The spokesperson for the Salt Lake City Roman Catholic Diocese asserted her hope that, in the wake of the grand jury report in Pennsylvania regarding criminal behavior perpetrated and covered up by members of the clergy and hierarchy, as well as allegations of such crimes closer to home, people would remember that the “church is made up of flawed human beings, just like every other institution.”

Such a statement attempts to normalize criminal offenses against children and youth, and passes off institutional protection of criminals at the expense of children as simply “flaws” that can be found anywhere. Such a statement revictimizes every person who has experienced violation of body, mind and soul by Catholic priests.

Yes, every human is imperfect, or flawed, but this does not justify systematic violation and criminal cover-up. The sexual abuse scandal will not go away as long as members and employees of the Catholic Church mumble that the church is just like “every other institution.”

No civil institution claims to be the voice of God and truth on Earth, nor sets up men as representing the “person of Christ.” Do you wonder that the public has somewhat higher expectations of the clergy? The spokesperson’s statement is dangerous and nullifies most of the printed apologies.

Christina Gringeri, Salt Lake City