The Archdiocese of Boston has a settlement with the victims of sex abuse, but this Sunday there were still protesters outside the cathedral. Why are they still protesting?
I believe they are in danger of something that afflicts a lot of people who become activists for a particular cause: mission creep. By that I mean they don’t know what to do after they win. Often these people are reluctant activists, disrupting their ordinary lives to become involved in a cause. But when they accomplish their goals, they aren’t prepared to leave the stage and return to their ordinariness. They don’t know how to let go and accept the fact that they’ve won. They’ve so become used to complaining that they can’t stop.
Sometimes these groups pick up new goals. They start protesting for other causes or expand their demands. Now we have some people demanding a monument for victims of abuse by priests be constructed. Why? What purpose will that serve?
I’m not saying that people who have been abused and haven’t had their cases resolved by the settlement should go away. But the time for public protests outside the cathedral every week and at every place the archbishop goes should end. After all, how are Archbishop O’Malley or the parishioners of those churches responsible for the acts of the archbishop’s predecessors?