By Guest Blogger, Rev. Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery
The Board of Trustees of Penn State University has provided a lesson in courage and righteousness tonight that should restore Pennsylvanians’ (and others’) faith in higher educational leadership and administration. The only just solution to the heinous crimes of sexual abuse against young boys that occurred on the Penn State campus over the course of nearly twenty years was the firing of President Spanier and Coach Joe Paterno.
What happened at Penn State tonight is a lesson to officials of the Catholic Church. The only just solution to the clergy abuse scandal of the Catholic Church is the wholesale removal of bishops. Cleansing the Church of leaders who covered up crimes against children by priests and other religious figures would accomplish what the Penn State Board of Trustees accomplished tonight; namely, a new beginning with fresh and, hopefully, morally-conscientious leadership.
President Spanier was fired. This week, several priests and bishops attended an 80th birthday party for Cardinal Bernard Law in a fancy restaurant in Rome. This disgraced cleric, instead of being fired and relegated to a place of penance and prayer, was given a cushy job in Rome, where he enjoys diplomatic immunity. Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City was indicted by a grand jury for not safeguarding the lives of children by keeping secret the existence of child porn on the computer of a priest. He remains as Bishop of Kansas City – St. Joseph, Missouri.
Joe Paterno was fired last night. Not even a 61-year career at Penn State prevented the Board of Trustees from firing him for not doing the right thing when it came to protecting children. Hundreds of Catholic bishops are still in their jobs despite their cover-up, obfuscation, and transferring of pedophile priests from parish to parish, school to school, and institution to institution. It is time for Pope Benedict to fire the bishops and start all over. But wait, Benedict is one of the bishops. He has not done the right thing either. He must go too!
It is time for the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Church (lay Catholics) to fire the men who have ignored the cries of the injured and damaged, covered up charges of sexual abuse, and placed children at risk of harm. Lay Catholics must fire their bishops. How? By withholding funds, not “feeding the hierarchical beast,” and not allowing “bully bishops” to continue their evil ways.
The beginning of the cleansing of Happy Valley had begun with bold leadership and decisive action. It is time for Catholics to do the same.
Road to Recovery, Inc.
P.O. Box 279
Livingston, NJ 07039
(serving childhood victims of sexual abuse by religious and authority figures)