So. Was it worth it, guys?
The question that most reasonable people can't help asking is - why? Why didn't the powers-that-be handle these cases and get rid of the offending priests? Here are the answers, as unpleasant as they may be:
A cycle of subtle-almost-blackmail that exists within ministerial circles. In short, the unspoken threat that if "you hurt me, I'll reveal your sins."
The priest shortage. Most dioceses are absolutely desperate for priests, ordain anything with the right chromosones that walks, and have hardly anyone in seminary. You let ten percent of your priests loose, you only make it worse.
Fear of appearances. Irrational, of course, but that's the way it works with sin. You cover up at first, thinking that will take care of it, and that covering up is better than letting people know the sin has occurred, because the general knowledge of this sin would, you fear, cause a whole lot of unpleasant consequences for your institution. It's a view that pays scant attention to two factors: the victims and reality.
Another question that all of this information should raise in the informed mind is the startling difference between the way these criminal priests were treated by their archdioceses and the way that priests who leave active ministry for various reasons, above-board and with clear consciences, are treated. Do you think they are left on the diocese's payroll for years? No. In most dioceses, they may be given some initial support after they leave, but then they're cut off in every concievable way: they're even officially banned from publicly participating in most aspects of church life (parish work, teaching, etc), although most bishops are quite flexible on this score, recognizing the lunacy of not using the gifts and talents of good men in whom the church has made an investment.