The flaw in the Penn State-Catholic Church analogy

November 19, 2011

Various commentators, including Susan Reimer and Jon Stewart, have compared the child abuse scandal at Penn State to the scandals involving young boys in the Roman Catholic church. The connection is valid if you view both institutions as being more concerned about avoiding scandal than protecting victims of abuse.

But a true comparison would be if Penn State, Florida State, UCLA, Boston College, Arizona State and a dozen other colleges across the country all reported child abuse cases over the same 20-30 year period, involving multiple "coaches" whose acts were covered up.

"Fr. Sandusky" would not have been fired and booted off campus. Instead, he would have been transferred to another school to continue his abuse. No one would have been told of his previous transgressions.

"Bishop Paterno" would not have been fired, either. He would be given a nice cushy job in the NCAA office.

Charles Ernst, Linthicum

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