On Good Friday I took a walk around a nearby large pond, in a public park. It's a lovely spot I enjoy often walking in. At one point I noticed a man standing by the side of the path. Something about him gave me a creepy feeling. As soon as I had walked a little bit past him, he called out after me "Child molester!" I just kept on walking (he was a lot bigger than me) and thankfully he didn't pursue me. The only reason he called me that was because I'm a Catholic nun (I wear a habit so I'm easily identified as one).
I've been called a lot of things in my life, but this was the first time anyone ever called me a child molester. I could just dismiss it and assume he's a crackpot. But isn't it sad that to at least some people, the first thing they think of when seeing a priest or nun is "child molester."! It will take a long time for the fallout from the scandal to be overcome.
On the few occasions during the year when I get to visit Scituate, I like to walk down the road to the lighthouse, right along the water. It goes past the house where John Geoghan used to live. Whenever I pass it, it reminds me of how a priest who did in fact molest children was allowed to do so much damage. Tolerance of such evil is no virtue.