No official in the Catholic Church has any credibility when speaking on issues of sexuality, gender, or relationships.
If that was not already obvious, it became compellingly clear with the release of the Pennsylvania attorney general’s report on a grand jury investigation into more than 1,000 cases of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in six dioceses across that state. The horrific details of repeated abuse, networks of abusers, and systemic cover-up by church leaders make it painfully clear that care for children and families came nowhere close to concerns about protecting the institution of the church, and even abusers, in the minds of Catholic leaders. From children being raped in hospital beds to serial abuse of siblings, marking targets with “gifts” of gold crosses, and making pornography later shared among groups of abusive priests, what these young girls and boys were subjected to is almost beyond imagining. The after-effects of the abuse impact people to this day, long after the statute of limitations has made criminal accountability for perpetrators and their enablers impossible. Bishops and cardinals repeatedly kept perpetrators out of the reach of law enforcement until they could no longer be prosecuted, through a series of steps the Pennsylvania attorney general called “a playbook for concealing the truth.”