The Roman Catholic Archidiocese of New York is distributing a coloring book and a comic book to children to help them avoid becoming victims of sexual abuse, Newsweek reported this week. On one page of the coloring book, Being Friends, Being Safe, Being Catholic, an angel warns of a hairy-chested online predator, and on another page—featuring a drawing of a child and a priest—the angel urges children to avoid being alone in a room with an adult.
What the commentators said
This won’t be enough to get the church off the hook with victims’ advocates, said Jeremy Olshan in the New York Post (free registration). Members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests complained that the books focused on unnamed strangers and online predators, instead of confronting the church’s abuse problem by directly mentioning priests as possible predators.
“It's going to take more than coloring books and posters" to end sexual abuse by priests, said the St. John’s Valdosta blog. Educating young people is worthwhile, but “some of this goes beyond the bounds of innocence, and is their parents' responsibility.” And if the church wants to do its part it will have to “obey the Pope and stop ordaining” gay priests.
No, it’s “pedophile” priests who are the problem, said the blog Strollerderby, and the church’s failure to keep them away from children. “Priests are authority figures and in positions of trust. It shouldn't be on kids to keep them in line. Maybe that angel narrator ought to be talking to the priests for a change.”