President Biden David Clohessy
(RNS) — The unemployed. The unvaccinated. The front-line health care workers. The struggling small-business owners. The kids who should be back in school. Millions need and deserve help these days.
Increasingly that help is arriving courtesy of President Joe Biden and the federal government. But there is a group that could also use — and certainly deserves — help that is rarely mentioned these days. It’s a group that Biden, as the nation’s second Catholic president, should feel personally bound to help.
For more than 25 years — nearly half of the president’s adult life — the U.S. Catholic Church has been dealing with the horror of widespread clergy sex crimes and cover-ups. Yet U.S. abuse survivors have never received official acknowledgment of their pain by any federal official anywhere.
Many of the estimated 100,000 adults who were assaulted by Catholic clerics are struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, fractured families, eating disorders, mental health issues and addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex or work. A disproportionate share of these survivors are unemployed, underemployed or unemployable.
Biden, who so obviously loves the church, has long been well situated to help heal families who are still suffering, many in shame, silence, isolation and self-blame, from this ongoing scandal. Yet he has essentially been silent about this crisis and the devastating impact it continues to have on so many.