Five Reasons You Should Care About the Clergy Sex Abuse and Cover-up Crisis

It isn’t about faith, it’s about crime.

Here are five reasons you should care about the Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse and Cover-up Crisis:

1) Many church officials have broken and are breaking the law. The William Lynn trial in Philadelphia and the child pornography cover-up scandal in Kansas City are only unique because church officials—Former Philadelphia Vicar for Clergy Msgr. William Lynn and Kansas City’s Bishop Finn—were criminally punished.

In Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Gallup, Seattle, Fairbanks, Boston, Toledo, Wilmington DE, and elsewhere, these crimes have continued for decades, but have never been punished because statutes of limitations have passed or church officials kept evidence hidden. The children who were injured came from many faiths and all income levels. They all had one thing in common: they were vulnerable.

2) The Church uses your tax dollars to pay for victims’ care. Victims of child sexual abuse are horribly injured, and many suffer for decades after the abuse. In most cases, the church knows exactly who the predators are, where they worked, whom they encountered, and who the victims are.  Or, they can easily find out.

Church officials had a choice: intervene and help victims … or shield and protect priests.

As a result of their decision, victims were sucked into the vortex of shame, silence and pain. Victims of child sex abuse who do not receive early intervention struggle with addiction issues, violence, mental illness, suicide, and other destructive behaviors … and taxpayers foot the bill.

But church officials decided it was easier to cover up for abusers, because the government safety net would catch their “trash.”

3) Deference by Political Leaders. This one always chaps my hide. Cardinal Timothy Dolan said the invocations at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. He also admitted to paying predator priests $40K to leave the priesthood. $40K would pay for a lot of therapy for the child victims of these monsters (the kids got nothing, BTW). Heck, calling the cops is free. For the victims of abuse in Milwaukee, this is tragic.

4) Other organizations are following the church’s lead. Who do you think taught the Boy Scouts or the California teachers unions how to keep abuse under wraps? Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

5) Little to nothing has changed. In San Diego, a priest who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a young woman still has his job. In Ontario, California, a priest who served a year in jail can still act as a priest (and the Diocese has done little to nothing to warn parishioners). In Kansas City, a bishop who covered up child pornography still has his job. In Los Angeles, church officials have stalled the promised release of sex abuse and cover-up documents for FIVE YEARS. In Philadelphia, the archbishop blames the media for the sex abuse and cover-up crisis (even after two grand jury reports blasted church leaders for covering up and fostering abuse).

Yep. You need to care.

4 thoughts on “Five Reasons You Should Care About the Clergy Sex Abuse and Cover-up Crisis

  1. Ten years ago no one would believe that courageous victims of clergy sex abuse crimes could possibly continue their public outcry to ensure that the protections of precious children would be placed at the highest priority VERSUS allowing history to repeat itself. Yes, NO ONE CAN DENY THE FACT that cries for help from thousands of children were ignored by individuals that had a moral responsibility to protect them … i.e., officials from The Vatican, federal and state law enforcement agencies, the faithful in the pews, and government leaders throughout the world.

    Joelle, you are 100% correct–WE ALL NEED TO CARE ABOUT THE CRIMES AND COVER-UPS! Anyone with any type of human compassion should understand how we have all failed to protect precious souls…. some remaining quiet, many playing the ostrich, millions defending the corrupt acts of the Catholic Church and other religious institutions while continuing financial contributions to support sexual predators’ filthy sex crimes against God’s most precious gift to the world… This is just WRONG WRONG WRONG!

    After looking in the eyes of a child, why would anyone destroy their innocence — especially in the name of freedom of religion, pastoral privilege or Christ’s teachings. IS ANYONE PAYING ATTENTION?

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