The complicated legacy of state investigations of the Catholic sex abuse crisis / America: The Jesuit Review

The reports should encourage contemporary Catholics ‘to find out what is happening in their parish and diocese today and to begin to ask questions if they have concerns. I think that’s what should be a big takeaway,’ she (Kathleen McChesney, first executive director of the USCCB Office of Child Protection) says. ‘Be very interested, be very curious and evaluate for yourself: What does this really mean? What does it mean now?’

By Kevin Clarke, America: The Jesuit Revew

“Philadelphia is a “very Catholic city,” Barbara Daly will tell you. When you meet people in Philadelphia, ‘they don’t ask you what you do for a living.’ Instead, she says, they ask what parish you belong to or what Catholic high school you attended.

“This very Catholic city has been hammered in recent years by stories of the abuse of children by Catholic priests recounted in a series of grand jury reports, which culminated in a statewide grand jury investigation and a report released by the attorney general of Pennsylvania in August 2018. These events returned national attention to the church’s abuse scandal and inspired a flurry of similar investigations across the country.

“Ms. Daly is the pastoral associate at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Ambler, Pa., outside Philadelphia. Lots of folks in the area, she recalls, reacted defensively to the city and state reports. Some felt that prosecutors were piling on, that the church was not offered an opportunity to defend itself …

“Twenty-one years after the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People bound most U.S. dioceses to new commitments and policies for the protection of children, there are few Catholics in the United States who are not familiar with the institutional and personal failures that propelled those important changes.”

By Kevin Clarke, America: The Jesuit Review — Read more …