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Instead of looking to the culture outside the church to minimize egregious crimes and leadership failures, the report should have focused on the culture within. At the heart of the crisis was clericalism, the mind-set of ecclesiastical privilege in which leaders behave as an anointed class accountable to no one except those above them in the church hierarchy.
Not only priests but even bishops were outed as sex offenders by thousands of victims at the height of the 2002 scandals. The breadth and degree of offenses rightly shocked and outraged faithful Catholics as well as the general public. This wasn’t simply a church crisis, but a public-safety crisis for which bishops and the Vatican downplayed responsibility.
What also was lacking from the bishops was moral outrage, common sense and the backbone to throw the abusers out of ministry. Instead, the bishops focused on protecting their own reputations and that of their priests.
Be sure to read the rest– it’s fantastic and spot-on.