I understand, of course, why the Church is kind of paranoid about bad news in regards to sex abuse. We all get that. But I am beginning to wonder whether some of their safeguards are designed more for CYA than actually being effective at preventing abuse.
Let me give you a personal example.
I am starting as a backup at a new parish soon. It’s in a different diocese from my usual one. So I got some paperwork. I needed to list all crimes (none, suckers) and volunteer activities (?), and list several personal references. Then, I needed to OK a background check, probably my sixth since I returned to the organ bench. Then, I needed to drive 35 minutes to get fingerprinted (this never happened in the other diocese). Then, I needed to sign up at a website for their e-mails.
So I went to sign up. Couldn’t fully fill out the form, because my child-protection class was in my other diocese, but it didn’t let you just fill in the blanks; you had to pick a past class from the dropdown menu. I submitted what I have, and now I’m trying to explain to the poor woman saddled with this job that yes, I took a class; yes, it counts in your diocese; yes, I’m still employed by the other diocese. My registration still isn’t finished. I don’t believe I can work in this diocese until this stupidity is settled.
Now, look, I am glad the Church took measures to prevent sexual abuse. But I’m really not sure that all this jumping through hoops is really the most effective thing. Then again, I suppose it’s possible that it is. But either way, it’s extraordinarily frustrating to those who have done nothing wrong, nor intend to do anything wrong.