January 7, 2022
The Catholic sex abuse crisis WILL happen again.
Because it IS happening again.
Because, among other things, lay Catholics are making the SAME
SPOTLIGHT at 20:
I'm a survivor of the Catholic and I'm DEEPLY concerned about the state of
the Catholic Church, twenty years after SPOTLIGHT; after the release of the
articles that inspired the movie.
1. Men like My Friend the Cardinal, who witnessed, at least in part, my
and our sexual abuse by Fr. LeRoy Valentine at the Church of the
Immacolata in the late 1970s, and then Gaslighted me in 2002, in the
aftermath of SPOTLIGHT, continue to run the Catholic Church.
2. Certain parents knew (some of) what was going on, back in the day. Moms
saw creepy stuff with their own eyes, picking up their kids from parties, etc.
So they knew which priests to warn their kids about. The problem is that,
instead of sharing that knowledge and protecting EVERY kid, they chose to
protect only their OWN kids. And sometimes the friends of their kids. However,
while the parents of some of my friends knew about Fr. Valentine, nobody told
MY PARENTS or ME to watch out for him. I see the same calculation at play in
some Catholics; they know the problems continue, so they know how to — and
that they NEED to, still — be careful and protect their own kids. But what
about the kids whose parents do NOT know to be careful? Who will protect THEM?
3. Catholic bishops, like Bishop Rick Stika of Knoxville, aided by
Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski of St. Louis, rather than expelling KNOWN
abusers of seminarians at the FIRST sign of a problem, as is the policy,
instead continue to protect and try to ordain them. In the case of Stika
and Knoxville, that means a multi-accused rapist. And seminarian. The
4. Who will these HORRIBLY FLAWED, PREDATORY seminarians, who are
sexually harassing, abusing, and assaulting their fellow seminarians,
attack when they are alone, in a parish?
5. The incentives remain in place for bishops like Bishop Stika to
ordain as many priests as possible, regardless of their quality. In this
case, who they may sexually assault.
6. The same justifications and rationalizations, that enabled the worst
of the Catholic sex abuse crisis, continue on in the church.
7. SEMINARIANS, PRIESTS, & BISHOPS who KNOW of the abuse by
seminarians, continue to (just) follow orders and keep their mouths shut.
The problem is, if they can keep their mouths shut about the sexual abuse
of their fellow seminarians, what else are they will to keep their mouths
8. CARDINAL SEAN O'MALLEY & FR. HANS ZOLLNER, the Catholic Church's
highest level advocates for Catholics, and survivors, continue to shun
survivors who try to blow the whistle to them about the (mis)treatment of
survivors by (arch)dioceses. Presumably (just) following orders.
9. THE PRESS, Catholic and secular, continue to Enable the Catholic
Church, refusing to require that the church keep its promises, starting
with VOS ESTIS LUX MUNDI, Pope Francis' bill of rights for survivors.
Instead of digging into the reality of VOS ESTIS, and talking to survivors
about their experiences, the press continues to take the church at its
10. ENABLING by prominent lay Catholics — who know of at least some of
what's going on, including the past actions of bishops, archibshops, and
cardinals, but refuse to speak out about and against it — continues.
11. The instinct of Catholics, of all types, CONTINUES to be to Enable;
to protect the church, its reputation, and financial resources. Before,
and above, innocent children, women, and men.
That's not progress.
I know you don't WANT this to be true.
But it is.
Don't romanticize it.
We are ALL vulnerable to Satan.