Two years ago I wrote an article for NCR titled "Surely Rome Can Do Better." It described the complexity of resigning from the priesthood — especially if you wish to get married — and was published in the "Examining the Crisis" section of the website. Forty-five people wrote comments to the article, but it was a phone call I received from an attorney that really caught my attention.
Let me take you into a situation that illustrates the church institution's instinctive reaction to cover-up scandal. It was a workshop in 2000 for new Jesuit superiors. The presenter, a former provincial, was discussing the circumstances when a superior could break the bond of confidentiality between himself and the men he was in charge of. He said something could be shared with the provincial "If it was a matter of danger for the individual or to others."