I'm not a football fan or really a sports fan at all. I am surrounded by sports in my business and when the horrific news started to surface back however long ago I learned a lot about the level of passion that people at Penn State have.
With that I know what a huge deal the sanctions against Penn State are and I am extremely impressed with the NCAA making a huge important stand about what took place there.
It's time for something like that to happen to the largest known institutional "turn the other way" organization on the planet.
It doesn't need to be said that the situation at Penn was a nightmare that more than should have been stopped. The coverup is so hard to understand - I can't even start to get to the bottom of how an institution could value one person so much that it would allow for so many years.
I still don't get it and I never will.
What I do get though is that the NCAA is making a huge statement that nothing like this can ever take place again. This is a bold and important statement.
I'm going to add a part that may get a bit flamed but I think a lot of people got slammed who didn't deserve it here and I get that. I've seen a lot of statements from ex-players who are wondering how their winning careers are being called invalid. I know that while I am not a hard core athlete myself these are people who put their hearts and souls into something that meant a lot to them and I think that most likely the majority of the players themselves weren't aware of what was going on. I say that because a lot of people feel that the punishment was a bit over the top and the most I can say is maybe it could have been a tiny bit more nuanced.
That said I would rather have this very severe punishment of effectively shutting down the football program and culture at Penn state than letting it slide.
And - the point of this journal. Why isn't the Catholic Church being treated this way by the body of the world using the systems of government and law enforcement? The NCAA did the right thing and proved that you can't let an egregious offender of an organization allow vile behavior to run un-addressed.
It should be obvious to all that the Penn State situation while horrendous for a group of victims is a speck compared to the system abuse which has been allowed to thrive in the Catholic church. There is no need to go into any detail toward the extent and the clearly systemic nature of child abusing priests in the Catholic Church. The act is the same, magnified by untold thousands of repeat offense. The victims of Jerry Sandusky could fill a room. Most likely the victims of the abusive Catholic priests worldwide could populate a city.
The NCAA came down with a fist. The organization of the Catholic Church has done and continues to do next to nothing - and - it's because the "Catholic Church" is to this story what Joe Paterno and the organization at Penn were in the Sandusky situation. The Catholic Church itself has not policed itself to any valid degree .... and yet no one else has. The governments of the world need to act like the NCAA did here.
Something should be done. The NCAA removed all of Penn States "wins" while Paterno was there from the record books. They stripped them of the ability to play in bowl games, they fined them millions of dollars.
The Catholic Church needs the fury of the NCAA ruling on a grand scale worldwide. They Catholic Church needs to be fined by the government in any country that is willing. They need to have their tax-exempt status ended. They should be required to have regulators perform frequent regulatory inspections of their operations.
Penn State was the biggest deal in NCAA football. They were a powerful institution. The NCAA laid down the concept that no one is above the law and disgusting behavior and complicity and cover-up should be treated with zero tolerance. It's time to do the same to the Catholic church.
Footnote - I was raised very Catholic and I was made an altar boy. There were 2 churches in my town. Thank god my mom picked the one over the other. When the scandals started breaking it turned out that one of the priests in the other church was one of the pigs. Once in a blue moon we went to that church and he was there for my whole childhood. I can only imagine if my mom had chosen that church over the one we attended.
The only way I could ever say something good about the Catholic church is if they cleaned their own house with a ruthless and real action. It's never going to happen so I have no words for anyone who argues that it's just bad eggs. It's a systemically evil organization which is hypocritical beyond all levels and it needs strong forces in the world body punish it and make sure that the culture which is clearly within it is destroyed.