by Dan Savage
on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 2:41 PM
Hate to spoil the new pope's coming-out party—and it was such a lovely party—but this just in:
The Catholic Diocese of Joliet will release as part of a lawsuit settlement more than 7,000 internal documents that reportedly show every bishop since the 1950s has been aware of diocese priests sexually abusing children. The documents include personnel files and other items related to 15 diocese priests accused of sexual abuse over a 50-year period ending in the 1990s. They will be released by plaintiff David Rudofski through his Chicago lawyer, Terrence Johnson, as part of his settlement with the diocese. Rudofski was 8 years old and making his first confession at St. Mary's Church in Mokena when he was sexually molested by the Rev. James Burnett in the 1980s.
Rape a kid making his first confession—holy shit, that'll fuck a Catholic kid up for life. And you gotta love how certain the writer is that all of this sexual-abuse-of-children-by-Catholic-priests stuff ended in the 1990s. How can we know that for sure? How do you prove that particular negative? And here's a detail for all you non-Catholics out there: Catholic children make their first first confession at age seven—and they're alone with a priest, in dark little box, when they make it. When I was a Catholic kid we went to confession on a weekly basis. So one rapey parish priest could have access to dozens or hundreds of children, completely alone and with no parents present, week-in, week-out, for decades. Access to children alone—that's built right into this particular sacrament.
But, hey, the new pope used to ride the bus to work. So it's basically a wash, right?
And again: if children got raped at Denny's as often as they get raped in church...