It was confirmed today that the
Catholic Church/Boy Scouts /Penn State Football Program spent decades engaging in abhorrent behavior aiding and abetting pedophilic and ephebophilic priests/scoutmasters/coach(es). Rather than turning suspected priests/scoutmasters/coach(es) over to local authorities in an attempt to protect vulnerable populations from aggressive predators, the Catholic Church/Boy Scounts /Penn State Football Program emphasized its own self-preservation first and foremost. It would almost appears as if the Catholic Church/Boy Scouts/Penn State Football Program genuinely believed that they could simply wait out the bad behavior. It would also appear as if it never dawned on the Catholic Church/Boy Scouts/Penn State Football Program to spend even a second worrying about what might occur in the intervening time period.
What did happen is incontrovertible: the
Catholic Church/Boy Scouts/Penn State Football Program enabled predator(s) in coveted positions of power and authority to continue seeking victims. As a result, this/these predator(s) was/were able to find, groom, and assault additional children. Awaiting the end of the assaults took decades.
In most other contexts, this behavior would be described as an outright criminal conspiracy. Those who knew of the substantive allegations knowingly and willingly colluded to protect
priests/scoutmasters/coach(es) from legal response. Additional criminal molestation occurred as a direct result of their entirely voluntarily actions.
But unlike other criminal conspiracies which are broken by thorough prosecution – see the drug trade, for example, or the mafia – those who actively and aggressively protected
priests/scoutmasters/coach(es) will not be charged for having done so, even though their behavior created an environment in which criminal activity could not only occur, but was actively encouraged. Those involved will not be punished not because the victims they worked to create will have suffered any less than those victimized by drug trade or mafias, but rather because because the organizations that conspired to encourage the molestation of children have a favored place in society.
Catholic Church/Boy Scouts/Penn State Football Program enjoys such a reverential and worshipful following that its indiscretions, no matter how heinous they might be, will ultimately be treated lightly and barely, if at all. Self-appointed defenders will return to the parapets in service of organizations whose internal goals were specifically designed to maximize the suffering of victims because to do anything else would risk the well-being of the Catholic Church/Boy Scouts/Penn State Football Program, an institution’s whose perceived importance outweighs the physical and sexual well-being of victimized children. These defenders will also insist that despite evidence and common-sense dictating otherwise, that all-powerful archbishops/presidents/head-coach(es) were ignorant of the crimes being committed and should suffer nothing of consequence as a result.
In the coming weeks, we can expect those who defended and defended and defended these entrenched organizations to insist that time has passed, that lessons have been learned, and that the next time the
Catholic Church/Boy Scouts/Penn State Football Program discovers a predator in its midst, that the response will be far more substantive than it ever was during every previous occurrence. Those dubious of the claim will be asked to take the Catholic Church/Boy Scouts/Penn State Football Program at its word and to give the organization an opportunity to prove that it is capable of change.
Furthermore, there will be no re-evaluation of the
Catholic Church/Boy Scouts/Penn State Football Program’s venerated place in society, nor any acknowledgement that those institutions have shown through (in)action that they cannot be trusted. Moreover, there will be no statements forthcoming that read in the following way, “As a result of our own egregious and systemic behavior, we are ceding our societal position to those who warned repeatedly of our own inherent immorality. We bow to those who have not engaged in the repeated coverup and subsequent encouragement of pedophilic and ephebophilic molestation. Those are people who are clearly more humane and upstanding that we are capable of being, and until we can achieve that level of decency, we have no business telling anybody anything about how best to behave in the world.”
Oh, and finally: no apologies will be forthcoming from those internal and external organizational defenders who blithely dismissed the institution’s critics. These apologies will not be issued despite those critics suspicions having been subsequently proven correct by the facts. It is not enough to have merely been correct on the issue and as such, those unwilling to offer the
Catholic Church/Boy Scouts/Penn State Football Program the due deference it clearly has done nothing to deserve will remain ignored, distrusted, and castigated.