Pope Francis has called for silence and prayer from those who criticize the Catholic Church’s attempts to root out and punish sex-abusing priests. But it is clear the time for silence has long passed.
Priests who prey on children are criminals, not souls to be saved for the sake of an institution.
Here in the U.S., the Boston Globe stunned the nation with its Pulitzer Prize-winning series about the systemic cover-up of child sexual exploitation within the Boston diocese back in 2003. Today we are still talking about trying to find justice for victims of priestly sex crimes.
That’s why I was cheered by a report this week that the Missouri Attorney General, Jeff Hawley, was launching an investigation into allegations of sex abuse against the Catholic Church in his state. In short order, the Attorney General in New Mexico, Hector Balderas, followed suit. Both AGs are officially requesting all dioceses to voluntarily produce church documents for review of possible cases of sex crimes by priests. Church officials in both states promised to cooperate.