Cardinal Law who unsuccessfully tried to cover up the crimes is being protected from the American justice system by Pope by having him work in the Vatican.
Law is not under indictment, nor is there a warrant for his arrest, nor AFAIK does anyone currently want to depose him (yet again). How is he being "protected from the American justice system" when the American justice system has no current interest in him?
People have been willing to talk about sex abuse as well as other offenses by priests forever. What was unusual was the failure of the Church to apply its own discipline. As for the “American criminal justice system,” surely you know that prosecutors have a spotty reputation for handing cases of sexual abuse, because so many occur inside of families. That same “criminal justice system” that has just decriminalized sodomy, which is the crime of which 80% of the priestly perps were guilty . A system that seldom prosecutes gays for having sex with underage kids is supposed to prosecute gay priests?