Sunday, November 13, 2011


Um, no, we aren't.

I've read a lot of opinions on this scandal but none is more chilling than Christopher's at the conservative Catholic website Christopher's Apologies.  He made a video drawing the accurate analogy between this child abuse scandal and the Catholic Church's priest abuse scandal, and he makes a mild leap to the Gosnell case where a doctor was killing newborn infants and calling it abortion.  Okay, a gratuitous, albeit obtuse and inaccurate, jab at abortion, but I'd agree that Gosnell's office was also a similar hierarchy that eschewed outside oversight and covered up crimes.  Fine.

Christopher, for some unknown reason, goes on to draw a direct line from anal intercourse with a 10 year-old  to consensual sex between adults, as in the Tiger Woods and... wait for it... the Bill Clinton peccadilloes.  Bill Clinton analogies never get old for conservatives.  But Christopher gets whacky when he equates failing to report child sex abuse to keeping an extra hamburger that was mistakenly placed in your McDonalds bag.  Is this what goes for Catholic morality these days?

If Christopher is to be believed, we are all Penn State, we are all lax in our duties as citizens and human beings.  Not!!!  I was trying to imagine how graphic the image would be of witnessing an adult male raping a 10 yr-old in a shower, especially witnessed during an otherwise ordinary day at work.  The graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, had seen such a thing in 2002 when he was 28 years-old, certainly an age of knowing right from wrong.  Is it really within reason to merely report such an occurrence to Joe Paterno and then go about your career within the coaching hierarchy of a university for another nine years, never questioning why the cretin Sandusky is not just out of prison, but still working at the university!?

McQueary's grand jury testimony says that he told Joe Paterno the graphic details of the incident and then went about his career.  Paterno, for his part, told the athletic director but found nothing untoward about Sandusky, his long time former assistant, continuing to work at the university.

There are surely enough WTF moments in this saga to boggle the mind.  At no time did any member of the Penn State University athletic department or administration have empathy for the victims and future victims of this pedophile.  Does this sound familiar?  Is the Catholic Church's priest abuse scandal analogous?  You bet it is.

Nittany Lion
And the common denominator is that both institutions are examples of top-down hierarchies with little or no outside oversight.  One law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania remarked that nobody from the coaches to the athletic director to the university president himself-- nobody-- ever thought to notify the police of the crimes that were being witnessed and discussed.  Protection of the university and Coach Sandusky's reputation became paramount, with no apparent consideration for the victims.  Even JoePa's final statement "I wish I had done more" seemed more a plea for his own personal reputation than for any justice or empathy, echoing similar sentiments from various bishops.

Anyone who could for a minute analogize child abuse to keeping an extra nickel of change from a restaurant, as ersatz Catholic moralists seem to be doing, needs to do some re-evaluation.

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