...the Catholic priests who were raping children weren't just seen as heroes, or as people with real-world authority and power who could improve or screw up your life. They were seen as the Earthly representatives of a perfect, all-powerful God. They were seen this way by their victims... which made those victims far more vulnerable to their abuse. They were seen this way by the people in the communities... which made those communities far more trusting, and far less willing to believe the charges when they started to come out. They were seen this way by other church officials, by cardinals and bishops and other priests... which made those officials more inclined to defend and protect them.
And this gave them a degree of authority and power undreamed of by Jerry Sandusky at Penn State.
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