As a Christian considering joining the Catholic Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, I find myself overwhelmed with grief, anger and despair after a grand jury in Pennsylvania released a report detailing the cover-up of over 1,000 cases of sexual abuse by over 300 clergy.
“Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades,” the grand jury wrote. Church officials operated what could only be described as a “playbook for concealing the truth.”
Unlike the bishops of Chile amid their sex abuse scandal, the U.S. bishops did not offer their resignations when this news broke but merely stated, “We are shamed by and sorry for the sins and omissions by Catholic priests and Catholic Bishops.” That apology is the clerical equivalent of a politician's “thoughts and prayers.” It comforts few and accomplishes nothing.