“The Bishops’ Priorities: Responding to the new John Jay Report on Sexual Abuse,” by Blase J. Cupich (Bishop of Spokane, Washington) for America, The National Catholic Weekly, May 30, 2011
“Yet just as the report reinforces what we have done and are doing right in facing the problem, it also calls for additional initiatives to address shortcomings so that the abuse of minors does not happen again in the Catholic Church.”
Bishop Cupich offers a solutions-based response to the John Jay Report. Not all Bishops have proven themselves to be as interested in child protection. His commentary notes improvement and includes the call to refine those efforts. However, he doesn’t address the very real issues still happening today in Philadelphia and around the world.
He also gives credence to the report’s finding that isolation, drinking and stress can lead to child sex abuse. The study inexplicably used the victim age of 10 or under to determine whether or not abusive priests were pedophiles. The American Psychiatric Association uses the age of 13. If they had used the latter, the majority of abusive priests would have been pedophiles – a psychiatric disorder. I don’t take issue with his solution, though. Priests do need more education on these matters and support in general.
Most important, is that a Bishop is speaking out on the subject.