This is NOT, of course, to suggest that there were no cases of genuine abuse or that the Church hierarchy was not initially inept at handling the cases that arose. I am NOT trying to insinuate that the whole priest-abuse and Church-leadership crisis is (or was, anyway) merely the result of political-philosophical hostility on the part of secular and materialist interests that want to eliminate the influence of a rival. But there is this inescapable connection that must be factored in.
It occurs to me that grossly overstating the threat from SOs and the number of SOs (on top of the assumption that they are all wild, incorrigible, and diabolically malevolent) serves several interests: the public is suitably stampeded, the advocates are numerously ‘justified’ in whatever they demand; and the enforcers are simultaneously turned into ‘heroes’ AND prove themselves as marvelous enforcers every time they catch even one of these rampaging monsters. In an era of ‘deal’ politics, that is simply wayyy too much ‘goodness’ for any deal-brokering pol to pass up.