abuse Archives - Ethics & Public Policy Center

The Catholic Project, Two Years On

The abuse crisis is, in some important ways, a unique challenge for the Catholic Church. In some ways, though, its remedy is the same as the remedy for all the challenges the Church faces: strive for holiness, cling to the Church, preach the Good News in word and deed.

Hard Lessons of the McCarrick Affair

The shameful story of Theodore McCarrick illustrates more than the demonic power of deception. McCarrick’s deceptions operated within a cultural matrix that enabled him to avoid the consequences of his depredations for decades.

The McCarrick Report: No Smoking Gun, but Massive System Failure

Theodore McCarrick counted on the members of the episcopal club not to break the club rules. The path forward lies in dismantling those rules and consigning them to oblivion, along with the rest of the clerical caste system.

Coming Soon…

A new podcast seeks to help Catholics understand the clergy abuse crisis and how the crisis might change our understanding of the Church itself.

Waiting for the McCarrick Report

The delay in the Vatican’s report on the case of Theodore McCarrick is an obstacle to reconciliation within the Church because it is a constant reminder of the institutional maintenance and clerical impunity that have been hallmarks of the Church’s mishandling of abuse cases for decades.

A Different Kind of Transparency

Catholics now have a guidebook, written for non-experts (or at least non-canonists), which provides a simplified explanation of how Rome expects the rest of the Church to handle allegations of clergy sexual abuse.

Lessons of the Latest Abuse Numbers

We owe it to our shepherds to let them try to regain our trust, as hard as that may be. As for our bishops, surely they know how difficult it is to trust a leader who never lets down his guard, who through contempt or fear, refuses to grant the very trust he demands in return.

The Anatomy of a Pathology

Those who imagined that the sliming of Cardinal George Pell would stop as of April 7, when a unanimous decision of the High Court of Australia acquitted him of “historical sexual abuse,” did not reckon with the climate of venomous hatred that has surrounded Pell for decades, fouling Australia’s public life, legal system, and politics in the process.

Credit, Where It’s Due

The actions of the media, lawyers, and victims’ advocacy groups have sometimes been, taken in isolation, very damaging to the Church. But the actions of these same groups have often, over the long term, been a strong force moving the Church in the right direction.

Pell Case Quashed – McCarrick Report Still Pending

For too long the Church reflexively stood with those it was “easy” to believe and “easy” to defend: accused priests. For that we are still paying the price, though the greater price was paid in the suffering of victims. Justice demands better.