Thankfully, the issue of clergy sex abuse has all but disappeared from the front pages of our diocesan newspapers. Stories about how dioceses are implementing background checks for parish staff and volunteers or teaching Catholic schoolchildren how to avoid sexual predators are much more frequent than reports of any new incidents of sexual abuse.
But the Florida Catholic in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Fla., recently published an opinion piece by a survivor of clergy sexual abuse that had an interesting perspective. Chris McCafferty said his greatest concern now is for children in public schools.
“The Catholic Church is accepting responsibility for what occurs in its programs, but the public schools are not,” McCafferty wrote. “If the church harbors a pedophile it is held accountable; if the school system protects a pedophile in public schools, the system can’t be sued easily because of the government’s sovereign immunity.” Read McCafferty’s full column here.