From my article in The Sunday Times today:
“There’s something wrong with the law (whether civil or canonical) when the power abused by any priest remains within his grasp. Quite apart from compassion and understanding, removing the means used to exploit the vulnerable for pleasure should be an obligation.
That decision rests with the Church.
The State too, though, has obligations. The duty to protect the vulnerable cannot be delegated. As has happened in Ireland, in Massachusetts, and most recently in Pennsylvania, the State must use its resources to document the extent of the abuse, irrespective of whether any action is possible after the passage of time.”