Aug 6, 2019

Institutional failings on display

A postcard from Theodore McCarrick to one of his victims. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

At the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America, headlines from Tuesday alone show the scope of challenges at organizations meant to safely shepherd children to adulthood.

Why it matters: The collective result of such failings is parents who won't trust others with their kids.

The headlines:

  • "Ex-cardinal’s letters to victims show signs of grooming" (AP)
  • "Boy Scouts failed to stop hundreds of previously unreported sexual predators, a lawsuit alleges" (WashPost)

On the Catholic Church, via the AP:

  • Disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sent postcards and letters from "Uncle Ted" to his victims as part of correspondence with their parents.
  • In an interview with AP, one victim said McCarrick’s status with the family created pressure on him to spend time with his abuser.
  • “If I didn’t go to see Theodore I was always going to be asked by my brothers and sisters or my dad, ‘Why didn’t you go see him?’”
  • Links to the letters, via AP

And on the Boy Scouts, via WashPost:

  • "The plaintiff in the case ... is alleging that he was assaulted 'hundreds' of times by a scout leader in Pennsylvania over the course of about four years in the 1970s."
  • The lawsuit alleges negligence by the "Boy Scouts, that the organization conspired to keep incidents of sexual assault a secret, and that the organization and other defendants engaged in 'reckless misconduct.'"
  • "For decades, the Boy Scouts organization has kept detailed files, known as the ineligible volunteer files, that documented pedophiles known to it."
  • "In the past decade, a large tranche of the documents became public through lawsuits and investigative reporting. But those records may be incomplete."

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