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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. cancer bracelet

    Hello my loved one! I want to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include almost all significant infos. I would like to look extra posts like this .

    September 3, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  2. LoveAllReligions

    If a person from another religion had done this, ignorant people would blame it on the religion itself, rather than the prosecutor.

    I am glad that i am not ignorant enough to blame Christianity based off of this article, but rather the people that were guilty. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc are all peaceful religions. It is the cruel people that ruin the name of the religion for the rest of the world. (In all honesty, these people are not even followers of the religion if they are causing violence and unrest)
    Fight ignorance!

    December 29, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  3. David Blake

    Penn State had ONE accused pedophile. The Catholic church had 4.392 of them.

    The Catholic church is the world's largest pedophile protection program. They shouldn't be teaching anyone anything. They should be in jail.

    November 18, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  4. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J-9dn3_hpY&w=640&h=360]

    November 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  5. TEW

    Please oh please, Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor – stop writing about topics that you have no background on (the Catholic Church in this case). Archbishop Dolan is NOT, I repeat NOT, the "... head of the US Church." He is the Archbishop of New York and happens to be the present President of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB). But that role in that organization does not make him the head of the US Church.

    November 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  6. Larry Barthel

    "Oh those poor Penn State folks, they don't know how to shuffle their administrators and coaches around like we do. Let's get together with them and show them how it's done...."

    November 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  7. Linann

    That's the pot calling the kettle black!!!

    November 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  8. C.B.

    It really seems like Dolan is trying to hijack the Penn State story for PR. The Catholic Church needs some sort of transparent, powerful effort to protect their own children. After that they can start giving advice.

    November 17, 2011 at 12:44 am |
  9. Reality

    Short and to the point: skip is you have seen it before,

    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 5:09 pm |
  10. Stevarious

    I saw the headline and thought I had wandered over to the Onion, but nope!

    What's next, the Mafia teams up with insurance companies to help confront insurance fraud?

    November 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  11. xsteever

    Life is stranger than fiction. Why not just have a pedophiles anonymous meeting?

    November 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  12. TR6

    Actually the Catholic church probably does have some useful suggestions for Penn State, after all the Catholics have been in their own mess for years now and (unlike Penn) they have managed to avoid firing any of their higher ups

    November 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  13. Is God real?

    I used to go to church with my x girlfriend, but I stopped going because of 2 reasons:
    1. priests are molesting little children
    2. I still want to believe in God and I believe I don't have to go to church to do that

    Do you think God is real? I opened a poll here: http://www.votefan.com/voteresult.php?debid=4

    November 16, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • stardust

      Gods are real in that they are the idols we create out of our own ideas and ideals. In other words, an extra-universal alien species that has developed the ability to start new universes, is just an extra-universal alien species that has developed the ability to start new universes until someone deifies them and slaps the label "God" on them.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Passive Aggressive

      Of course Gods are real. Don Shula, Johnny Unitas, Dan Marino. Bow down and Tebow to the Almighty Gods!

      November 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Do I think God with a capital G is real, as in the Christian version? Lord no.

      Is it possible that a [G]od(s) exist? Yes.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "Do I think God with a capital G is real, as in the Christian version? Lord no.

      Is it possible that a [G]od(s) exist? Yes."

      wow....finally some COMMON SENSE on this board.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      "Do you think God is real?"

      Only on Tuesdays.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  14. chief

    its a good thing he was a coach, he will go to jail.... if he were a catholic priest, by now he would be in some small village in south america doing the same thing over and over, and the catholics would deny it ever happened.....

    November 16, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  15. azportsider

    Shouldn't you have filed this under 'satire'?

    November 16, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  16. Rey Fox

    This is an Onion article, right?

    November 16, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  17. chief

    i think after penn state has over 10,000 cases against them over many years, then they may want to side with the peds of the catholic church............ what a pathetic attempt by the cath church to divert their decades and countless crimes...... i bet that coach was catholic? any takers on that?

    November 16, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Nonimus

      Sure, I'm in.
      Sandusky is United Methodist according to this article, http://www.christianpost.com/news/jerry-sandusky-is-he-a-christian-61960/

      November 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Guest

      Why do you shot your mouth off about something you know nothing about? Just to get your "hate quotient" in for the day? Putz!

      November 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  18. Nonimus

    I can't tell, are you being facetious or do you honestly think football is "evil"?

    November 16, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  19. hippypoet

    There are Jews in the world.
    There are Buddhists.
    There are Hindus and Mormons, and then
    There are those that follow Mohammed, but
    I've never been one of them.

    I'm a Roman Catholic,
    And have been since before I was born,
    And the one thing they say about Catholics is:
    They'll take you as soon as you're warm.

    You don't have to be a six-footer.
    You don't have to have a great brain.
    You don't have to have any clothes on. You're
    A Catholic the moment Dad came,

    Because

    Every spe-rm is sacred.
    Every spe-rm is great.
    If a spe-rm is wasted,
    God gets quite irate.

    Every spe-rm is sacred.
    Every spe-rm is great.
    If a spe-rm is wasted,
    God gets quite irate.

    Let the heathen spill theirs
    On the dusty ground.
    God shall make them pay for
    Each spe-rm that can't be found.

    Every spe-rm is wanted.
    Every spe-rm is good.
    Every spe-rm is needed
    In your neighbourhood.

    Hindu, Taoist, Mormon,
    Spill theirs just anywhere,
    But God loves those who treat their
    Sem-en with more care.

    Every spe-rm is sacred.
    Every spe-rm is great.

    If a spe-rm is wasted,...

    ...God get quite irate.

    Every spe-rm is sacred.

    Every spe-rm is good.

    Every spe-rm is needed...

    ...In your neighbourhood!

    Every spe-rm is useful.
    Every spe-rm is fine.

    God needs everybody's.

    Mine!

    And mine!

    And mine!

    Let the Pagan spill theirs
    O'er mountain, hill, and plain.

    God shall strike them down for
    Each spe-rm that's spilt in vain.

    Every spe-rm is sacred.
    Every spe-rm is good.
    Every spe-rm is needed
    In your neighbourhood.

    Every spe-rm is sacred.
    Every spe-rm is great.
    If a sperm is wasted,
    God gets quite iraaaaaate!

    monty python's lovely catholic song!

    November 16, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gosh, I miss Monty Python. What's that penguin doing on the telly?

      November 16, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  20. catholic engineer

    We need to ignore the antics of these perpetrators and focus on the facts: football is evil through and through. Especially at Penn. Torturing those brainwashed young gladiators in the name of mammon at the expense of studying the sciences ! It's tantamount to book burning. An Inquisition is called for ( although a mediocre one in keeping with the quality of modern education.) But let us praise the media. They are working dilligently to uncover how the Vatican hid its pedophiles at Penn.

    November 16, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Nonimus

      @catholic engineer,
      I can't tell, are you being facetious or do you honestly think football is "evil"?

      November 16, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Passive Aggressive

      I worship Don Shula the Almighty.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:25 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.