Their timing may be coincidental, but there is an inherent link between the pending trial of ex-Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky and the trial underway in Philadelphia dealing with the alleged transgressions within a Catholic diocese.
While Sandusky's trial on sex abuse charges is essentially a trial based on the alleged transgressions of one man, the trial underway in Philadelphia is based on the alleged transgressions of a diocesan official that resulted from similar individual behavior by a priest.
And yet, more than just those individual incidents are represented where these two tribunals intersect.
The outcome of the trial involving the Diocese of Philadelphia could have broad consequences pending the verdict on Jerry Sandusky's individual behavior.
Still lurking, still pending, is the matter of alleged institutional wrong-doing by the administration of an esteemed university system, one of the most prestigious in the country.
A witness in the Philadelphia trial on Monday, himself a former priest, testified that he was sexually abused by a priest in the diocese all four years of his high school career. He said he could never tell his parents of the attacks because they would never believe that a priest could do anything wrong.
A year ago, parents and students likely could not have conceived that the sort of behavior alleged to have been perpetrated by Sandusky could have gone on so long under the auspices of a major university administration.
What is on trial in the Philadelphia case now and the trial of two Penn State officials in the future, which isn't explicitly contained in any criminal code, and yet holds the specter of destroying the very underpinning of the both establishments: Trust.
The Pennsylvania State University faces the same trial, whether conducted in a Commonwealth courtroom or in the court of public opinion.
And, the nation is watching.
We suspect that the Penn State administration and the leadership of the Catholic Diocese of Philadelphia are not unique. Institutions have much in common with people when it comes to self-preservation. A person so inclined will lie, cover up, deny actions or inactions that reflect badly on their reputation. If it comes to preserving their very life, they may even take stronger measures.
There is yet no verdict in either of these cases, and we won't convict anyone here. But, guilty or not, a great deal of trust has already eroded from each of them.