Or should I say, a problem which has been solved already.
The deacon is a leader in the effort to deal with the pederasty problem. I mean pederasty, not pedophilia, because that's what it was. The priest had likewise spent ten years or more dealing with the issue in the diocese. I was the parent of grade-school Catholic students at the time and I can recall the dramatic safety measures that were put in place to stop the pederasty.
It turns out they have been very successful. For all practical purposes, the abuse of minors has stopped. The diocese has a zero tolerance policy and cooperates fully with law enforcement on these matters. In the years since those measures have been put in place, if I recall the figures correctly, there have been fewer than 10 incidents reported, only one of which was proven to have substance.
So we've got that issue, as the chaps in Monty Python might say, relatively under control. That leaves us with the poison in the hierarchy, the Lavender Mafia.
It turns out that when the pederasty crisis first blew containment and the leadership could no longer keep things quiet, the bishops held a nationwide meeting and developed strong rules with stiff penalties to deal with it.
Those penalties did not apply to the bishops or any of the prelates. The rules were deliberately written that way. If the feedback we got from the priests at this meeting was any indication, they're disgusted by it. Further, Bishop McElroy, our idiot leader, came out and attacked the Vigano letter which named names in the Lavender Mafia. Lots of other bishops came out in support of it, but the nincompoop in San Diego decided to rail against Vigano. Maybe because he was named as a member of that cabal.
The priests at the meeting thought his response was stupid. The parishioners at the meeting were very angry. Plans are being drawn up to protest his refusal to support investigating the high-level corruption.
It went a lot farther than that, but the two key takeaways for me were these:
- Priests aren't abusing children any more. At least not in the US.
- The Lavender Mafia is still a huge problem and took steps to keep themselves from punishment.