Commentary: Catholic Clergy Child Sex Abuse Scandal Erupts Again this time in Pennsylvania.
By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Founder and Editor, FaithInspires.Org
We have covered many positive stories about the Catholic Church, and God willing we will publish many more. However more news broke yesterday about the Child Sex Abuse scandal yesterday which cannot go without comment. The latest comes from the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese in Pennsylvania. There yesterday it was announced that a grand jury investigation found that two bishops of the local diocese hid the abuse of hundreds of children, by over 50 priests and religious leaders over at least a 40 year period ! You can read the Full Story Here.
In announcing the grand jury’s findings Pennsylvania Attorney General stated “These predators desecrated a sacred trust and preyed upon their victims in the very places where they should have felt most safe, Just as troubling is the cover-up perpetrated by clergy leaders that allowed this abuse to continue for decades.” I agree totally with what she said. In my mind our first duty, always, when children are placed into our care as clergy is the protection of those children !
Also on Tuesday Cardinal George Pell, Vatican Treasurer testified before Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse. In his testimony the cardinal stated that he was lied to by senior church leaders, about why abusive priests were moved back in the 70’s.
Clergy sex abuse is by no means limited to the Catholic Church or to one or two locations. The Herman Law firm which operates nationally from offices in New York, and Florida specializes in such cases, and they are not alone. They have seen abuse cases in not only Catholic, but Baptist, Anglican, even Jewish congregations !
Sexual Abuse especially of children by our clergy cannot be tolerated. Those entrusted to us, both children and adults must be protected. Neither can church leaders be allowed to hide such crimes. Clergy found guilty of sexual abuse should be investigated by authorities outside the church. Secular law enforcement has a vital and important role in investigating such cases. Crimes against our children must be investigated with great vigor ! That role should be supported, not suppressed. Should a thorough and complete investigation find merit in the charges, the clergy member involved should be charged with an aggravated offense, with a stiffer penalty than what would normally be applied in such cases. Pedophiles have a particularly high rate of repeat offending. Which leaves us almost no room for giving people second chances. The safety of the children trusted to us, and our congregations must be our priority !
Those in church leadership who are found to have hidden such incidents should at a minimum be removed from their positions, and in most cases face criminal charges themselves.
We as clergy have a profound impact on those we lead, even more so with the young. Both God and our congregations place a level of trust in us that few ever receive. Those that violate that trust to become both adulterers, and predators have no place in the leadership of Christ’s church. Christ after all loved the little children. How can we say we serve him and do less ?
Posted on March 2, 2016, in Clergy Sex Abuse, Commentary, Uncategorized and tagged Austrailia, Catholic Church, Clergy Sex Abuse, Commentary, Pedophiles, Pennsylvania. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.