A point I believe is central to this issue but often overlooked, is that the hierarchical leadership of this morality based institution has for centuries (first discussed in Church records in the fourth century) been complicit in the enabling and covering up of the sexual abuse of children and we are counting on them to fix it.
Do we really believe that powerful men, with the weight of these acts on their consciences and the fear of being exposed influencing their decisions, are the best candidates to wash away this stain on their Church? These are men who have to be wondering, with each new revelation, if this will be what finally brings them down, personally. How can they be entrusted with seeing a clear path forward out of this crisis while constantly looking back over their shoulders for the approaching accountability they dread.
These are men who strive to be Christ-like, not Christ himself, or even saints (yet). Only a complete and un-redacted exposure of all the Information related to the sexual abuse of children (whether by priests, brothers, sisters, deacons, or lay employees of the Church) to law enforcement authorities, including everything that’s been done to protect the Church’s (and by association the individuals in charge) reputation and standing in the community and world, will be cleansing enough for the Church (and it’s leadership) to emerge from this crisis once and for all.
Only then will the piecemeal reforms the Church puts in place, as well-intentioned as they may be, coalesce into any meaningful or lasting change. This is surely the message behind the words “We are only as sick as our secrets.” And doesn’t the Church itself tells us “Confession is good for the soul.”