Thursday, February 17, 2011

Keep it quiet
Staff Editorial: Campus is silent on sexual assault within Catholic community
The Hawk Staff

Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Updated: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 21:02

For decades instances of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church have been swept un- der the rug and ignored.

Now another accusation of four priests sexually assaulting children in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has come about.

Instances of abuse have been reported for decades, and have been consistently regarded as taboo, particularly within the very institutions they most directly and pertinently affect. While the recent occurrences within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have brought the problem to our backyard, we should not have been unaware of the seriousness of the situations until now.

Nonetheless, it is entirely shocking that the proximity of the occurrences has failed to rouse any response from Saint Joseph's University, a Catholic institution.

While the conversation is happening on campus, it is taking place in small groups and hushed tones, among students and in private.

The students of this institution are lucky to have the guidance of highly devoted Jesuits who participate in various levels of the community in academic and social settings.

However, in regard to these particular, deeply affecting and highly disturbing occurrences, their guidance has been lacking.

An additional and potentially invaluable resource presents itself immediately adjacent to our campus, from our neighbor, Cardinal Justin Rigali. But again, input on this front has been largely silent. We have the right to talk about what is happening in our area, and to get more facts straight from the source.

In many cases, the public's answer to the horrific cases of sexual assault has been the relocation of the offenders. But the manner in which the cases are being handled has presented itself as a topic of great discontent among members of our community, and is in much need of a campus discussion.

The more we know about the scandal, the more we can help raise awareness.

We deserve a conversation with our campus Jesuits to talk about the disturbing acts of previously highly-esteemed individuals within the Catholic Church.

These instances should not be discussed in undertones.

The occurrence of sexual abuse is known to many, yet few discussions are addressing the issue.

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