Sexual-abuse Crisis

What We’ve Learned

In the summer of 1958, when I turned seventeen, I discovered and reported a case of an adult sexually abusing minors. For me the episode had some of the melodrama...

A Cherished Accommodation

On April 12, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops published “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” its latest statement decrying alleged governmental attacks on...

Sex Abuse in the Dutch Church

I hate this subject. I have hated it since 1988, when, in the springtime of my own faith, I learned that a priest in my hometown parish had abused altar boys there...

Simplifying Scandal

In July, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny delivered a stinging indictment of the Vatican’s handling of the sexual-abuse scandal in his country. Referring to a new...

Lagging Behind

In 2003, the U.S. Catholic bishops’ National Review Board put together a request for proposals for two studies of the church’s sexual-abuse scandal. One study would...

Myth-busters

From the beginning, armchair social-scientists have floated any number of explanations for the Catholic Church’s sexual-abuse crisis. Conservatives blamed gay men....

The Fog of Scandal

Eight years ago, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua asked me to join the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s sexual-abuse review board, which he was putting together to help him...

Gifts without a Giver

One of the stories that came out of the Tucson tragedy is that the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, in a prior public meeting in 2007, had asked Congresswoman...

‘Society Men’: An exchange

Grown-Up Men Barry Gault’s article “Society Men” (April 22) raises thoughtful questions. Does Catholic priesthood, as it is actually lived today, promote certain...

Fabricating Bernardin

Few tools in the historian’s kit are as fundamental as periodization. By naming distinct stretches of time, historians give shape to history’s flow: the Dark Ages,...

Another Long Lent

In February, three Philadelphia priests were indicted for sexual abuse, and their former vicar for clergy was charged with child endangerment. Perhaps more...

Loose Canons

We need less “back story” and more openness. If there’s anything we can say with certainty about the sex abuse crisis, it’s that secrecy does more harm than good.
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