The only sure way to get to the bottom of the sexual abuse problems of the past will be to tackle courageously the root causes. That will involve the church facing its own institutional failings, and is unlikely any time soon. However, it could be easier to prevent future cover-ups, simply by demonstrating that the church is not above the law. Prosecuting the hiearchs for criminal culpability may be the way to do this.
Priest abuse victims want criminal investigation of church leaders
BRIDGEPORT — Stephen Kali just left a Main Street store when he noticed the small group of people standing in front of Superior Court on Thursday afternoon, holding posters with photos of priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport accused of abusing children.
Sidling over to where John Marshall Lee, a member of the Voice of the Faithful, a group that advocates for greater transparency in the Catholic Church, was holding a poster of the Rev. Alfred Bietighofer, he inquired what was going on.
Lee told Kali that it was a demonstration organized to call on State’s Attorney John Smriga to investigate not only the allegations against diocesan clergy, but the senior church officials who covered it up. The protest came two days after the diocese, forced by court order, released thousands of previously secret records documenting allegations of sexual abuse against diocesan priests dating back more than three decades.
More at News Times