I'm not speaking of parish priests. Of those men whom we know have violated children, their numbers are too great to list here.
I am speaking of men in the United States Church administrative hierarchy.
The other day in a post (Bleeding Out), I raised up, among other issues related to the ongoing Church scandal and the courageous American nuns who challenge Rome, the case of Kansas City-St. Joseph's Bishop Robert Finn who will
"be forced to account in this sordid history. He stands accused of ignoring red flags about a priest under his authority who himself is accused of snapping pornographic photographs of young girls. Fortunately, while Bishop Finn claims innocence, while Church lawyers in his case had fought to keep relevant Church records under wraps, a court has ordered Church files on the bishop turned over to prosecutors."
Kansas Cty's Bishop Robert Finn
Bishop Finn's indictment is a result of his specific failure to report the suspected child abuse of Reverend Shawn Ratigan, a Kansas City priest. Father Ratigan has pled guillty, according to the A. P., "of producing pornographic photographs of young girls he knew."
Employees of the diocese had found "hundreds of images of girls' genitals on a laptop" the reverend took in for repair eighteen months back. Father Ratigan survived, when that became known, a suicide attempt. Instead of being reported to authorities by Bishop Finn, Reverend Ratigan was quietly reassigned to live in a "church facility where he continued to have contact with children."
Reverend Shawn Ratigan, guilty of thirteen counts of child pornography.
Now that Philadelphia's Monsignor William Lynn has become the first among the U. S. church hierarchy to be sentenced to prison for actively shielding numbers of pedophile priests, these prosecutions and sentences ought to become easier and, over time, children may be safer.
Philadelphia's Msgr. Wm. Lynn, now serving a prison term.
A dam has broken. Justice may, now, move forward.
How may anyone imagine that the safety of children is not far more important than any religious institution, far more important than the adults who serially mismanage them?
The ancient rabbi in whose name these horrors are so carelessly and routinely perpetrated, then hidden, may finally be starting to smile.