As I write this Monsignor William Lynn has just been convicted of child endangerment for not adequately protecting children by removing priests he had evidence had abused children. No one accused Lynn of perpetrating abuse by his own actions. But now he stands convicted for what he failed to do and is looking at some years behind bars.
Bottom line: if church leaders knowingly cover up sexual abuse allegations or allow other leaders to remain in ministry when they have abused children, there is now a track record of prosecuting those who didn’t take action to protect children–either those who have been abused or those who could be abused.
Frankly, it shouldn’t take the threat of prosecution to get us to do the right thing. For the sake of the purity of the Church and the care for the least of these, we should always protect children over the organizational reputation. If you or someone you know wants to know more about how to deal with abuse allegations in the church, join us on July 20-21 for our seminar on the topic. For only $50 dollars for 9 hours of training, you can walk away with some great ways to protect your church and care for victims and offenders. (FYI, the $50 rate is for anyone not wanting graduate credit…you don’t need to be a church official to get that rate!)