Media accounts across the country recently announced yet another update on priest pedophiles from California Catholic Church bodies.
And so it goes.
The Diocese of Orange County updates its 2004 list of priests “removed from the ministry amid credible allegations of sexual abuse.” The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has updated its massive list of priest offenders in the wake of its seminal $660 million settlement with victims back in 2007, recently announcing the imminent disclosure of new names “since the last update.” The Diocese of San Diego “regularly updates” the list of criminal wrongdoers it has published for more than a decade.
And now there is the Diocese of San Bernardino County, which just last week released the names of 34 priests that church authorities concede molested child victims from the 1970s onward. That list follows previously provided information on perpetrators abusing children in decades before the diocese was established. In a video posted last week, Bishop Gerald Brown referred to what he termed a “shameful chapter” in church history.
Legions of critics might label that depiction as revisionist history, opting to categorize the tale of steady molestation over many decades as a “book” instead.
Or perhaps a tome. We noted in a recent blog post the flatly “awful news” surrounding the tale of hundreds of priests molesting at least 1,000 children for scores of years in Pennsylvania parishes (please see our August 20 entry). That story is merely one news bite among many, being supplemented by mass-abuse incidents occurring across the world, from Australia to Ireland and spanning multiple parishes in the United States.
A telling and sad addendum to the recent San Bernardino-linked disclosure spotlights the fact that the diocese there has felt it necessary to establish an Office of Child and Youth Protection to safeguard against church officials’ predatory behavior.