The USA is reeling once again in the wake of the level of abuse and cover up that has been revealed in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report published on August 14, 2018. Attorney General Josh Shapiro
said the report identified 301 priests who abused children and more than 1000 victims.
At the same time as the Pennsylvania Report was becoming public knowledge, there was a report from the UK
that the sexual abuse at two prominent Benedictine schools was considerably higher than was reflected by conviction figures with monks hiding allegations to protect the Church’s reputation.
Kim Smolik from Leadership Roundtable
(An organisation that promotes best practices and accountability in the management, finances, communications, and human resources development of the Catholic Church in the U.S., including greater incorporation of the expertise of the laity.) says that ‘the Catholic Church in the United States, and elsewhere is at a precipice.’ In the statement issued
by the Leadership Roundtable on August 27, she goes on to say:
“Catholic leaders, lay and ordained, must create a new culture of leadership and management that is transparent, accountable, competent, and grounded in justice in order to restore trust and safeguard the essential mission of the Catholic Church.
For the culture to change, the Church must practice accountability at every level and not just in terms of sexual abuse”
Smolik goes on, “the underlying conditions were decades in the making; solving these problems will require a long term, transformational change that must begin with immediate steps.”
Finally, the statement finishes with “As lay, religious, and ordained leaders, in this critical time we understand that the solution rests with each of us in the Church to live up to our respective ecclesial responsibility and to act.”