A thoughtful reader sent me an email regarding my analogy in my morning post between the sex abuse crisis in the Church and Danny Goldhagen's book about the Shoah. My point was not that the Catholic laity bear some of the responsibility for the sex abuse crisis. The hierarchy owns this one. My point is that we should not look only to impersonal forces like institutional culture in assessing blame but must remember that actual persons both committed these crimes and covered them up. At any time, the members of the hierarchy could, and some did, stand up and say, "No" we are not going to handle this the way we have in the past.
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