April 22, 2012

As Catholic Child Rape Details Emerge in Court, What Are Catholics Waiting For?

Victims of child rapeDetails emerging from the Catholic clergy-abuse trial in Philadelphia paint a sickening picture of a truly corrupt organization. We recognize that child sexual abuse happens regardless of religion, but we also recognize that certain aspects of religious doctrine can facilitate it (e.g., the degree to which priests are placed on pedestals, the notion that they have a direct line to some sort of god, the idea that we should trust them). And yet, the well orchestrated conspiracy of silence that allowed child rape by Catholic clergy to continue long after it was known seems impossible to excuse.

From a recent AP report published in USA Today:
The accused priests were left in ministry, often transferred to unsuspecting parishes.
The abuse itself was bad enough; the idea that church officials knew about it and permitted it to continue is unconscionable. One should rightly expect a mass exodus from the Catholic Church, but that may not happen if Catholics like Joseph Fuisz are at all typical.

Mr. Fuisz, a Catholic who has been following the trial closely, was quoted as saying:
None of these scandals rock my faith. I believe in church teaching and these scandals don't cause me to doubt it.
If this does not cause him to question his faith, what would? And if the answer is nothing, what does that say about Mr. Fuisz?

My question, once again, is this: what would the Catholic Church have to do in order for American Catholics to leave in droves? How bad does this have to get before Catholics wake up?
I have serious questions about the morality and mental health of those for whom this is not more than enough. How many more abuse scandals do you need? How much more evidence of systematic efforts to conceal crimes do you require? It is time to leave the Catholic Church.

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