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. WOT

    Gay doe not mean a person like children!

    November 16, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Ho mo se xual female deer are people who like children?

      November 16, 2011 at 6:30 am |
    • Passive Aggressive

      No you read it wrong, WOT said Ho mo se xual female deer are people who DON"T like children.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  2. WOT

    You people are so full of it: You like to post negative things.

    November 16, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Negative things.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:30 am |
    • Passive Aggressive

      Working out makes me tired.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      A negative post complaining about negative posts...

      I heart irony

      November 16, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  3. fudgep@cker

    So then priests are gay pedo philes???

    November 16, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • Sam K.

      The gay pedophile ones are gay pedophiles. I think we only include the "gay" label to let people know what se.x the victims were and not to necessarily say anything bad about being gay, although some might as you might expect.
      The ambiguity of the English language is to blame here.
      "pedophile" to some people denotes an actual age range for the targets of their attraction, but that complicates things too much so "pedophile" has become a general term in most cases for an "adult" who is attracted to minors under 18.
      What a mess. And nothing but cover-ups everywhere it seems.
      Who would have thought that criminals and "people who don't want to get involved" could work so well together to hide what has been done.
      When you cross that line you are considered to be very deserving of severe punishment in our society.
      Not that our society is really willing to address the underlying issues that cause the problem in the first place....

      November 16, 2011 at 2:36 am |
  4. Illeagle-j1

    Can we say STRANGE! The next person to chime in will be Cain, oh I forgot he just likes blondes.

    November 16, 2011 at 1:10 am |
  5. JP-A!

    And in related news, Casey Anthony wants to work with daycare workers
    to ensure the safety and well-being of children.

    November 16, 2011 at 12:59 am |
  6. texLogic

    those "Archbishops" have some HUGE balls! Who else would have the arrogance to profess to 'educate' on a subject they know so much about. I'd think the Catholics would be keeping their mouths shut and hoping no one would tie them into this scandal.

    November 16, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  7. Rhookie

    Trading room for 2 days Free trial and it is 90% accuracy in trading. I checked it on my own and it is a great deal. Visit the website oil trading academy.

    November 16, 2011 at 12:32 am |
  8. tallulah13

    So the fox is now giving advice on how to guard the hen house.

    November 16, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • TR6

      It's better then that. This is the fox giving advice to the wolf about how to guard the hen house

      November 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  9. Brian

    I never will understand Catholic logic. In the Catholic mind one plus one equals three or five or seven or whatever they want it to equal. If you disagree with them they call you a "Catholic basher." It's interesting that most "Catholic bashers" are former Catholics. Learn your catechism and go to confession and everything will be alright.

    November 16, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • Bob

      Um, simply not true. At least for all/most Catholics.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "Um, simply not true. At least for all/most Catholics"

      Agreed. Most self-identified catholics don't know, or disagree with the catechism.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  10. Bootyfunk

    catholic church giving advice to fellow child molesters. classic. "look penn state, we've been molesting children since the bronze age. let us give you some advice on how to deal with all the PC jerks that think buggering a little boy is wrong."

    November 16, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • hippypoet

      love the name! hats off buddy... thats all! 🙂

      November 16, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • jppjr

      Talk about putting the Fox to guard the Hen House. Of course the greatest abusers of little boys and girls should know how to make like an octopus and spray a lot of obsciuring ink to hide the truth.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • Burnz

      The church has a big problem... how do they sotp these kids comign forward?

      November 16, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      thnx hippiepoet. i'm 2/3 hippie myself. 🙂

      November 16, 2011 at 2:29 am |
  11. 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. (or use the scroll bar)

    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 16, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • hippypoet

      look, sometimes you have good stuff to add, but the majority of the time, noone cares.. do us all a favor and only quote when asked to show proof....other then that, post your thoughts and nothing else!

      November 16, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      hp, like you have any room to talk. Any more stupid poems you'd like to post for us all to laugh at? That's right. Walk away with your head in shame.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • Reality


      As a good student, you have read the reiterations of the "fems" (flaws, errors, muck and stench) of religion. Therefore the seeds have been planted in rich soil. Go therefore and preach the truth to all nations, reiterating as you go amongst the lost, bred, born and brainwashed souls of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as rational thinking makes its triumphant return all because of you!!!!

      November 16, 2011 at 7:51 am |
  12. john

    Wow. Is this big news or what? The Catholic Church, world headquarters for pedophile priests, pervert bishops, and those that seek to protect them, now offering advice to Penn State? Penn State, my only advice is get set to start writing those enormous settlement checks once the civil suits are settled. You will be giving away hundreds of millions of benjamins. And guys, get those alumni to start writing some huge donation checks. You will need it.

    November 16, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  13. brown

    The Church is giving advice ... hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahhh !!!

    November 15, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • cloud91977

      My sentiments exactly.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:07 am |
  14. hippypoet

    chech it out!
    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 11:56 pm |
  15. Ben12

    What did they tell them to do? Swallow the evidence??

    November 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Passive Aggressive

      Ta Da Ching!

      November 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  16. us1776

    Oh yes, advice from Christianity. The fastest declining religion on the planet.


    November 15, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • texLogic

      Catholics aren't Christians doofus! Thats why its OK to molest little boys in THIER church!

      November 16, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • Rick

      And, of course, tex is the one to decide who is Christian and who is not.

      November 16, 2011 at 9:21 am |
  17. AJ

    ah serious? helping each other on how NOT to get caught?

    November 15, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
  18. CJ

    On a personal note the last place I want to hear advice from is the Catholic Church. Need I say more?

    November 15, 2011 at 11:42 pm |


      November 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Turn off your CAPS LOCK moron.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:33 am |


    November 15, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • us1776

      The way to go. Are you crazy?

      The only thing scientology is interested in is your bank account !!


      November 15, 2011 at 11:49 pm |


      November 16, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  20. Patricksday

    Closet queens that they had a handle on their own dirty little secrets. Now the Light is shining on the Darkness high beam

    November 15, 2011 at 11:36 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.