Quite simply, the abuse scandal with so many layers is caused by bishops who would not, could not, and thought not to fire priests who broke their vows/promise of celibacy in an abusive way especially against minors under their pastoral care. They also refused to inform law enforcement.
In other words, it is a moral and legal issue and the legal issue is not only a civil issue, it is a canonical issue. It is a failure on so many levels.
This is where clericalism becomes a factor. Priests were protected as a family protects itself when there are major problems and criminal activity. Most parents aren't going to call law enforcement when their son abuses other children in the family or friends and children normally won't turn in mom and dad if they are taking sexual liberties with them. No one wants a family member to go to jail especially if that family member is a bread winner.
But those accused should have a right to due process both civilly and canonically. There needs to be transparency and confidentiality laws concerning lawsuits need to be abolished or rather, not sought by the Church. Light is always to be preferred over darkness.
Thus bishops and brother priests must be willing to call law enforcement when they become aware that someone is breaking a civil law that is considered a felony, like sexual abuse, grand larceny or embezzlement. Then law enforcement needs to do its job to determine the facts, guilt or innocence.
But bishops must also apply canonical sanctions to priests who not only break civil law but also canon laws. Is that too difficult?
A bishop and a pastor must not only be a good shepherd they must also be a good administrator. These aren't mutually exclusive. A father who is a great and loving father but squanders his pay check and thus the family is made to suffer isn't a good administrator and it impinges on the quality of his fatherhood, no?
So Holy Father and bishops and priests and laity, does it take a rocket scientist to figure out why we are where we are and that no one wants to actually fix things that simply following common sense, civil laws and canon laws could have prevented?
And don't get me started on the proper screening of priestly candidates, especially post-Vatican II!
Look at what priests get away with in parishes, liturgical, canonically and otherwise? And nothing is done until a law suit is initiated.