In police racism and clergy abuse, hold leaders accountable

Police Racism Clergy Abuse

Title: In police racism and clergy abuse, hold leaders accountable

Author: John Garvey

Publisher: Catholic Philly

Date: 19JUN2020

It might just be a reflection of my own intellectual preoccupations, but I can’t help but notice some parallels in our efforts to end both police racism and clergy sexual abuse. One concerns the way we frame the problem.

In 2018, there were 7,407 African American homicide victims in the United States. For purposes of comparison, police fatally shot 14 unarmed blacks (and 25 whites) in 2019, according to the Washington Post.

Why, then, do the killings of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks evoke so much more outrage than the thousands of other fatal acts of criminal violence against African Americans?

I remember asking a similar question about clergy sexual abuse in 2018. That year the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate reported that in the three-year period from 2015-2017, across the entire country, there were an average of just seven new incidents of abuse per year charged against Catholic priests.

By contrast, in 2017 alone, just in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (whose grand jury report caused such furor), 42 school teachers lost their licenses for sexual misconduct. Why was all the outrage directed against clergy?

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