Readers are no doubt aware of the horrifying charges arising out of the Penn State University incident, in which it is alleged that an assistant coach of the football team molested several boys and that several members in the front office of the football organization did not report the crimes. If the charges are true, they are loathsome indeed.
Loathsome in a different way is this line in today’s New York Times column by Maureen Dowd: “Like the Roman Catholic Church, Penn State is an arrogant institution hiding behind its mystique.” Whatever may be the viability of the charges against Penn State officials under Pennsylvania’s failure to report statute, or against specific clerics in the Roman Catholic Church in positions of power in entirely distinct cases (and they may well be legally viable), the blanket smear of this comment — its suggestion that all cases look alike, or that it is appropriate to indict an entire Church, whatever the facts may look like, for what Dowd perceives as “arrogan[ce]” — is, in my opinion, despicable. — MOD
One thought on “Loathsome”
While on the one hand I agree with your post, I have heard similar sentiments expressed pretty widely since this story broke. Dowd is not the only one connecting these dots. Sadly, given its decades of international foot-dragging, obfuscation, and obstruction over the issue of child abuse by members of the clergy, the hierarchy of the Church is wide open to such comparisons. The hierarchy’s unwillingness to confront this grievous sin at the heart of the Church has cast a shadow on everything the Church does, and has put us Catholics in the trenches of the world on the perpetual defensive.