The case and the settlement raise large issues that affect many aspects of our society.

There is the obligation of the powerful to protect the powerless and the obligation of the old to protect the young.

There is the need for institutions to put the people they serve ahead of the protection of the power and reputation of the institution, and never to cover up the wrongdoing of the guilty when the institution's moral duty is to protect the innocent.

There is the need for those who profess their great faith to live up to that faith, whether it is members of the clergy who abuse young parishioners, or United States senators who put themselves forward as moral judges of others while they are committing moral sins themselves.

The Catholic Church is one of the great, good and noble institutions of the world, and I hope it has found its way after this sad and sorry episode.

Few of us are without sin; all of us should have modesty before casting the first stones,
or passing moral judgment about others.

Lord Acton was right: Power corrupts, and all institutions of politics, faith, business, media and government must avoid the temptation to puts their own power and protection ahead of the higher values they were created to serve.