Action Alert!

Secondary explosions

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Aug 09, 2004

How did the Boston archdiocese become the focus of the sex-abuse scandal in the American Catholic Church?

It's not because Boston's policies differed markedly from those of other American dioceses. From what we've been able to learn, it seems clear that dozens of other dioceses coddled their predator-priests the same way.

The big difference is that in Boston, a judge ordered the public release of personnel files, which made it impossible to disguise the wrongdoing of chancery officials.

So when you learn that several California dioceses have been ordered to surrender their own clergy-personnel records, you should be bracing yourself for another round of shocking revelations.

When will it all end? When the bishops voluntarily come clean.

Is there any sign that they're getting the picture? No.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Gil125 - Aug. 14, 2004 3:34 PM ET USA

    Alas, Phil, it probably won't happen. Our California dioceses are smart enough to learn from our Eastern brethren. They are claiming that all such files have been destroyed---or, in some cases, that they never existed.