Why was the world-wide Church so slow to tackle the matter of priestly child abuse?

Despite the mythology of the church as rigidly hierarchical and ultra-centralized, the reality is that the church is top-down only on matters of doctrine. On everything else, it is actually one of the most decentralized institutions on earth. (There are 1.2 billion Catholics and only about 2,000 officials in the Vatican. That’s a ratio of citizens to bureaucrats that would be the envy of any other government on the planet.)

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