April 17, 2010

Idiots of the Week: Those Defending Pedophile Priests

pedophile-priests.pngIn recent discussions I have had on the question of how anyone could remain a Roman Catholic after mounting evidence that their church has been enabling child rape and lying about it, I have been surprised to learn how few are willing to acknowledge the reality of the evidence itself. I suppose that this sort of denial could be a form of idiocy all by itself, but that is not the focus of this post. Rather, I'm choosing to "honor" the Catholics who have been enabling child rape for decades.

If you haven't yet read the recent AP report on this subject, I highly recommend doing so. The report describes an investigation over 21 countries in which the AP found 30 cases where priests who had been accused of abuse were simply transferred, often to locations where they had access to even more children. In some cases, the priests escaped punishment even after admitting they had molested children.
A priest who admitted to abuse in Los Angeles went to the Philippines, where U.S. church officials mailed him checks and advised him not to reveal their source. A priest in Canada was convicted of sexual abuse and then moved to France, where he was convicted of abuse again in 2005. Another priest was moved back and forth between Ireland and England, despite being diagnosed as a pederast, a man who commits sodomy with boys.
The inescapable conclusion to this investigation is that a pattern of enabling child rape by the Catholic Church has been uncovered. Quite simply, the church has decided that allowing more children to be molested is a better outcome than risking a scandal.
"The pattern is if a priest gets into trouble and it's close to becoming a scandal or if the law might get involved, they send them to the missions abroad," said Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine monk and critic of what he says is a practice of international transfers of accused and admitted priest child abusers. "Anything to avoid a scandal."
I don't have to tell you that this is unacceptable, but many people seem unconvinced. You've heard the same excuses I have about how we shouldn't let "a few bad apples" color our opinions of Catholics, that reports like this are all lies spread by anti-Catholic forces, etc. For the record, the only way this news colors my opinion of ordinary Catholics is that I find it baffling how they can continue to support this church.

By itself, one report like this might seem incredible. But in the context of all the prior investigations, all the Catholic abuse scandals in country after country, and all the victims coming forward, dismissal is pure idiocy. It needs to be recognized as such so that ordinary Catholics just might feel empowered to turn their backs on this church until it comes clean and repairs the damage it has done.

H/T to Pam's House Blend