By now you’ve undoubtedly heard the stories of how over 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania sexually abused over 300 children. Or how Catholic priests in Pittsburgh ran a child pornography ring. Or the story of how one child was sexually abused to the point that he suffered a back injury, resulting in him receiving treatment involving opioids, which he got hooked to, and ultimately died from.
And maybe you’ve also heard how the head of the Catholic League downplayed the whole thing saying that many of the kids weren’t actually raped because they weren’t penetrated. Seriously.
Any way you look at it, it’s an unspeakably horrendous situation for the Catholic Church. And keep in mind, this is just in one state, resulting from a two year investigation.
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And, as I pointed out two and a half years ago, the Catholic Church continues to ignore it. At that time, the ridiculous guidance given to new bishops in the church was:
According to the state of civil laws of each where reporting is obligatory, it is not necessarily the duty of the bishop to report suspects to authorities, the police or state prosecutors in the moment when they are made aware of crimes or sinful deeds…
And now, former Archbishop and Vatican ambassador to the US Carlo Maria Vigano has publicly called for the resignation ofFrancis.
The history with Vigano goes all the way back to 2013, where high-profile Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had allegations of sexual abuse made against him, which Francis ignored.
Vigano told CNN:
“He [Pope Francis] knew from at least June 23, 2013, that McCarrick was a serial predator,” Vigano said in his statement, adding, “although he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered him to the bitter end.”
“It was only when he was forced by the report of the abuse of a minor, again on the basis of media attention, that he took action [regarding McCarrick] to save his image in the media,” Vigano continued.CNN
However, Francis said he “will not say a single word.”
Vigano was fired as the Vatican ambassador to the United States subsequent to arranging a photo-op with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to approve a same-sex couple’s marriage certificate. The photo-op made it appear that Francis supported the actions of Davis, so Francis fired him.
And don’t get me wrong – Vigano isn’t a hero. Vigano is also known to be extremely conservative, has blamed the scourge of sexual abuse affecting the church on a perennial favorite target of the religious right: homosexuals. We should exercise skepticism with his claims, but the behavior described is absolutely consistent with how the Vatican has handled previous reports of child sexual abuse.
This whole thing is mind-boggling to me. I don’t understand how someone who is supposed to be god’s top man on Earth finds it unnecessary to take action to do what’s right – regardless the amount of media attention something gets.
I thought the entire premise of being “Christian” was to do good deeds, even when no one is watching?
At this point, given everything we know about the history of abuse, the inaction by the Francis when he found out, and his continued silence on the issue, I cannot understand how anyone can still call themselves a Catholic or participate in the Catholic Church.
First, there’s the issue of how a “loving god” would allow this to happen to anyone, nevermind from adults that are supposedly communicators for god. This goes beyond any “free will” argument that I’ve seen thrown out. This is above and beyond anything an all-powerful god should allow to happen, so the only logical conclusion is that god doesn’t exist. That is, unless you think that god doesn’t give you challenges you can’t handle, in which case your god sounds like a fucking asshole and I’ll test my luck with Satan instead.
Second, if a company like Target or Walmart had such a lengthy history of systemic sexual abuse and continued cover-ups, there would be massive protests in the streets and nearly unanimous calls for the CEO’s dismissal. People would boycott the stores, and any decent people who worked there would leave.
It comes down to the fact that anyone who still calls themselves Catholic, anyone who still goes to a Catholic Church, and especially anyone who tithes to the Catholic Church are enabling the sexual abuse of children. This is a matter of fact, and not a subject for debate.
It’s been shown that the church was organized and methodical in their selection of prospective victims. It’s been shown that the church has used money to pay off victims to keep them quiet. And by the continued lack of response or action from Francis now, it’s been shown that they have no desire to change this business model.
Change should have happened in the Catholic Church decades ago. The continued sexual abuse of children and the complete lack of response tells us, without any uncertainty, that the Catholic Church does not care about changing.
Given everything we know, if you still still support and stand with the Catholic Church, you are complicit with the sexual abuse of children. Period. The continued support tells the church that they literally cannot do anything wrong, and that there is no reason for them to change.