May 22, 2005

The scandal that won't go away

Sunday, May 22, 2005


SUPPOSE YOU were asked to name one of the biggest criminal coverups in American history. Maybe you would point to Wall Street or to the White House or to another political institution.

But the Roman Catholic Church? This is just one of the questions to emerge from a new documentary about decades of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests as church leaders kept silent or actively kept evidence from police.

How did this widespread abuse happen? How did it go on for so long?

"Holy Water-gate: Abuse Cover-up in the Catholic Church," by filmmaker Mary Healey-Conlon, touches on those questions and more in one of the most searing examinations of how church leaders turned a deaf ear to what surely is American Catholicism's most serious crisis, not to mention the most extensive coverup of criminal behavior in the nation's history.

The numbers speak volumes about how horrible this story is - some 11,000 children raped or abused by more than 4,000 priests during a 40-year span. But those numbers are conservative estimates, approved by the church officials. The truth may be even worse.

Posted by kshaw at May 22, 2005 08:11 AM