Matt C. Abbott
Penn State president's 'moral reign of terror'
By Matt C. Abbott
November 7, 2011

My goodness: a sex abuse scandal in the headlines that doesn't involve a Catholic diocese or religious order. Wonders never cease.

According to a Nov. 5 press release (excerpted) by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General:

    'Attorney General Linda Kelly and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan today announced that criminal charges have been filed against three Centre County men as the result of an extensive and wide-reaching grand jury investigation into reports of the sexual abuse of children.

    'The defendants include:

    • Gerald Arthur 'Jerry' Sandusky, age 67, of 130 Grandview Road, State College, former Defensive Coordinator for the Penn State University football team and founder of The Second Mile, a charitable organization that operates programs for young people.

    • Timothy Mark Curley, age 57, of 201 Meadowlark Lane, Boalsburg, the Director of Athletics for Penn State University.

    • Gary Charles Schultz, age 62, of 636 Rosslyn Road, Boalsburg, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business at Penn State University, a position that includes oversight of the Penn State University Police Department.

    'This is a case about a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys,' Kelly said. 'It is also a case about high-ranking university officials who allegedly failed to report the sexual assault of a young boy after the information was brought to their attention, and later made false statements to a grand jury that was investigating a series of assaults on young boys....'

Gee, where have we heard about this type of scenario before?

Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today has the answer:

    'A trusted adult, respected by the community, offers special programs for vulnerable boys — then sexually abuses them. Word travels up to higher authorities but no one calls the police. They handle it within... Sound familiar? It's the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal rewritten on a university campus....' (Click here for Grossman's full column.)

Sad but essentially true.

Back to the Penn State scandal. Gary L. Morella, a retired Catholic member of the university's research faculty, writes:

    'The real culprit here is a degenerate mindset that put out the welcome mat for the likes of [Penn State President Graham Spanier], whose 'moral reign of terror' is well documented.'

In 2002, WorldNetDaily posted a story about a conference at the university that "featured an outspoken advocate of pedophilia and sadomasochism." When asked if the event was morally wrong, Spanier was quoted as saying, "It depends on what your definition of immoral is." Click here to read the WND story (warning: contains graphic language).

Oh, yes, lest I forget: The Catholic bishops of Germany are in the midst of a sex scandal of sorts. A publishing company they own has been selling quite a bit of "erotica." Click here for the (depressing) story.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 "Unsolved" podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He is mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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