After two years of insisting that the sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church was a matter of a few bad apples in the priesthood, the nation's bishops have been presented with incontrovertible evidence of systemic problems in the clerical culture and of their own complicity.  

While scandal-battered bishops had held out hope that the church-sponsored studies would put an end to two years of unrelenting bad news, the reports released February 27 are likely to increase the pressure on them for greater accountability and lay involvement in decision-making and on those who harbored child molesters to resign.