A reader writes:
I remember well my Catholic Catechism that was very clear about how following proper civil laws was considered de rigueur for all Catholics. ("Render unto Caesar..." and all that.) And that sinning required penance, and that penance was more than a few Hail Marys. It had to be some kind of personal sacrifice and atonement.
What is so amazing about the institutional coverup of decades of sex crimes worldwide is the complete and utter lack of any type of sacrifice/atonement beyond a few apologies and some insurance money.
The ability of the hierarchy to keep priests out of jail and not suffer for their aiding/abetting/obstruction is simply amazing in its total disregard of the church's own teachings for the laity. The dual set of rules, as much as anything else, should help to tumble the edifice. Only a reversion to a St. Francis-type of worldly renouncement of temporal power statues, land, baubles, and gay red shoes will purge the Catholic Church.
I'm surprised the NYT was willing to use the words "molestation" and "abuse." I think "enhanced affection" is more appropriate.