I have followed the child sex abuse priest Catholic Church scandal in the press.
It hasn’t been easy to read.
I can’t imagine what it was like to endure.
The case…or rather cases…in Wisconsin hit me hard. As the younger sister of a man who is profoundly autistic and aphasic, I carry the worry that someone would abuse him…it’s just there, under the surface all the time. My brother can communicate and he sure as hell lets folks know when he doesn’t like a person, but the worry and fear of abuse never goes away. So, reading that 200 deaf children were abused by a priest hit me hard as hell.
I’m not Catholic, but I don’t have to be to have an opinion about the international priest sex abuse scandals currently being investigated. I’m human…and, as Jodi Jacobson pointed out an article over at RHRealityCheck, the Catholic Church has involved itself in public policy that impacts all of our lives. But even if the Catholic Church wasn’t involved in writing public policy during the federal health care reform debate, it’s various organizations and programs serve children throughout my community in St. Louis Missouri. So, yeah…all of us should be paying attention to news of rampant abuse, a shameful lack of response and the very real potential that known sexual predators were allowed to continue their “work” as part of a cover-up.
Smears happen. People are often caught up in those smears and Lawd knows that the press adores a scandal and could care less should a person be proven innocent.
But the media isn’t smearing the Catholic Church when it reports on these scandals anymore than it smeared China when it investigated and reported on dangerous problems with imported baby formula.
In fact, the media has fallen short on this story...I’m reminded of the priest abuse scandal a few years back and how the press covered it and then tucked it away with little or no follow-up, as if they feared some sort of Da Vinci Code-esque retribution.
Now, there is news of 200 deaf children abused in Wisconsin…and more cases in Poland and Ireland.
Each case…each life…each survivor indicts the institution that failed to protect them, worked to silence them and now strives to discredit them.
This isn’t about smearing and there is no place for schadenfreude here.
There is just disgust…not even shock, not anymore…and concern over what may be happening now only to be covered up in the future.