The explosive sexual assault charges emanating from Penn State University has compelled the nation’s attention to once again focus on the seemingly pervasive issue of sexual abuse against children.
Hall of fame football coach Joe Paterno has been fired in the fallout of reports that his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, 67, was charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period.
Paterno’s Dismissal, just three games short of his completing his 46 season in a legendary career, is due to widening criticism the University has been fielding concerning what appears to be its coddling of Sandusky, even after an eyewitness account reported that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old boy in 2002.
Many have begun to identify parallels between Penn State and the institutional-wide Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, specifically in the adjudication of sexual abuse allegations, which shows the church handling reports of sexual abuse by its members internally, instead of through law enforcement authorities.
Catholics have been paying close attention to Penn State's burgeoning scandal with an eye on addressing the Catholic Church's own sexual abuse issues. On the Facebook page of Catholic News Service, Catholics offer their opinions on the issue.
Marion Gramcko stated, “I hope the church will wake up and make those accountable for their roles. From the Pope on down sorry but the truth & letting victims voices heard loud and clear is the right thing to do. Glad Penn State board put the victims before football. Let's put the victims before the church & prove to them their souls matter.”
Dawn Emmons, alluded to the swell of support some Penn State and football fans have been offering Paterno: “Too bad some 'innocent until proven guilty' priests didn't get the same enthusiastic support from their flock as the Penn State coach got from his.”
Tom Abdella points to what he sees as the media using the Penn State issue to blame the Catholic Church: “Typical US Catholic article - finding fault with the Catholic Church... I think what was done to Paterno is disgraceful! Not at all ‘necessary’. And sinful, as discussed in the CCC - maybe you all ought to read it someday.”
According to Stormy Weather: “Neither one should have happened and Penn seems to be doing a better job of making things right.”