Unless you were involved, I’d not be using “we” in that statement. I’m not from LA and don’t know the specifics, but most of the coverups that I’m familiar with were nothing like what SNAP, et al want you to believe. It’s tricky to describe the difference because people immediately assume you are defending the coverups. I’m not. What happened was an appalling failure of moral leadership. But what bothers me is the total hypocrisy of our culture singling out the catholic bishops while pretending not to notice that the problem stems from flaws in human nature that show up in the SAME way over and over again in athletic groups, counselors, schools, universities, nearly EVERYWHERE where institutions feel their existence threatened by lawsuit lawyers when something bad happens. What many bishops did was to fail to rise above the typical behavior of people in similar positions throughout our culture in that time period. No more, no less. Should we expect more of our bishops? Of course. Should we be disillusioned when they turn out to be as human as everybody else? Not so much.
The fact is that from the 50’s through the early 90’s our culture has pretended not to notice that sexual sin breeds MORE sexual sin. Abuse is simply the predictable result of failing to expect virtue of the general populace. When a culture begins to rationalize one kind of sexual sin, it will rapidly begin to rationalize more. Pederasty (which is what the scandal was really about) is nothing new, it pops up every time that sexual deviance is rationalized as socially acceptable. Before the abuse scandal in the church broke and revealed the extents of how awful this was, pederasts were increasingly lobbying for legitimacy (in the 1980’s).
An interesting illustration of the dramatically different cultural views today than back then can be found in the 80’s series “Family Ties.” There was an episode of that show in which an older friend of the family conducts tell-tale grooming behavior with the oldest daughter and eventually makes a pass at her (which she successfully resists). The crisis is resolved when she finally tells her parents, they confront the man. What do they do? Call the cops? Get him imprisoned? Nope, they get him an appointment with a therapist. That’s it. That’s the message and the approach that was mainstream in that period. People simply didn’t recognize the predatory nature and criminal intent of sexual abuse. We probably didn’t want to know. It was a society - wide failure and it is cowardly to pretend that only catholic bishops were guilty of it.