Catholic League president Bill Donohue explains how the Catholic Church can resolve the sex abuse scandal:
The best thing the Catholic Church could possibly do would be to mimic the success of the public schools, especially in New York City. For example, the New York Times, which has a story today about an accused priest from India who was stationed temporarily in Minnesota a few years back, would never have seen the light of day had he been assigned to a “rubber room.”
The New York Post recently described the “rubber rooms” as places where educators accused of wrongdoing sit for months, or even years, at full pay while their case is being investigated. What do they do? They are known for “snoozing at their desks, holding jam sessions, playing board games, and breaking into fights.” Moreover, “Doodling is a popular pastime. Others read every word of a newspaper. Many gulp down cup after cup of coffee.” There are currently 675 teachers in the “rubber rooms,” costing the City over $40 million a year in salaries alone. Some of the accused have been drawing full pay for 12 years.
The good news is that the New York Times doesn’t care about the “rubber rooms,” which explains why it seldom writes about them. Best of all, the Times has never once editorialized against them. Indeed, it doesn’t even like to report on efforts to insure greater rights for the molesters. For example, New York Assemblyman Peter Abbate, Jr. recently introduced a bill to terminate in-house disciplinary inquiries for all civil servants, thus making it easier for abusers to skate. But it never made the Times.
The lesson to be learned is quite simple. The Catholic Church should never remove accused priests from ministry—they should assign them to a “rubber room” where they can do something productive, e.g., finger painting, with no cut in pay. Following the lead of the teachers’ unions, the Church should work against all reform efforts. And when it is criticized for cheering laws making it easier for the accused to get away scot-free, it should just say it is modeling itself on the exemplary work of the teachers’ unions. The Times should understand. Shouldn’t it?