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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Catholic Church + sexual abuse « Previous | |Next »
March 26, 2010

The Catholic Church sure has a ongoing problem with the sexual abuse of children by its priests since the 1960s. The stories just keep coming in Australia, North America, Ireland and Europe along with the history of cover ups by the bishops.

The Church was unwilling to wash its laundry in public. It preferred secrecy not accountability. They did not report the crimes to legal authorities and reassigned the offenders to other locations where they continued to have contact with minors, giving them the opportunity to continue their sexual abuse.


In Ireland for instance, The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (CICA commonly known as the Ryan Commission), which was set by the Irish Government to investigate the extent and effects of abuse on children from 1936 onwards.

The Commission stated that testimony had demonstrated beyond a doubt that the entire system treated children more like prison inmates and slaves than people with legal rights and human potential, that some religious officials encouraged ritual beatings and consistently shielded their orders amid a "culture of self-serving secrecy", and that government inspectors failed to stop the abuses.Abuse was not a failure of the system. It was the system.

The culture of deference and obedience expected of lay people towards priests bred a preoccupation with maintaining the prestige and authority of church institutions. Any threat to that priority – regardless of the cost to the welfare of individuals - had to be stifled. These are the characteristics--along with stone-walling, silence and frequent refusals for information---which have made the Catholic church morally bankrupt.

Fergus O'Donoghue, SJ, the editor of Studies: an Irish Quarterly Review, puts it this way on his blog:

Why did so many Catholic institutions fail so appallingly? A hundred reasons can be suggested, but three come to mind: undue respect for authority (which was self-justifying and rarely self-critical); religious authoritarianism (government of communities by self-perpetuating cliques, who rarely saw the need for fresh thinking); and a rancid clericalism (product of a religious culture that increasingly turned in on itself).

The Catholic Church, since Vatican 11 has been ruled by a resurgent conservatism that holds "secularism" and the reforms of the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, as being responsible in part for the abuse scandals.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:46 AM | | Comments (6)


The Church’s pedophile scandal has resulted in a siege mentality in Rome.

My question is where was GOD?

Catholics argue that their church is God's church. where was his supervision?

The "God works in mysterious ways" argument doesn't wash with me. The logical conclusion is that the catholic god does not exist.

No abuse is more vile than that which is heaped upon the defenseless. I can see no reason law enforcement allows the "church" to get away from prosecution. If public outcry were louder perhaps there might be some retribution. Who does care if the "POPE" writes a stinking letter. I am no judge but it seems to me the whole bunch of archbishops, bishops, cardinals or what ever they choose to call themselves are little more than perverts hiding behind the religion they claim to have.

According to this report in The Age in 1993, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls spoke out about the sexual abuse crisis in the US. He said:

One would have to ask if the real culprit is not a society that is irresponsibly permissive, hyper-inflated with sexuality [and] capable of creating circumstances that induce even people who have received a solid moral formation to commit grave moral acts.'

The emergence of sexual abuse in Ireland Ireland then continental Europe puts paid this "something was wrong with America" argument.


No you are wrong. The logical conclusion is "That if the catholic god does exist he does not care about the sexual abuse"

The problem with the Catholic Church, and a cause of much sustained criticism across Europe and in North America, is that its practice is one of transferring priests accused of sexual abuse to other parishes, rather than reporting the abuse to civil authorities and removing them from ministry.