“When a trout rising to a fly gets hooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freely,
he begins with a fight which results in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape.
Often of course, the situation is too tough for him.
“In the same way the human being struggles with his environment and with the hooks that catch him.
Sometimes he masters his difficulties; sometimes they are too much for him.
His struggles are all that the world sees and it naturally misunderstands them.
It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one.”
~~ Karl A. Menninger, quoted by Chaim Potok in The Chosen
In April 2002, as coverage of the scandals hit critical mass, an ailing John Paul, bloated from treatment for Parkinson’s disease, summoned the American cardinals to Rome. Reading a statement for cameras, the pope called clergy abuse “an appalling sin” and said the priesthood had no room for such men; he also called on “the power of Christian conversion,” implying redemption for sex offenders. Instead of promulgating a clear policy on defrocking abusers, he absolved the bishops of their “generalized lack of knowledge,” faulting “the advice of clinical experts.” He thus put the blame on therapists rather than on the bishops who recycled child molesters.