As you probably know, Andrew Sullivan is a conservative pundit who is also a gay Catholic. He's been following the sex abuse scandal with some dismay (read his column, I believe you've killed the Church, Holy Father.)
Over on his blog, he quotes letters from readers (here and here) noting examples of more rapid response from Episcopal Church authorities when cases have come to light.
Institutions move slowly by nature, and I'm sure there are times when TEC has moved more slowly than it should. But in the letters to Andrew Sullivan, the lesson is clear: moving quickly, and (importantly) keeping the people informed, salves and ultimately helps heal the wounds.
The real tragedy for the Roman Catholic Church is not the crime itself. Abusers can occur anywhere. No, the real tragedy is the endless coverup and the stench of corruption it engenders. Ultimately, the ongoing coverup has done far more damage to the Church than any exposure of the original crimes could have. And no amount of Vatican spinning will deflect it.
Update My further discussion of the abuse scandal on my post at Street Prophets