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My Take: Why is NCAA taking sex abuse more seriously than Catholic Church?
Crews work to remove the Joe Paterno statue at Pennsylvania State University on Sunday.
July 24th, 2012
11:04 AM ET

My Take: Why is NCAA taking sex abuse more seriously than Catholic Church?

Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

(CNN) - As a resident of the most Catholic state in the nation (Massachusetts), I have watched for more than a decade as the Roman Catholic Church responded to charges of priestly pedophilia with a troubling combination of procrastination and obfuscation.

Far too often, Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals have identified not with abused children but with their “band of brothers,” their fellow priests.

In the case of the sex crimes committed by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, officials at Penn State also looked the other way.

They must be credited, however, with commissioning a no-holds-barred investigation by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, whose report (PDF) concluded that Penn State officials engaged in a cover-up that allowed Sandusky’s sexual assaults on children to continue for years.

They should also be applauded for removing a statue of head coach Joe Paterno, who for far too long was revered as a demigod at Penn State.

On Monday, however, the NCAA took the higher road. In a shocking departure from the foot-dragging in Rome, it sided quickly and definitively with the victims.

In a harsh ruling, the NCAA banned the Penn State football team from postseason games for four years and took away 20 football scholarships per year for the same period. It also ruled that the university will not receive its portion of conference bowl revenues for those four years. And it fined the school $60 million.

Equally significantly, it turned all of Penn State's football wins from 1998 forward into losses, stripping Paterno of his claim to fame as the winningest football coach in NCAA history.

These penalties did not include the so-called “death penalty,” which would have shut down the football program for a year or more. But, in truth, this penalty is worse.

The NCAA acted boldly to send a message to collegiate athletic programs elsewhere in the United States that neither the sex crimes of Sandusky nor the “see no evil, hear no evil” response of Paterno and other Penn State officials will be tolerated.

Still, I wonder whether the message will reverberate even further, perhaps even to the hallowed halls of the Vatican.

I was not raised a Catholic, but in my youth I admired the Roman Catholic Church for taking clear stands on the major moral issues of our time - on abortion and war and poverty and capital punishment. I have watched with both sadness and horror as this venerable institution has squandered the moral capital it accrued over centuries in a misguided and un-Christian attempt to wish away a problem that was staring it in its face for decades.

Although the Vatican has undertaken nothing like the independent Freeh report to unearth how its institution lost its way, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops did commission an outside report delivered in May by researchers from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. It also weighed a parallel report by lay Catholics of the National Review Board in June.

Neither of these documents read anything like the hard-hitting Freeh report, however, and the Catholic Church did not respond to its crisis with either the speed or the firmness of the NCAA.

In the Gospel of Luke, at the end of the Good Samaritan story, Jesus tells his followers to “go and do likewise.”

That is the NCAA's message to the Vatican.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Opinion • Pennsylvania • Sex abuse • Sports • United States • Vatican

soundoff (1,118 Responses)
  1. plutoIsn'taplanet

    All the sanctions and fines will do is hurt the students. They are the ones who will have higher tuition costs passed on to them, a stunted football program, and fewer scholarships available to them. How exactly does that punish who was really involved and at fault? Throw whomever was involved/knew about the abuse & cover up in jail, don't punish the students! The NCAA is on a power trip that doesn't punish those truly to blame.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Eric G

      The NCAA did not do anything to the students. Penn State is responsible for what the NCAA did.

      If a man is convicted of a crime by a jury and sent to prison, is it fair to hold the jury accountable for harship that falls on the convicted man's family?

      If the students don't like the sanctions, change schools. Don't try to blame the NCAA.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Wally Moosepimple

      How does it punish them? Are you kidding? Do you know how much money that will lose for the university? Do you know how much money a school gets for just even showing up at a bowl game, or from television coverage?

      The whole reason the school went so blind is greed – they didn't mind that the goose that laid the golden egg was also laying the players.

      Penn State humilated not only itself in a big way; they humiliated the whole institution of college sports. All the money got the wrong result.

      Prothero is right on this one.

      Catholics should hit the Vatican in the pocketbook as well, for a year putting notes that say "Shame on you!" in the plate instead of money. The Catholic Clergy would stand up and pay attention then!

      July 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Dude, your way off base.

      Frankly, they should have closed the whole damn school FOREVER.

      They were complicit in a decade of child buggery. Sandusky, his wife, Paterno and the administration!

      I hope they are totally bankrupted by civil suits.

      Sell off the damn land and burn every damn blue sweatshirt ever produced.

      Frankly, if one of the victims pulled an Auruora, I couldn't convict him or a damn thing

      July 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  2. PJ

    DUH! Science expands the mind to encompass the Universe; Religion contracts the Universe to fit in the tiny mind. Religion has been perverting young minds since its inception and Pope Benny Boy Bonker and his Penile Priests of Pedophilia are really what the Church is all about. If you want to be something more than an Ape with a Funny Hat stop believing in zombie jew ghost gods and get a brain, freak.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  3. Woody

    PSU and the Catholic Church covered up child abuse because it could have interfered with the steady flow of revenue, the REAL God. If Paterno would have immediately insisted that the proper authorities be notified, or personally notified them, he would have been a hero. All of this would have long ago blown over and his statue would still be in place. Unfortunately, lack of good judgement won out. Now, PSU is paying a far greater price. Child abuse in the CC, on the other hand was, and probably still is, so widespread and been going on for so long, they had no choice but to circle the wagons, stonewall every inquiry, and try to convince the "faithful" that all the abuse stories were attempts to destroy the church by Satan, non-believers or whoever. It's amazing, the stories the sheeple will buy when told to them by "holy" men, even if it puts their children in danger.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      All Joe knew was hearsay

      July 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • junior

      Your hatred of the church keeps you from seeing the truth and the facts.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @junior,all male leadership,no desire to be with a woman(gods gift to man) you figure it out

      July 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      junior
      you must be a troll because no one can be as rediculously close minded as you. Your short one-two sentance remarks are at best meant to get people riled enough to respond. You never post anything but opinion, and never actually post an arguement, or for that matter any opinion of consequence.
      Did your mommy not give you enough attention at home that you need to get it from total strangers while posting drivel even you can't believe?

      July 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • junior

      My apologies for practicing an economy of words. The research is out there, you can look at any diocesan website and it will include info on what is being done to prevent any further ab-uses.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      junior
      And I suppose we can just trust the church to police themselves, as they have done so well in the past?

      July 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      @Junior
      Are you an apoligist for all the evil done in the name of your church and pope or for just this latest scandal. What is wrong with your blind faith can be summed up in the following business headline...
      Shhh! The Vatican has received a report on financial transparency but it is SECRET.

      PS: All religion is a scam, heaven waits for those that pay.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      junior: Not a damn thing is being done...those sites you listed are the cults sites and you're too dumb to understand that they lie to cover their own as.ses. Your own cult leader, the pope, condones the child ab.use. You're a very sick minded individual for supporting a group of criminals. Please stay away from all children under 16, you obviously can't be trusted.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  4. junior

    Your Take Mr Prothero is your opinion. If you do not take the time to do the research at what the church has done to prevent another disgrace, your article may amount to more than a hill of lima beans.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • junior

      The Church is doing the best it can to reconcile past issues most happened in the 70s and 80s. It takes a strong stance, every parish is active in preventing a disgrace. That is why I am Catholic, ready to engage the next battle.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      All Catholic priest gay

      July 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Ok junior
      So lets just forget the past...ignore it long enough and the former victims will eventually die off...right?
      They probably weren't really negatively affected by this anyway....the church will do all it can to police itself, just like it always has...right?

      July 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Wally Moosepimple

      Yes, Prothero!

      You have failed to notice the endless attempts to blame the victims as being out to destroy the church, and decades of refusal to provide records and statements, and the fact that the Churchhas almost NEVER gone to the police with perpetrators, and the tactic of stonewalling victims and police and the press and everyone as long as they can, and the tactic of declaring bankruptcy in every parish a big case comes up despite the Vatican's supermassive wealth, and the humiation of quilty-as-can-be leaders like Bernard law by promoting him to the Vatican, and the fact that none of it is any better, and it was only a couple decades because I say so, and, yeah!

      Uh, so maybe Prothero actually nailed it for once.

      I rarely say this, but good job, Stephen.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Junior brain dead

      July 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • junior

      The church did not forget its past, it changed behaviours so not to put children in danger.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      Damn junior that's bad a church had to change its behavior

      July 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • junior

      CNN is not a vald chatecist for the Catholic Church, if this is the only education you receive then it explains your ill defined and misinformed comments about the church.

      I invite each and every one of you to your local parish and speak to any of the staff if in fact you have sincere questions.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • junior

      catechist

      July 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      I want to know why the priests prefer boys over women?

      July 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • junior

      yes behaviours, such as leaving children with only one staff mbr or unattended.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • junior

      I met many great presbyters who KNEW women before they received their vocation to the priesthood.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • LarryB

      It is an indisputable fact that powerful people within the Catholic church, up to and including the current pope, knew of pedophile priests and refused to do anything meaningful to keep children out of their clutches. Junior, you like to talk about facts and truth....well, this is factual and truthful.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      The Catholic church has known for many, many years that it had a problem with child abuse, both phyiscal and s.e.xual. Its answer was to hide the problem until recently when the issues have come to light and the Church was FORCED to deal with the issue, though not without it dragging its feet to this day. So don't act like the church has been forthcoming about the issue, they haven't.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      Your church has been doing mia culpas for what almost 2000 years. I always thought that the vicar of christ on earth was all about wealth and power where did I get it wrong? Lets look back, the crusades and slaughter of the non-believers, introduction of celibacy for greed, heretics getting out of hand-light the bonfires, friday the 13th-knights templar cutting into cash flow, bothersome aboriginals in the new world trying to hang onto their wealth, Martin Luther also trying to cut into cash flow, should have let Henry VIII bang as many wives as he wanted-cuts into the cash flow, the costa nostra wants to launder their money-swell helps cash flow, many more, but I will save the most recent for last. We have to figure out a way to stop our priests from screwing chidren, it is costing us a fortune. You ignore your disgusting past and keep supporting a corrupt organization. Hallelujah!

      PS: All religions are NOT a force for good in the world. Proven.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • junior

      The fact is that both popes knew of allegations, but the majority were persons bringing up accusations that happened in the 70s and 80s. A mandate enforcing the protection of children did come about as well. That Is why I still stand behind my Church, my Faith, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • junior

      THis is hardly the forum for converting and deconverting. The anonymity of this media allows many to grow virtual courage.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      junior,

      Listen, the Church claims to have a real smart "God", a real smart "Jesus" and a real smart "Holy Spirit" leading them. Over 2000 YEARS and they were never given a clue about appropriate "behaviours" until they were forced into it by secular law?

      July 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      junior: Your church is the biggest organized group of criminals going. Check out bishopaccountability.org and stop being so brainwashed as to the lies those pedophiles preach to you. Anyone supporting that church is no better than the pigs committing the crimes.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      @Junior
      Face the fact that you have no defence for the disgusting evil that your church in the name of some mythical god has done, but please try, don't just do the religious thing and cop out.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Actually...

      Who Invitied Me, the church is acknowledging and learning from their past mistakes. The NCAA taking a hard line stance is a gutsy move because more than anything it will discourage top officials from other schools from coming forward in similar situations.

      As for what the NCAA did with their sanctions, they have infinitely more power over Penn State than what the Vatican has. That's not to say the Vatican cannot defrock and therefore fire priests, which they have, but what sort of sanctions can they impose on the individual diocese that would mirror the NCAA actions?

      As for the Freeh Report vs. the John Jay report, it all comes down to presentation. Freeh chose a scathing tone, and is also being criticised as being commisioned to hastily and Freeh himself is being scrutinized. The point though should be what the conclusions of each report was, not the tone is was written in.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      actually
      Really....the church is learning from their past mistakes...REALLY?????

      They have to learn that it is wrong to molest children?
      they have to learn that it is wrong to cover it up when it is exposed?
      They have to learn these things that for most people its a no brainer?

      Many people look to them for moral guidance, and they can't even figure this out by now, they've had CENTURIES to figure it out and you want me to trust that they will make it all better now?

      WHat exactly is wrong with you people that you cannot see that organized religion and corruption go hand in hand...as soon as you put ANYONE in a position of power or authority, you open the door for abuses of that power (corruption).
      And the more you leave behind closed doors, the worse it will get. History has shown this again and again and again.

      Do not try to defend the church now...it is far too late. Only time will tell if they have learned anything, but I bet they won't.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      @Junior

      Run and hide, is that not a characteristic of a religious coward. try answering any of the questions put to you without reverting to because- Jesus loves me this I know cause the bible tells me so, grow up use your brain.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Doug

      Junior - The people who knew of and covered up these crimes for years are still leaders in the Catholic church, all the way up to the pope. It is great that the church claims to have taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future, but what about accountability for the past? And why should we trust these perpetrators to effectively implement their new policies? Finally, given that the church has done things like lobbying for laws to limit liability, what have they done to show that they really understand the damage that they have caused?

      If a serial killer was caught, and announced, "I may have killed people for decades, but I have taken steps to ensure that it won't happen again," would you simply release him, trusting him to implement his new anti-murder policies?

      July 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • adopted USA

      You are truly junior to human, just like an ape is. Although you may look like a human your blind devotion to Catholic Church is worse than a puppy toward its owner

      July 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  5. ForGoodOfAll

    excellent article! I couldn't agree more.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  6. Dane

    The problem is not so much about who's more likely to be a pedo, a priest or the average man. The problem is with the coverup from the catholic church.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Eric G

      Thank you. Nice to see someone understands the issue.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • gerald

      So the societal issues of 38milloin victims and 7% of the population (mostly men) being abusers is not a problem we should deal with. If the problem is the coverup, it seems to me the concern is not for the children but revenge. The root problem is not the coverup. When we do not attack problems at their root cause we end up with bigger problems. Certainly any coverups need to be exposed and those involved punished but again this is not the root of the problem. Anyone who says it is speaks out of prejudice and not desiring any real solutions to the root of the problem. If all those who covered this up were put in jail children would still be abused.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • gerald

      Eric, the issue isn't stopping child abuse?

      July 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • gerald

      Seems Eric has proven what we have known all along. The issues is a vendeta against the Catholic Church, not concern for children, because they don't want to hear statistics about the societal problem. They always say this issue is the coverup when the greater problem is pointed out to them. Put every person in jail who did not report something he should have an there will still be children abused. Ever heard of root cause corrective action? Evidently not.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      gerald, if there was a heaven, you would get a spot for being such a good little propaganda evangelist for Pope-A-Dope and his pedophile priests. You are, or want to be, a master at deflecting responsibility away from your cult, even to the point of putting words into other people's mouths. In case I am not clear, of course everyone wants child abuse to stop – to suggest otherwise is simply being dishonest – a lie, a mortal sin in your cult (I think, but I know you will correct me). Again, the point here is the RCCs, probably right up to Pope-A-Dope, systemic covering up of criminal child abuse. The RCC, and you personally, should be ashamed that a secular organization took swifter and harsher action than your beloved RCC, an organization that falsely claims the higher moral ground.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • junior

      I am not ashamed of my church or Faith.
      FIdes et Ratio

      July 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • LinCA

      @junior

      You said, "FIdes et Ratio"
      Now that's about the biggest contradiction you can get. Faith requires the absence of reason.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • chief

      so if a man supposedly is dedicated to God and His service, wouldnt one expect greater things than being compared to non believers in relation to being peds..... once again the blind deflecters of the ped issue come out to change the topic....

      i would assume that paterno and sundusky were both catholics?

      July 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • gerald

      Faith requires the absence of reason? Really? Well then you cannot ever believe anything that is above your mental capacity to understand. Faith is beyone reason but not unreasonable. Can you get your mind around that. I'll bet not. We as men possess less than 1% of the knowledge known to man and far less of the actual knowledge of the working of the universe and yet those without faith think they are more reasonable? Silly.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Snow

      " Faith is beyone reason but not unreasonable"

      you mean god sacrificing himself to himself for paying a debt to himself as decided by himself for a sin he himself assigned is reasonable enough to not bat an eye?

      Face it.. faith is and requires a blind belief in supernatural stories that are beyond reason

      July 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Eric G

      @gerald: Nice try. The issue at hand is the actions of the Catholic Church. They should provide access to investigation. If they do not, any effort they take to correct the issue is irrelevant because they have shown that they cannot be trusted.

      Your position seems to be this......

      Yes you admit that the church covered it up. Yes, you admit that they have not told the whole truth. In spite of this, you think that they should be trusted with children again. The very group that you admit has not been honest as to the scale of their involvement in the molestation of children should now be trusted with children because they have told you that the children will be safe.

      Please tell me why, if that is the moral basis of your reasoning on this subject, your position on the systemic problem of child molestation should even be considered?

      Why do you attempt to protect them? Is it possible that this issue has challenged your faith? The Church is just a building. It should have nothing to do with your belief.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Eric G

      @gerald: "Well then you cannot ever believe anything that is above your mental capacity to understand."

      If I understand something, I do not need belief. I understand things because of verifiable evidencial support. That is called knowledge. You "believe" in things that you have no evidence are fact. That is called wishful thinking.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • LinCA

      @gerald

      You said, "Really? Well then you cannot ever believe anything that is above your mental capacity to understand."
      If it is above my mental capacity, there is no reason to believe it.

      You said, "Faith is beyone reason but not unreasonable."
      Without a reason to believe something, it is most certainly unreasonable (by definition, actually).

      You said, "Can you get your mind around that. I'll bet not."
      Of course I can.

      You said, "We as men possess less than 1% of the knowledge known to man and far less of the actual knowledge of the working of the universe and yet those without faith think they are more reasonable?"
      We as men possess exactly 100% of the knowledge know to men. Those with "faith" just fell for a bullshit story. They just claim to have "knowledge" where there is none.

      You have equal reason to believe Bob the Magical Blue Sock is real, yet I guess you don't take that on faith. Do you still write letter to Santa Claus? Expect him to actually read and respond to them?

      You said, "Silly."
      Yup. Couldn't have said it any better. Beliefs without any support in evidence are silly.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  7. Voice of Reason

    Mr. Prothero,

    "They must be credited...They should also be applauded"

    Are you serious? You believe that Penn State must be credited and should be applauded? You have some twisted world view on morality brother. It's all about Penn State and Joe Paterno, right? Wow!

    As far as the hierarchy in the catholic church goes; the people in power believe they have been chosen by a god and are above the law of man. I don't know if you followed the O'Grady and Mahoney debacle a little while back but it clearly shows total disregard for mankind. 100's of families were impacted by Father O'Grady, one man, and Mahoney covered the whole thing up. This thing went to the top and when the victims flew to the vatican with Tom Doyle to deliver a letter, the vatican refused to meet.
    If you have watched any deposition's of the clergy involved you will also notice the total disregard for a the abuse of a little girl by giving it less importance than abuse with a young boy. And by the way, O'Grady was deported to Ireland after serving only 7 years in prison, he now lives as a free man.

    From my understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the church was set-up for the clergy to be married and celibacy came much later. It was originally felt that in order to be in charge of people's souls one should understand the dynamics of a family, meaning marrying one woman and raising children. The problem with that was when the clergy died the family obtained the wealth. So in comes the greed of money and celibacy was born. When a clergyman died the wealth went back to the church.

    Just one more example of the bad that is spawned out of the belief in the supernatural.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      Assuming, and I think it is a reasonably safe assumption, that the leaders at Penn State that caused the investigation were not around or involved when the first allegations about Sundusky were made, they should be applauded for not continuing the coverup. They opend the Univesity to huge penalties and they seem to be taking it without complaint (although I expect to see some court cases that will ultimately reduce the penalties). If we do not recognize the leadership of such men and women, we only encourage others to remain silent.

      If any RCC priest, or date I say Pope-A-Dope, had taken such swift and harsh action, how many fewer children would have been abused? For once, I think Prothero got it right.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • AncientAliens

      hey voice of reason... the school is finally doing the right thing and the NCAA is making a example of PSU, as it should. this isn't good enough for you? you must be one of those people that will always live in the past and dwell on the awful things instead of the actions that have been taken to improve the school. no one can prevent this travesty from happening again, there will always be sick, sick people in this world, but things can be done to make someone think twice before doing it. the author of this article is pointing out that a public university has better morals than the catholic church... which is kinda ironic dontcha think?

      July 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      I think it's incredulous to have to submit to patting Penn State on the back for doing the right thing. We shouldn't have to commend or applaud anyone for doing the right thing. Isn't it expected? Anything less than doing the right thing should be highlighted not the moral expectation.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • BamaDaniel

      @Vor,it's called encouragement

      July 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  8. tim young

    No mention of the HOLY SPIRIT in this sound off. I suggest go and pray my fellow disciples of CHRIST.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  9. gerald

    MY TAKE: According to an advocacy group for abused children there are over 38million who have been abused as children in the US. Roughly 7% of the population has abused someone (compared to less than 2% of priests). Yet our prison population is less than 2million nationwide for all crimes. It is reasonable to assume that it is less than 100,000 for child s.e.x abuse. Therefore it would seem that this is a bigger problem than the Catholic Church not taking it seriously. The Catholic Church has done more to educate children and adults within their church than public schools have.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Care to actually cite this study from this supposed advocacy group? Or, like you church, woudl you rather not have the scrutiny.

      US public school mandate reporting. Until your church does the same, it will continue to enable. Making it not much better than the perpetrators themselves. And since it allows the behavior to continue, one could argue far worse.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • gerald

      Won't let me post the link. I'm sure you can use google. Just do a search for "38 million abused children". You will find plenty of info. Why are you against it being such a societal problem? Prejudice toward priests it seems. The Catholic Church has in fact mandated reporting so what is your point. The fact is that in 2009 only 9 new cases of child abuse were reproted with the now policies and procdures the Church has implemented. With the amount of attention this issue has it is impossible that the cover up could have increased. So it seems you simply don't know what you are talking about.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Eric G

      Do you deny that the Catholic Church covered up child abuse and protected child molesters in their ranks? The current actions of the Church are irrelevant. Until the day when they provide transparent access to the evidence, they will continue to be stained by this. As they should.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      gerald, the point here is the RCC engaged in the systematic coverup of criminal child abuse when in a position of power and trust, and as you exemplify so well, continue to be in denial. No amount of good deeds can erase this blot.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      gerald,

      It took them over 2000 YEARS to get their act together... and then only because of the threat and repercussions of secular law....????!!!!!! W! T! F!

      July 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • junior

      Eric G, believe it or not I cannot today in age prevent John Wilkes Booth from kllng President Lincoln.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Wally Moosepimple

      Actually, the lowest number given for the priests is 4%, which is the Vatican's number. All other estimates are higher. It's an outright lie to say less than 2%.

      Even the Vatican recognizes that at least one priest out of 25 was boinking children.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • gerald

      Eric, where have I denied there were some coverups? I know there were but not to the extent people like you claim. Much more of the problem was the silence of the vicitims until after the statute of limitations had run out. Not to blame them because they were tramatized by their assailants and they were children. You just don't want to hear all the facts and realities. You want one cause, the magesterium for the lack of prosecution as does every simplton who looks at a problem and says there is on cause rather than multiple.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • timkens

      Gerald,

      You can say this as much as you like (and you do, below, ad nauseam, in response to everyone who criticizes the church), but that still won't make it true.

      The church was confronted with an opportunity for contrition and repentance (two qualities I learned about in Catholic school). Instead, the church denied, covered up, and stonewalled. And it persists in doing so, elaborately and unrepentantly.

      Yes, others in our society have abused children. But now that Penn State and the NCAA are waking up, it can be said with certainty that NO ONE but the Roman Catholic Church has persisted in such a massive, breathtakingly arrogant cover-up. NO ONE.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Wally Moosepimple

      Ah, but junior, if your organization covered up the crimes of thousands of John Wilkes Booths, allowing those crimes to continue, well, don't you have the ability to let them know loud and clear that they better stop or you and your fellow Catholics will stop giving them any money, and protest their local church if even once?

      That is the problem with Catholics in general on this. They have the greatest power to shock the clergy into behaving better, but instead you have sat there and done nothing and allowed yourself to be filled with the lies and distortions that you all then use here (and elsewhere) as talking points.

      In your way, by doing nothing but support the church in the face of this tragedy, you become accessories. Hell, even the average German citizen could claim they didn't know what the Nazis were really doing, but you and the rest of the Catholic laity cannot even say that.

      Where is the Catholic outrage? It's been nothing but "they are out to get us!" If you had acted forcefully, this situation would have been handled much quicker, and the world would respect Catholics for doing the right thing in a tough situation. But that's not what happened.

      You did what is partisan, not what s right.

      Honestly, Catholics who have supported their Church through this crisis are some of the biggest moral cowards ever, and I just cannot imagine a God (as described in your own scripture) who would be anything but disgusted with you all.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • gerald

      I love how people like you compare Penn State today to what happened in the 60's through 90's post abuse awareness era. Where were the Penn States back in those days? Do you think there weren't any? How neive you are. Again 38milloin abused by 7% (thats 21million) in society. And you say this is a Catholic problem. Stop putting the focus on society. It is only bigotry that causes you to say this. It is out of a vendeta against Catholicism and not a concern for the Church. Again I am in favor of every bishop who covered this up willfilly and knowingly being in jail and all the priests who comitted this offense with him. Agian it is the simpltons who want simple answers and simple solutions that don't look at the broader problem.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • junior

      So you consider me a coward for not ranting today about any unsubtantiated allegations?

      July 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Wally Moosepimple

      @ junior. Unsubstantiated allegations? Yeah, that right there is a perfect example of what the moral cowardice I am talking about. You are still playing the denial card when even the Vatican abandoned that approach.

      Yes. Your actions right there prove you are a coward. Your failure to let the clergy know in any way, shape or form that you demand it stop – because the stonewalling and obstruction and deceptions are still going strong – is sniveling cowardice.

      @ gerald: All evidence is that the problem has gone on as far back as can be known. It did not start in the 60s – that is a propaganda lie the church put out to try to claim that their crime was somehow due to hippies. The Dutch had a mental hospital where they sent orphans who told the Church that they had been abused – and the children were castrated. Long before 1960. And Ireland . . . yeah, right.

      Add gerald to the list of moral cowards who prefers partisan loyalty to doing what is right. "My Church, right or wrong".

      July 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • chief

      gerald is most likelly a priest in the way he defends them...... his arguement is like saying the all the people that died in 911 are nothing compared to whats going on in the middle east massacre..... the 911 tragedy is so small in comparison you should look at all the other atrocities first.... right dumb

      July 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Eric G

      "You just don't want to hear all the facts and realities."

      Actually, that is exactally what I want. I want the Catholic Church to open their doors and provide access to an independent investigation to expose the facts of what the Church was aware of, when they became aware and what they did about it.

      I seek information and facts. It seems that you are the one making statements without all the facts because you just admitted that your Church was involved in a inst itutional consipiracy to cover up the facts.

      Why would they not provide this access? What truth are they hiding?

      July 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      gerald is making progress. He has evolved from denying abuse (or perhaps more fairly, the extent of the abuse) to denying a coverup to the coverup is (note tense – it is still going on) not as extensive as people think. Give him a couple of years and he might come to see the stupidy of all religion.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  10. lunchbreaker

    Well, personally, I take college football more seriously than church.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  11. New Gawker

    The church cares a great deal about the raping of children. They just don't care to stop it.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      They only care about getting caught...

      July 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  12. William Demuth

    The Catholic church actively solicited men with biological disorentation for half a century.

    Ask ANY Irish or Italian catholic over fifty and they will admit that those who had deviant desires had their families pressured to give them "to the church" for safe keeping.

    Thousands on the sickest in the land were actively recruited and embraced.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • chief

      what? thats sick and hilarious..... is there a paper trail of that anywhere? in the northeast it did seem common that the odd bird went into the priesthood....

      July 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      From a very young age, boy's who didn't seem interested in girls were sent to become priests as were s.exual deviants. They felt at the time that if a young boy didn't like girls then God had set him aside to be a bride of Christ in the priesthood and as for the deviants, they felt that God was the only cure. Of course putting both those types of people into positions of power over other young children or people who are depressed and confused just added gas to the kindling.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      The "set aside" part may be accurate, (I doubt it, as "they were not *sent*, they *chose* to go), but the "bride of christ" thing is not true. The term "bride of christ" was applied to nuns, (see movie of the same name, and the fact they wore bridal gowns and veils at profession of vows), and the church in general. It was not used with reference to male clergy. Inaccuracy does not help the cause.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      The bride of christ thing.....have you ever been to a first communion ceremony....You see a bunch of little child brides of christ..all of these little girls (who are too young by any standards to be making the "decision" that they are making) dressed in little wedding gowns....pretty sick stuff.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      I have no evidence on a large scale, but an Irish friend told me that back home they had larger than average famalies and if one of the kids seemes a bit qu*eer (his term not mine) that was the one they offered up to the church and the church greated them with open arms. I tend to agree with your post.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      I recall my parents talking about male children refering to what were likely gay children as not being attracted to women because God had chosen them to be married to the church and for God to be their head of household and yes, I heard bride of christ used to describe them. Maybe this was not a sanctioned aspect of the church of that time in Ohio in the late 60's but that was how many I knew saw it.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • William Demuth

      That is why the AIDs rate in the priesthood is at least twice the national level. Some media outlets claim four times as much.

      For supposed celibates, this stat is the smoking gun.

      The Kansas City Star, and Atlantic Magazine have both done expose's.

      Catholic schools have been all you can eat buffets for the parasites since the 1940's

      July 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • gerald

      Is it a g.a.y/effeminate issue or not. Why don't you guys make up your minds. Seems like you want your cake and eat it too in this thread. You say g.ays were directed toward the priesthood in this thread but in others say it is not a g.ay issue.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      @gerald – both gay men and s.exual deviant children were pushed towards the church. At the time gay children were indeed seen as deviants and told they were very very bad and needed to be given to God. It wasn't until recently that being gay is considered normal and not something one has to hide or be ashamed of. Back in the 60's being gay was almost as bad as being a child molester and often the two were presented as one in the same. Now we can defend normal gay persons as having nothing to do with being a deviant child molester because we have taken the time to become informed and are no longer the ignorant morons who just lump everyone together they don't like and call them qu.eer.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Gerald

      You don't get it.

      I state deviants were put in the clergy.

      You assume deviant means gay.

      Most feel Pedo's are deviant, and gays are not.

      Science is vauge (perhaps for political reasons) but we know for sure that the greatest percentage of gays are not pedos.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • gerald

      William, but I know well that many of these deviants were g.ay. I have heard the same stories you have and in fact ga.ys were encouraged to join the priesthood and many seminaries infected with gay leaders denied the priesthood to hetero.se.xuals. I do not deny your claim at all. Further over 80% of the actions were in fact hom.o.se.xual in nature. Fact.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • gerald

      for the sake of argument I will not argue whether gays are devient. I simply know that gays headed some seminaries and screened out non-gays. Did all the gays molest children? No. Did some? Did a higher percentage of gays do it than non-gays. I don't think that is much of a strech regardless of what political corectness and pop psychology lead one to believe.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • HeavenSpent

      "Did a higher percentage of gays do it than non-gays?"

      I suspect that due to gays being told they were deviants and the fact that being openly gay was not an option for a very long time, it is very likely that a higher percent of gay's did move into child ab.use. When you are not able to find love openly people tend to look for it covertly.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  13. john the guy not the baptist

    Where is the $60 million in fines going to end up? I hope the NCAA keeps that money in a seperate fund to help compensate the victims of the abuse and is also used for the benefit of the atheletes that have lost scholarships and will have to move to another program. If the money ends up in the general fund, it will simply be a cash grab by the administration of the NCAA.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • J.W

      I know that some of the money was going to organizations in the area of the Big Ten schools that help with child abuse victims. Im not sure of all the details of it.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • roodypoo

      dont read the news much now do ya?

      July 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • roodypoo

      12 million a year is going to victims funds, none is going to the NCAA

      July 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    We should pull the plug on the Roman Catholic Church at last.

    The RCC is a club of predators. The most evil individual of the RCC is the pope himself.

    Why?

    He gives no permission that the Catholic priests could marry. Married they would much less touch children.

    The mandatory celibacy has two idotic reasons:

    First, around 1000 after Christ the pope wanted to increase his wealth. Up to 1000 after Christ Catholic priests were usually married. Hitherto married priests could bequest ecclesiastical property to their children. In order to stop that, the pope ordered mandatory celibacy. Hence, the celibacy is only a consequence of the greed of the evil popes for honor, power and riches.

    Secondly, there is a misinterpretation of Matthew 19 by the pope. The desciples of Jesus, mentioned in Matthew 19, had the idea it would be better not to marry, because it would be so hard to keep the marriage. Jesus rejected that and said that only very little people are able to live without marriage. In that context Jesus says that some people don't marry for the kingdom of heavens sake. These lifestyle should only be chosen by someone, who is able to control his se-xuality in a perfect way, as if he would be physically castrated. This is a gift which God bestows on very little people.

    Hence, actually Catholic priest should be allowed to marry, because the gift of abstinence is bestowed only to very little people.

    Furthermore, also a married man can be very spiritual and a spiritual leader. Marriage promotes spirituality of the most people.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      Continuing your dislike for a fellow christian religion, how christian of you. When ahteists denegrate or ridicule any and all religions we get the hate speech tag thrown at us. If you can not get along with your fellow christian believers, tell us what you really think in an entirely different belief in god system.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Hypocrisy, thy name is Rainer.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • gerald

      Truth is that both Paul and Jesus say it is better not to marry for the sake of the kingdom. See Matt 19 and 1 cor 7. You don't know your bible Rainier. These are the foundational reasons for priestly celibacy. How could priests give ecclisiastic wealth to their children? The priest does not own the Churches property today any more than he did then. He was just caretaker of it.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • gerald

      The fact is that married/uncelibate men are far more often preditors than priests who take a vow of celibacy. There are 38 million abuse victims in this country. Only a very small percentage of them are by priests. Less than 2% of priests have comitted these crimes. In the general population it is estimated that 7% of men have committed them.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Matthew 23:29-36 was written to everyone who would take over the priests seats.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • chief

      its amazing how gerald always turns the topic to anything other than priests...... every time.... priests are SUPPOSED to be different in a good way..... so all your stats are bs in light of that

      July 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • chief

      using that passage in matthew as a foundational arguement for priest to to be married is right up there with mark 16 and taking up serpents.... i guess the catholics dont like snakes or its harder to control people that way

      July 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Which God??

      Rainey the Rabid. Flake. Hates all religions, except his own brand. Ana-Baptists don't like Baptists. Medodists don't like Baptists. Pentacostals don't like most of them either, and the Catholics don't like any of them, etc, etc. Ironic. They are all bad for you.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • derp

      As always, it is an absolute hoot listening to christards trying to "out jesus" each other.

      "Nana nana na na. I'm am far more christardy than you are are."

      July 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • gerald

      Thanks for showing up chief the coward who won't defend his mom's honor.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • gerald

      Chief loves to have this be a Catholic issue because he is a hateful bigot. But I have provide in this thread and otehrs more than ample evidence that our society is sick and these are just symptoms of the societal problem. 38million have been abused as children by 7% of the (mostly male) population. Chief keeps putting down these numbers as taking away from the issue. His issue is the Catholic Church. He cares nothing about children really. I am all for every Catholic priest who has committed this crime to be held accountable. All others hould be as well.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      chief, since you are obviously blinded to God's truth, Jesus is telling us that the Kenites took over the priesthood and sit in the high seats of the priests and rabbis twisting and contorting God's truth. Kenites are the children of Cain. Cain is the son of Satan, who is a liar. Do I need to go on? Just as the children of God's are walking this earth, so are the children of satan.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Which God?? Rainer is telling you God's, who is Jesus that walked the walk in the flesh ... truth. He's trying to get you to understand that only Jesus' truth as written in the Bible is to be read, spoken from the pulpit ... not man's from any of the denominations that pick and chose one of Jesus' scripture then preach the lies of man for the remainder of your time in church.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • just sayin

      HeavenSent

      chief, since you are obviously blinded to God's truth, Jesus is telling us that the Kenites took over the priesthood and sit in the high seats of the priests and rabbis twisting and contorting God's truth. Kenites are the children of Cain. Cain is the son of Satan, who is a liar. Do I need to go on? Just as the children of God's are walking this earth, so are the children of satan.

      -

      Did the Kenites have rafts during the great flood? Thank you for your posts..it shows you are insane.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • chief

      gerald is most likelly a priest in the way he defends them...... his arguement is like saying the all the people that died in 911 are nothing compared to whats going on in the middle east massacre..... the 911 tragedy is so small in comparison you should look at all the other atrocities first.... right dumb

      and heavensent...... take your meds .... your close to the same bucket in assuming what i am blinded to or not....

      July 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  15. Bill Deacon

    Currently, in my Diocese (Austin) anyone who has even the slightest opportunity to be in contact with either children or vulnerable adults is required to take a four hour long ethics class, submit to a criminal background check, provide references and renew the process every three years. I take communion to a local hospital for Catholics who are hospitalized and was happy to comply. Even non-Catholic employees of Catholic facilities are required to submit to this scrutiny. Is Penn State going to utilize a similar process for all their students, faculty and employees?

    July 24, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Which God??

      Oh, a whole four hours of training! Wow! Really gets down to the nitty gritty eh? Better than nothing, I suppose. but that won't sink into most peoples heads.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • wow.

      Students? Do you require all of your congregation to get background checks? Fool.

      Has the university president come out and said that reporting crimes to the police is not mandatory?

      You disgust me. I wish there was a hell so that pedophile enablers like you could rot it in.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • derp

      "Currently, in my Diocese (Austin) anyone who has even the slightest opportunity to be in contact with either children or vulnerable adults is required to take a four hour long ethics class, submit to a criminal background check, provide references and renew the process every three years"

      That is a lot of red tape to go through before you are allowed to start molesting little boys.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Eric G

      Even with those policies in place, a child molestor could sneak past. This is true for any screening process.

      The issue is not the screening process, but rather what the organization does if they find a predator in their ranks. Penn State covered it up, as did the Catholic Church.

      As you are an active member of your church, what do you think would happen if evidence came to light that a child molester was using the church to attack children? Try to think about the matter from an unbiased viewpoint. Imagine a situation that if made public, it could bankrupt and destroy your church causing it to close and risk losing their followers. How do you think your church would respond?

      July 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • gerald

      THe fact Eric is that throughout society the tendancy is not to believe the abused. We talk as if this is a Catholic Church or a penn state problem but the truth is our society as a whole is sick and this is just reflected in these incidents. 38 million people were abused as children by 7% (mostly men). Yet less than 100,000 (probably more like less than 20,000 are in prision for those crime.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Eric. Thanks for the rational dialogue. While the background checks are designed to filter out potential offenders, the training is designed to heighten people's situational awareness to the conditions that foster abuse. Every one is responsible for making children and others safe. Contained within the Diocese policy is the requirement to report even the slightest suspect behavior to public authorities. Logistical safeguards are also put in place to keep everyone secure.

      While no one can defend the monsters who have harmed children and defiled the Church, there are some facts that need to be made present.

      1. Child seex abuse is endemic to our society at every level. Penn State, the U.S. Congress, church's of all faiths and probably any organization where potential victims are available. Pedophiles are not pedophiles because they are Catholic any more than because they are football coaches or senators. They are criminals
      2. The statistical numbers show that Catholic churchs have done a better job of keeping children safe than almost any other group.

      These events have put people, like myself, who love the Catholic faith in an embarrassing and terribly awkward position. Many of the abused are our own children and friends and the thousands of innocent clergy bear the shame of association with the guilty. However, I am proud of the response that has been made and I believe the Church will survive and improve as a consequence of this debacle.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Bill Deacon: Thank you for your response.

      Do you admit that the Catholic Church engaged in a decades long, systematic cover-up of child molestation? Do you agree that the Catholic Church engaged in the protection of child molesters? Do you feel that the Catholic Church has been transparent in providing access to evidence?

      What an organization does today does not absolve them from previous action or inaction. Penn State is not hiding from their responsibility. The Catholic Church should provide the same level of transparency and let the truth come out about what they did or did not do.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  16. Hypatia

    Because the NCAA isn't run by guys in dresses protecting 2000 years of power.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • junior

      All eyes are on Penn State. The Catholic Church is dealing with accusations/cases going back to the 60s, 70s and 80s and it is difficult to work cold cases. If there is a recent issue the church will respond with swift action. Fortunately there has been no recent case of abuse.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • LarryB

      Difficult to work cold cases? Are you kidding? There are plenty of certainties about these cases, including a letter written by the current pope that essentially said he would do nothing to remove a specific pedophile priest. And we are HARDLY talking about Lincoln/Booth times. There are currently some in the Catholic heirarchy, HERE and NOW, who have turned their backs on the victims of the pedophiles.

      Junior, you seem like the worst kind of brainwash victim. I pity you.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      junior is a fake troll posting obvious attempts to get a rise. He is a little boy starved for attention. Maybe a priest could help him.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  17. catholic engineer

    I don't know Prothero's age or where he's been the last two decades. In the early 1990's my wife was the director of religous education at a Catholic church in Oklahoma. When pedophilia cases started surfacing – both in the church, and much more rampant in society as a whole – the church took action. The diocese put training into place to prevent the repeat of pedophilia. The training was so intense, my wife could not do her regular work. THis was typical throughout the country.
    Mr. Prothero, if your job with CNN is to satisfy church enemies salivating over any carion offered, you are doing an fine job.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Who invited me?

      Why did they not do their civic duty and report it to the authorites.
      They may have taken some action, but it was clearly insufficient, and actually criminal NOT to report it.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • J.W

      I think he is talking more about holding the perpetrators accountable.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • gerald

      Most perpetrators were not held accountable because of statue of limitiations rather than some alleged coverup.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Statute of limitations. They did not make a marble monument of limitations.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      Please answer who invited me's question.
      One diocese may have taken a pretty lame action, rather than have the perps arrested by the police. In most areas worldwide, the offenders were often just transfered to another parish, the victims paid off if they promised to keep silent and some/many were allowed to re-offend. You and the church are still in denial and except for the large cash damages and a few half hearted sounding apologies are still despised by the vivtims.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      Please give a reference to a statute of limitations on pedophile abuse either federal or state law, never heard of one till now!

      July 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  18. AverageJoe76

    The Catholic church hasn't responded harshly because fondling little boys was actually part of the sales pitch to be a preist for some. Take that away.... and they would appear to be hypocritical. And let me tell you this; it's one thing you don't accuse the church of being – a hypocrite. No, no, no, no.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Change your name to Average idiot

      July 24, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • HeavenSent

      AverageJoe, those pedophile priests are just as blinded by carnal sin as any sinner.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • SJA

      your an idiot

      July 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • LinCA

      *you're

      July 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Bill Deacon and SJA – Been awhile since we were in high school, huh? I am as much an idiot as you are.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  19. Reality

    So Steve P, the religiously uncommitted religion professor from Boston U, wants the Vatican to fine their archdioceses another $60 million/each even though most are either bankrupt or near bankruptcy from paying billions of dollars of legal judgements and settlements?

    And the Vatican should reduce the number of candidates for priesthood for these archdioceses when said dioceses are quickly running out of priests? And also reduce any funding for seminaries?

    And the Vatican should reduce the number of Masses and other functions like centennial celebrations held in these archdioceses to really punish all the parishes for their ghastly deeds?

    "Professor" Steve needs to take up chess as obviously his commentaries are wasting his and our time.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • MARK

      It was a systematic failure. The cover up has gone all the way to the top from the bottom. There is no innocent person when an environment like that is allowed to keep on going. This isn't years old news. It is still current.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  20. HeavenSent

    So they can ensure that are legal process is ignored and destroyed as they get their way.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I meant to write "our".

      July 24, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I did post that I was suppose to write "our" instead of are.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      HeavenSent,

      Too bad that you didn't also post that you were "supposed" to write "supposed" and not "suppose".

      July 24, 2012 at 1:15 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.