I read with interest the Times news report about the sexual abuse allegations against monks from St. John’s community. Of particular interest was the abbot’s remark that “if it came to us today we would have handled it differently.”
I am puzzled by this remark. Hasn’t it always been a criminal offense for an adult to have sex with a minor?
Although it has only come to light in the last few years that priests, sisters, monks and bishops have had sexual relations with minors or even vulnerable adults, it has always been a crime.
The only difference between then and now is that the review board pretty much told them to make it public. In the past this would have remained a secret, and no one would be the wiser.
I am glad that the review board is in place, at least, so that it can encourage the abbot to make this public and do right by all the people who may have been abused. Unfortunately, history has shown us too many times that church institutions would rather hide and cover up for their abusive members than help the abused.
I am grateful to that review board for pushing the abbot to finally do the right thing.
Letter: Review board is necessary for keeping church honest
Gabrielle Azzaro Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.