More on the Gym Jordan cover up saga at OSU …https://t.co/VB5V0937f8— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) February 14, 2020
In all these cases, the hierarchical structure of the church made it difficult to bring high-ranking figures to justice. When you give superiors nearly absolute obedience, the threshold for acting against them is high. By the same token, superiors can often protect offending priests.
A presumption of integrity goes with a high position in the Catholic Church. It is often difficult to believe that a bishop could commit or cover up a terrible crime such as rape or sexual abuse. Also, if the Catholic Church is a divine institution necessary for salvation, then there are those who will protect its reputation at all costs.
There is a tipping point, however. The key moment leading to the resignation of Cardinal Law was a letter, signed by 58 priests, asking him to resign.