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When this all broke in November, I was full of righteous outrage, calling for Joe's head. Like Father, I worked among abused children for many years. Yet - when I first heard his last interview two weeks ago and again yesterday, I reminded myself that much of the blather coming from the ESPN 30-something talking heads failed to recognize something about Joe. He was 85 years old - a peer of my parents in more ways than age. He came from the Tri-state area of NY/NJ, was first generation American, Catholic formed by those experiences. His disbelief about Sandusky and his justification for taking the charges up the chain of command are more understanding in that context - I think. By that I mean we tend to perceive media icons like Joe outside their own reality - he was in the end a frail, little old guy, living in a suburban 60's style house like our parents did, a WW2 Vet etc.... In other words the expectations of the public Joe did not necessarily match up to the Joe that was. If a young priest had approached my father ten years ago with a similar, horrific tale about one of his lifelong friends I KNOW he would not have been capable of assimilating the possiblity that such behavior took place. He would have contacted the Bishop and placed the matter in the Bishop's hands, trusting fully that it would be addressed.

In the end, the Trustees probably knew his time was done and they believed that if they threw him under the proverbial bus they might deflect media attention away from them and the greater University.

At least Syracuse University had more attuned PR flacks advising them with respect to their coach.

A tough situation, and muddy waters indeed.

I agree regarding the trustees, assuming they did actually know something about all this. even if they didn't, an action something like what Patriarch Teoctist did after the fall of Communism is called for - a completely independent investigator should be set up at least to determine who knew what when, and what they did about it (if anything).

Turns out you can't serve both Education (Athena, Minerva) and Mammon, either.

Did Sandusky kill Paterno blatantly, as if with a gun or a knife? No, certainly not, but it would have been more honest to do so.

For this sort of corrosive destruction is what narcissistic, conscience-seared socio-paths do. They have two motivations: one is to stay out of trouble, as if the entire authority structure of the world were caricaturized as a high school administration. And secondly, one is to arrange for the gratification of powerful desires.

The personhood, of those objects of desire, must be suppressed. And soon, the personhood of everyone else must be denied. For everyone becomes a threat to personal safety and gratification.

Friends are manipulated, denied and finally set up as defensive bulwarks -- sacrificial units in the battle to "soak off" fire from the attack of inevitable consequences.

Friends, and especially family members, feel the guilt and shame that a socio-path shunts away from himself.

Joe weeps, and Jerry laughs.

I do not argue that Paterno should not have felt shame. And I certainly do not argue that his legacy should be perfect. His firing, however, was done by the trustees, who share much blame, and should feel just as much shame. It will turn out that they knew much more before this whole thing went public, and they were sure enthusiastic about taking the money from Paterno and his football institution. I think there was a lot of institutional collusion in this case.

I think questions need to be raised about how predators like Sandusky are produced, because too many of us have suffered from their evil hands. And many of these questions directly interfere with the idiotic moral relativism and the profiteering sexual jungle that informs much of our culture. And these are the questions being repressed right now.

Paterno should be ashamed of his inaction, as it seems he was. That is a good thing, penitence should not be forgotten. It was also right he was fired, his mistake and the weight Sandusky's victims bear should not be forgotten, either.

There is no one perfect (but Christ, and His more than normal mother), no one's legacy should be either, because they aren't.

Amen brother!

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