As I pointed out in my blog, the John Jay study released earlier this week is nothing more than another misleading effort by U.S. Bishops and the Vatican to promote its self-image. The report, which is at most a review as opposed to a study, is a shameless attempt to quiet the tireless survivors and advocates who continue to demand a change in practices that imperil children.
Artist Tony Auth’s depiction that was published in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer captures the true meaning behind the John Jay report.
Here he portrays the Bishop as a “high” man, dressed in full regalia and laughing as he offers “It was the sixties, man,” as his rationalization of the clergy sex abuse scandal. The John Jay study is cradled in his arms and more appropriately called the Catholic Bishops’ study, symbolizing the fact that the Catholic Bishops Conference itself effectually commissioned the study since it provided over half of the cost of the report with religiously-affiliated organizations providing most of the remainder.
Since the study came out Wednesday, many have noted the absurdity of the study’s conclusions and have questioned how a study whose methodology consisted of looking only at the files the bishops’ provided could be credible; how top Catholic officials can consistently get away with passing blame when they continue to move offender priests from parish to parish; and why John Jay College would even put its name on such a disingenuous piece of work.
This new “Woodstock defense” is the same mantra heard from the hierarchy for decades- it’s everybody else’s fault that we are in crisis.