus as with all religions is a lie!

    November 15, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • SciGuy

      Jesus is the Christ, the Lord of all, and your creator. You will one day bow the knee to him, either while alive because you've repented of you sins and embraced him as your Lord, or else after you die, at the judgment seat of Christ. Read the New Testament for details.

      November 15, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • Winston5

      I prefer Tolkein, cooler monsters and more believable writing. 😉

      November 15, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  8. schnikers

    You have gotta be kidding!!! Church offering advice ????- they best take cover - could be the fallout from this might touch on their doorstep as well.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  9. Bo

    The Papacy is a control freak. It is the agenda of the Papacy to control the whole world and it hasn't yet learned to control itself. Mark my words: some day the Papacy may try to force you to attend church, and the choice not to will be very painful.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • hippypoet

      ah, the day has come where we agree... not on some shoe tieing thing but a real issue, i am proud of this day. Your thoughts?

      November 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
  10. LouAz

    Is the roman catholic church proposing a pedophile convention of some kind ? Where are they going to meet ? Disneyland ?

    November 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  11. sicko

    The church does not need to educate anyone or give advice on anything.
    Penn State needs to stay as far from the Catholic Church as possible this is a joke and a nightmare

    November 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  12. sanduskizzl

    church advice: "tell the child god wants this"

    November 15, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  13. Snow

    The CATHOLIC Church? Really? of all churches.. CATHOLIC church??

    They should be accepting their own abuse before they can point fingers at others.. whats that they say about the other fingers when you point a finger at others?

    November 15, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • PK

      They're the last ones to be giving advice! Get back under the rug with the rest of the rest of the sins you swept there!

      November 15, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  14. Cybersport

    The Catholic Church getting involved in this is the last thing Penn State needs.

    November 15, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  15. art

    Pardon me while I get sick.

    November 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  16. Photal

    Does this chap think it's Mardi Gras time?

    November 15, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  17. honest abe

    WHAT? The Catholic church? Ok... um...

    November 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  18. Kurnalsam

    Catholic Church just wants to shower off a few alterboys in the locker room. A windfall here for Jon Stewart, Letterman and Leno. How about firing the pope and a bunch of cardinals and bishops – there's something you can learn from Penn State!

    November 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  19. Matthew Summerville

    If I knew someone that had been accused of a serious theft related crime, I would hardly reccoment a career bank robber, or wall street executive to give council or advice. Given the recent past transgressions by members of the clergy with regards to pedophelia, it weems a bit ludicris that they would even consider sticking thier nose in. If I were the church, I would be trying to fly below the radar.

    November 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • TR6

      It's not their nose they want to do the sticking with

      November 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  20. MT

    That there is funny stuff!!!!

    November 15, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
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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.