June 23rd, 2012
By Silena Parthlemon -- The day of reckoning at long last arrived for a perpetrator and an enabler of heinous child abuse crimes.
In the case of the perpetrator, Jerry Sandusky, the formerly revered, long-time defensive coach for the Nittany Lions was convicted on 48 varying charges of child abuse and endangerment -- and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Msgr William J. Lynn, a former archbishop's aide, was also found guilty Friday of endangering children, becoming the first senior official of the Catholic Church in the United States convicted of covering up sexual abuses by priests under his supervision.
In both cases the frequency, nature, and degree of the sexual abuses perpetrated by adults in positions of authority over, and responsibility
for the education and well-being of young people were absolutely, positively horrific. But the the dagger in the heart was the mounting evidence of knowledge of, complicity in, and cover-up of the abuses -- on the part of officials in positions of supervisory and managerial responsibility in these two esteemed institutions.
It is hard to imagine that these kinds of abuses could happen and go unreported and undetected for years in this modern era rapid fire
communication, instantaneous and real time social media -- punctuated by an unrelenting 24 hour-a-day news cycle. But to psychologically, emotionally, and intellectually digest the realization that these acts were known about, unreported, and literally covered up by the very people responsible for managing, supervising, and monitoring the programs and people involved running them -- is almost a stretch too far for me. What has happened to our society -- and in fact, maybe our whole civilization, that educated people, people who should know better -- people we have known and trusted -- could so badly betray us and the young people entrusted to them -- and then have them work surreptitiously and with deliberate malice aforethought to hide the facts, cover it up -- and in fact to deflect investigations and protect these obviously sick and immoral people -- such that they could prey upon young people again and again -- using the same