It's dead common. But who knows how large the percentage is of families that never "see" it, or admit to it, or do something about it. In institutional "families," the sexual abuse of children is, apparently, no less a problem. But getting a large university to recognize it and do something about it is -- we now know -- very difficult. Getting the Catholic church to have anything like a sense of responsibility about its employees' abuse is still a problem.
At least our justice system is beginning to do its job.
A jury in Centre County Court convicted Sandusky, 68, of sexually assaulting 10 boys, all of them children from disadvantaged homes whom Sandusky, using his access to the university’s vaunted football program, had befriended and then repeatedly violated. The jury, seven women and five men, more than half with ties to Penn State, returned a verdict on the second day of deliberation.
Sandusky stood stoically as the jury foreman read off the verdicts on the 48 counts against him. The foreman said guilty 45 times. Many of the charges, which include rape and sodomy, carry significant prison terms, and it seems likely that Sandusky will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Sandusky was taken into custody after the verdicts were read. ...NYT
Ironically, this verdict has come even as some Americans are beginning -- just beginning -- to understand how universities use kids in another shameless way. University sports are used openly to enrich the university. Discussions of the sexual abuse cases at Penn State have, fortunately, often segued to conversations about the whole for-profit sports system.
In Philadelphia, even as the Sandusky trial was wrapping, Monsignor William Lynn, was convicted of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests under his supervision.
The single guilty verdict was widely seen as a victory for the district attorney’s office, which has been investigating the archdiocese aggressively since 2002, and it was hailed by victim advocates who have argued for years that senior church officials should be held accountable for concealing evidence and transferring predatory priests to unwary parishes. ...NYT
This is a less satisfying verdict than the verdict against Jerry Sandusky. It's an embarrassment to the arrogant, detached Catholic hierarchy, a verdict that is probably a wasp sting at worst for Lynn's bosses. Faced with the international scope of the sexual abuse by workers in the Catholic church -- and given its traditional abuse of believers, particularly women and children -- I think most of us are hoping to see some serious "accountability" suffered at the very highest levels within the Vatican.