Monsignor William J. Lynn - photo courtesy of Associated Press

What really endangers children? Churches that look away.

In the past years, most of us have become growingly aware of how common it is for pastors and others within faith communities to allow known or suspected sex offenders to have access to children. Sometimes this is fueled by ignorance, and other times it is fueled by a desire to place institutional “needs” over the value of a child’s soul.

ANALYSIS: Philadelphia abuse reversal conveys a painful lesson

(RNS) This week’s court decision that freed a senior cleric in Philadelphia who had been jailed for shielding an abusive priest was a symbolic setback for victims’ advocates but one with a substantial, and discouraging, message for their cause: None of the churchmen implicated in cover-ups during the worst decades of abuse will likely ever face charges.

RNS photo courtesy Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Philly archbishop clears 3 priests, removes 5 others

(RNS) Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said Friday that five priests accused of sexually abusing children last year would be barred from ministry and could be defrocked, while three others were cleared by a church-led investigation and could return to pastoral work. By David Gibson.