Penn State and its football team are now embroiled in one of the greatest scandals in the history of American college football. It emerged that an assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, was over a period sexually assaulting a group of boys. Other coaches including the famous Joe Paterno himself did not do enough to bring these accusations to the police.
But when the scandal broke several days ago, the university authorities moved with lightning speed. Coach Paterno (aged 84) has been fired. The president of the university has been fired. Two other university officials have been charged. It is expected that other officials and coaching staff will face charges. In other words within literally hours of the scandal emerging, those who helped cover it up (unwittingly or not) are out, gone.
Compare this swift justice with how the Catholic church deals with sex abuse. Almost all the bishops who aided and abetted and covered up these abuse are still in place – secure in their jobs. One bishop only is being brought to book. Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas city has been criminally charged with covering up sex abuse. But it was not church authorities that nailed him. It was a grand jury. And Bishop Finn is still in the job.
How long can the Catholic church go on protecting bishops who aided, abetted and covered up sexual abuse of children.
Should not the church take a leaf from the book at Penn State where authroties came down swiftly and hard on the perpetrators?
Could the contrast betweeen the two approches be more clear?
Can the Catholic church learn from Penn State?
What do you think?