True, David, on that point — that there’s nothing fundamentally flawed or to blame about the Catholic priesthood. But our beloved church was not innocent in those scandals (I don’t think you’re saying that, but I do not want you misconstrued).
As George Weigel pointed out in his important book on the matter, it’s because too many in the Church — specifically in positions of authority — lacked the courage to be authentically Catholic that an environment developed that provided a home for sin and abuse. I’m so encouraged by so many of the young priests and lay people who have that courage and a real call to service — in religious life, schools, politics, their families, the broader culture.
You don’t have to be Catholic to be encouraged by such a springtime. Religious folk of all stripes add a great deal to our lives. America wouldn’t be the same without them.
(N.B. Those who don’t believe add something valuable to American life as well. Just the fact they’re free to not to believe is a beautiful thing.)