I have long been a critic of the Catholic Church over the cover-up and facilitation of sex offenders in church leadership. But I have to give the diocese of Knoxville credit here, because when allegations of abuse by one of the priests under their organization came to light, they showed how it is supposed to be handled.
1. The church immediately contacted the police and informed them of the situation in all of the relevant precincts that the priest had been in.
2. They immediately suspended the priest.
3. They reached out in support of the victim rather than in defense of the priest.
The Vatican needs to take note of how the diocese of Knoxville handled this, because it's exactly how it should be handled, and it's the only way for the church to handle these situations while rebuilding trust. So for the first time since these scandals started surfacing with regularity, I am applauding the church for its handling of the situation.
( UPDATE: Since this story hit the media yesterday the priest has admitted to the abuse, is cooperating with police, says there are other victims, the church is trying to locate and reach out to the other victims, and also has completely removed him from church leadership )