“Some 216,000 children in France had been sexually abused by members of the clergy since 1950. A Vatican statement said Pope Francis ‘felt pain’ over the findings, and expressed hopes for a ‘path of redemption.” (BBC 5 October 2021)
Pope Francis has plans for a “pedophilia summit” to attempt to “change Church laws to explicitly criminalize sexual abuse.” Victim groups have been accusing the Church of not doing enough to stop the rampant cover-ups.
Let us focus on the United States, which has the largest pedophile cases worldwide. Court cases against Catholic priests in the US are reaching epidemic proportions, as reported by the Church Militant TV program Download on a 21 December 2018 broadcast. There are about 700 “Predator Priests” in the state of Illinois alone, which dwarfs an earlier report in August 2018 of 301 in Pennsylvania.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the Church is not in a position to “police itself,” because the initial reports the Church gave were questionable. Illinois’ six dioceses earlier reported 130 accused, then more were added slowly later until the number reached about 700. The Church has a tendency to protect its image. Ironically, the more it protects, the more it becomes tainted when evidence emerges. Madigan says if we will have access problems, the courts will resort to subpoenas.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says he is in touch with 45 other Attorneys General nationwide. It is predicted that the 700 is the tip of the iceberg. The Download TV program predicted that 2019 will be a terrible year for the Catholic Church, when preliminary estimates of the number of accused priests US-wide might easily soar to four to five digits. If the situation is widespread, there must be moves by the Vatican to contain the situation.
The papacy and the Vatican are now in deep crisis, targets of not only criticisms and angry protests, but mounting court cases. The Pope, the cardinals and bishops are all under fire. The Church is spending billions of dollars on thousands of court cases. It is better to concede guilt due to mounting evidence to avoid the Church running out of money. Our Lady of Fatima had a prophecy that a severe internal conflict will trigger a crisis within the Church, which is now happening.
The solution to the pedophile epidemic is simple — identify, expose and prosecute pedophiles, thereby stopping its spread. By sweeping the crimes under the rug, the Church is contributing to its spread, and becomes just as guilty. By transferring instead of penalizing a pedophile priest, the crime is coveredup, the guilty goes scot-free and spreads his crime to new places. When pedophiles believe they can get away with it, this encourages their crimes. With the Church unable to police its ranks, the government has no choice but to step in and use the force of law to jail the guilty to seek justice for the victims.
Many among the faithful who are scandalized leave the Church. Asked by students, “How can you stay in a Church after all the scandal?” a teacher nun replied, “You don’t abandon Jesus because of Judas.” The basis of faith is Jesus the Messiah, not the erring clergy. The Church is human as much as it is divine. Instead of leaving the Church, we must help change things, to pray for the pedophiles. Pray that this epidemic, which is destroying the Church hierarchy at its very roots, can be contained.
The Catholic whistleblowers started as a whisper. They moved secretly individually, not knowing each other. Then, they began organizing without the knowledge of their superiors. They were afraid to come out as pedophile whistleblowers because they “were removed from their parishes, hustled into retirement or declared ‘unstable’ and sent to treatment centers for clergy with substance abuse problems or sexual addictions.” But the whisper started evolving into a scream. The group started with 49 members. The realization that they were not alone was the unifying factor. (bishop-accountability.org; New York Times, 20 May 2013)
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