Unless you have been in a cave, off the planet, or in a coma, you have been exposed to the latest in an ongoing scandal that affects the integrity of the gospel. Yes, I am going to talk about sexual abuse by clergy in the Catholic church.This atrocity is an outrage to biblical Christians as well as to unbelievers.
While the Catholic church is not alone in its horrible, unacceptable, atrocious instances of sexual abuse against children, it is guilty of creating a climate and safe haven where perverts and abusers can prey upon the innocent. The first major scandal broke in 2002 and this is just the second wave of accusations.
“The Pope has acknowledged “with shame and repentance” the Catholic Church’s failure to act over sexual abuse by clerics against minors going back decades, writing “we showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them…I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons…. Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated.”
Here is a short history of the sexual abuse that has been uncovered in the Roman Catholic church
2018 – Pennsylvania – 300 clergy accused of sexual abuse of 1000 boys
2018 – Chile – 34 bishops resign because of sexual abuse scandal in that country. 158 people currently under investigation
2018 – Washington D.C. – Former cardinal of D.C. diocese resigns over sexual abuse allegations
2018 – Australia – Archbishop convicted of concealing sexual abuse of altar boys
2014 – Dominican Republic – Vatican ambassador to this country convicted of child sexual abuse and possession of child porn
2011 – Netherlands 800 sexual predators identified in Dutch Roman Catholic church
2009 – Ireland 720 page government report uncovers and identifies 46 priests who sexually abused children. The church in Ireland covered up the sexual abuse from 1975-2004
2002-2004 – US – 4000 priests accused of child sexual abuse by 11,000 victims. Only 6700 cases investigated because 3300 priests already dead by time of allegations. Period of abuse from 1950-2004. Cardinal of Boston assigns pedophile priest to another church even though he knows of sexual allegations. One priest accused of sexually molesting 130 grammar school aged boys from 1962-1995
If we know about these few instances, how may are still being kept secret? How many more children have suffered or will suffer at the hands of false representatives of Christ?
To just write a letter or some sanctimonious religious statement does not do justice. The practice of the Catholic church of concealment and moving perpetrators to other locations where they are free to damage children is a horrendous disservice to the name of Christ and all that is holy. The entirety of the hierarchy of the Catholic church is culpable. The criminals need to be turned over to the state or federal authorities to be tried and convicted and sentenced for their crimes.
The leaders of the Catholic church can talk about how it has gotten better in recent years, but if even one child is harmed, it is one to many. Children are a precious gift from God. We are to love them and nurture them. we are to protect them from danger and harm. We as believers are commanded not to cause them to stumble lest we suffer the wrath of God. (Matt.18:6; Luke 17:2)
These “priests, bishops, cardinals, and other religious leaders” are not Christians. Those who have repented of their sins and accepted the salvation of Christ do not live lives of constant habitual sin. (I John 3:4-10) These criminals are pedophiles, plain and simple. They defraud those who look to them for spiritual guidance. They defame the name of Christ as they bring shame upon his church. These servants of Satan must be punished according to the laws of this country.
God has a special place in hell for those who damage and abuse children, whether the predators be catholic, protestant, or pagan. It is horrible that a denomination claiming to represent Christ would cover for predatory pedophiles’ behavior and pay hush money to victims and their parents. Anyone in the public sector would already be rotting in jail. We do need to pray for those who have been harmed. However, those who are guilty should be tried and convicted and punished to the full extent of the law.