Last week, I got a news alert from The Oklahoman, my local newspaper and former employer, with a headline that certainly grabbed my attention: “Damning report rips Oklahoma City Archdiocese for poor responses to credible child sexual abuse allegations against priests.”
For anybody paying attention to the latest Catholic clergy sex abuse scandals, the basic storyline probably sounds familiar.
The Oklahoma City Archdiocese is just one of many dioceses nationwide that have produced such reports.
This is the blunt summary from The Oklahoman:
For more than a half-century, Oklahoma City's Catholic Archdiocese responded to reports of child sexual abuse by its priests with bungled internal investigations that masked the problems and often enabled the abuse to continue for years, according to a damning report released Thursday.
"The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City failed to take prompt action despite credible evidence and warning signs of sexual abuse of minors," the McAfee & Taft law firm said in a report commissioned by the Archdiocese that was made public Thursday.
The report identified and named 11 priests in the Archdiocese who had been "credibly accused" of child sexual abuse since 1960. McAfee & Taft made it clear that its investigation is not yet complete.
"There are additional files still under investigation and as those investigations conclude, additional names of priests with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors will be released as warranted," McAfee & Taft said.
In some respects, that sounds like the same old, same old — but then I got to a part of the story that made my jaw drop.