Don, special legislation was enacted in California to temporarily lift the statute of limitations so dozens of cases could go to court - and most of these cases had been settled decades earlier. No, if it had happened in a public school or an athletic team, the recent cases would not have gone to court.
The case of Fr. Tony Walsh, which engendered this thread, went to court for criminal prosecution in 1995. Walsh was removed from the priesthood in 1990 - as I said, when Margaret Thatcher was still Prime Minister, which means it was a long time ago. The story of Walsh was thoroughly covered by the Murphy Report in 2009, but was withheld from publication so as not to jeopardize criminal prosecution. As I have said before in this thread, this is not something new.
So much is said here about the "power of the Church." Go into an Irish Catholic Church on a Sunday and count how many people are there. You'll find most churches are almost empty. The "power of the Church" is no more. You're beating a dead horse, and ignoring the current problem.
Several people have accused me of "denial." Just what is it that I have denied? All I've said is that I think people here dwell on the past far too much, and go crazy over every new revelation of something that happened in the 1980s. There is no discussion here about what is being done now or what should be done now. There is no attempt to understand the causes of child molestation or the solution of the problem. The problem has not gone away. What can be done to actually solve the problem?