It's linked to a concept I call (in my own mind) "sweep it under the rug".
See, believe it or not, what you're talking about is linked to what I consider to be one of the worst human behavior, that of covering for a sexual predator in your own community.
Obviously this can be applied to the Catholics or the Boy Scouts, but I have more personal experience with this.
My parents decided, despite neither being particularly religious, to raise my brother and I up in a church. We went to a non denominational christian church that specifically accepted gays, because even in the 80s, my parents (despite being terrible people in many other ways) were not down with the sickness that was hating the queers.
(Specifically, if you want to know who my dad was, imagine someone who would agree politically with basically everything we say today, 2020, but is a complete asshole in every single other way. Like, being a racist/homophobe bad, hitting his own kids so they don't turn out to be pussies, thumbs up.)
Anyway when I was about 8 or 9 there was a stir in the church because one of the respected and well liked older male members molested a friend of mine, a girl my same age. After it was found out, the church held a meeting about what they should do.
And the number one thing everyone wanted to do?
You guessed it!
If it wasn't for my mom (a trained therapist) standing up and saying "holy shit no, we are calling the police on this fuck, and all of you are fucking insane" that guy probably would have gone on to molest more kids from the church (including me!) as all his friends there scrambled to justify and conceal it.
So, is this kind of behavior rare?
(insert 10,000 years of nonstop laughtrack)
No, the exact opposite! It's what literally everyone does when confronted with child rape! You might think "wow, if there's one thing you could count on humans to stop, it'd be child rape" but in reality they instead love child rape and enable it as much as they possibly can, endlessly!
Is this proof that humans are worthless garbage fires and we should just vote Trump in in order to expedite the nukes coming down? Well, no, but if anything would be, it'd be this!
Anyway, my theory is this: Confronting how absolutely shitty and worthless people are, especially those in your "in-group" which can include family, church members, friends, creators you like, etc, is just TOO MUCH for people's fragile little lizard minds. The world sucks enough already! Stop telling me my friend is a rapist or whatever! Grrrr! I just want to watch Big Bang Theory!
I mean, there's also other motivators, like the Catholics or SANDUSKY FOOTBALL, FOOTBALL, JOHN MADDEN, W W W DOT N F L DOT COM not wanting their rep tarnished or what the fuck ever. These people, these "normal" people, will make a series of choices, repeatedly, endlessly, for decades, to conceal and enable child rape because "if it got out, what would people think?" That's a factor.
But the biggest factor, in my opinion? People just fucking hate looking into the void. They want to pretend it's not there. They desperately do not want to face the truth of what humans are. Or what they're capable of.
I don't approve, of course, but I get it. I have battled depression my entire life, and it's never about my own life situation. That's what everyone always goes to, when I tell them I'm depressed, they ask how I can improve my life. But that's not the problem. My life is fine, mostly. I'm depressed because because while the room I'm in is fine, the view from the window is hell.