And do you have any evidence that any of these institutions passed down an executive mandate to keep local police authorities out of investigations - and further to avoid being candid with such investigators when they have already launched an investigation?
It is a tragedy and a travesty, but it is by no means limited to Catholic priests.
You are right, but to quote Tim Minchin:
"But if you build your church on claims of fucking moral authority
And with threats of hell impose it on others in society
Then you, you motherfuckers, can expect some fucking wrath
When it turn out you've been fucking us in our motherfucking asses"
"Yes, indeed, I am a professor."
Are you a priest? A Jesuit?
No, a layman. My undergraduate degree was from a Jesuit institution, though, so I do have a certain fondness for the order.
Now I'm at a major public research university. Perhaps when I retire from here eventually I'll go find a liberal arts college to teach at to pay back what I owe by way of the mentoring I received at such a place.
... a few senior members of the Church were complicit...
I think history would like to expand that "few"...
Well, from a legal perspective you are correct to the extent that an institution can be found liable for the actions of its agents, and we've seen that in legal cases across the U.S.
But you lost me at "the Vatican appears to place its own authority..." Here I think both your language and your argument is much weaker. Some of that probably is because you think is the structure of the institutional Catholic church is very different from what the structure actually is.
Church teaching is quite clear that the prelates who engaged in this nonsense were committing mortal sins, along with the priests who actually did the abuse. But the church doesn't have a police force, no detectives or investigators, no prisons. If you're as mad as I am about people like Bernard Law not going to jail, then your anger is best directed at the U.S. criminal justice system.
Not from a legal perspective, but rather from an organizational perspective.
Church police force? Huh? It was a general characterization of a complex set of policies and actions within the large organization of the Roman Catholic Church across a long period of time and a large number of regions. It has nothing to do with church police forces. This characterization is based on a tendency to not cooperate fully with secular authorities within their own jurisdiction, inadequate policies to promote such cooperation, and inadequate policies to identify and handle abuse effectively internally.
It's my impression that our dear Professor does not want to understand you, Kris.
I can somewhat appreciate when theists post on this site they are at a major disadvantage. For every one comment they make, there are numerous eyes scrutinizing and remarking, commenting and demanding response. His biases are going to be quite different than the average user's here.
In addition his knowledge base is likely to be quite different. Environments like this are echo chambers of a sort, they are self-reinforcing. The Roman church hierarchy can have the same effect, which is why I think this papal selection is interesting. The religious orders, like the Jesuits, aren't part of the mainstream hierarchy, and Argentina is definitely not Rome.
In addition his knowledge base is likely to be quite different.
Compared against individuals, sure; it's almost guaranteed. Compared against the collective? I am doubtful.
Environments like this are echo chambers of a sort, they are self-reinforcing.
To some extent, yes, but perhaps less than you might think. The fact that you are going to get a certain amount of circle-jerking in any gathering rooted in a common affiliation is pretty much a given, but I think only superficial similarity can be drawn between a site like this and the Roman Catholic Church. There are undoubtedly brilliant and diverse minds within the organization, but it is a political mammoth.
Perhaps you are correct that this Papal selection is noteworthy, but what meaningful sort of changes do you really think you might see from it?