May 21, 2009

Let Latest Catholic Abuse Scandal Be Last Straw

St. Peter's Basilica at Early Morning Photo wa...Image via Wikipedia

It is tempting to use evidence of the "decades of rapes, humiliation and beatings at Catholic Church-run reform schools for Ireland's castaway children" to slam the Catholic Church (see Catholic Church shamed by Irish abuse report). With a damning 2,600 page report including the discovery of "previously secret Vatican records that demonstrated church knowledge of pedophiles in their ranks all the way back to the 1930s," I think this is precisely what should happen. The problem of child abuse in the Catholic Church is not going away, and it is time for the outrage to translate to action. It is time for the Catholic Church to fall.

What is the appropriate response to learning that "church officials shielded their orders' pedophiles from arrest amid a culture of self-serving secrecy?" Outrage. Anything less is simply insufficient.

According to Ireland's Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse:
A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from.
No child deserves this. Bringing those who directly perpetrated on children to justice is important. However, when the Church itself turns out to be a conspirator, it is time to dismantle this sick enterprise once and for all. Anything less is not justice or even a reasonable facsimilie.
The report found that molestation and rape were "endemic" in boys' facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order, and supervisors pursued policies that increased the danger.
Endemic molestation and rape at the hands of Catholics, concealed for decades by the Church. It is not good enough for various Irish orders to die out. Not when other officials within the Church were aware of this and turned their backs. It is not enough that the Church has paid out some money to survivors, not when these sorts of scandals continue to pop up all over the world.

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