ANALYSIS: Philadelphia abuse reversal conveys a painful lesson

(RNS) This week’s court decision that freed a senior cleric in Philadelphia who had been jailed for shielding an abusive priest was a symbolic setback for victims’ advocates but one with a substantial, and discouraging, message for their cause: None of the churchmen implicated in cover-ups during the worst decades of abuse will likely ever face charges.

Prominent priest, Rev. Benedict Groeschel, blames sex victims, says first-time abusers shouldn’t face jail

David Gibson and Daniel Burke |

NEW YORK (RNS) The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, a prominent author and speaker who is especially popular with conservative Catholics and bishops, has sparked outrage by saying that priests who sexually abuse children “on their first offense” should not go to jail. He added that in “a lot of cases” the child is “the seducer.” By David Gibson and Daniel Burke.