I watched a fascinating documentary last night Frontline: Secrets of the Vatican. I hope many Christians and more importantly Catholics watched it too as it would have been an eye opener…… The documentary was on the child sex abuse cases from the Catholic Church.
What was shocking for me was the amount of cases and the spread worldwide of the cover up by the Vatican. The Catholic church seem to see it as a recent issue, in a minority of diocese, but let us be straight about this, the reported cases are all over the world in 26 countries ( and there will be more I’m sure).
Barbara Blaine (SNAP) Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
We are confident that the ICC (International Criminal Court) will see sufficient evidence that high ranking Catholic officials are still knowingly enabling predators to harm and endanger our children across the world, while concealing heinous crimes even more effectively SNAP – also notes there are more Catholics in the Third World where child molestation is more easily concealed.
Here are just a few of the many I looked up :-
Fr Kit Cunningham, together with 3 other priests the sexually abused young boys at St Michaels Boarding School, Soni, Tanzania. Pupils recall being photographed naked, hauled out of bed at night to have their genitals fondled and other sexual abuse. Cunningham died in 2011 without coming to trial.
2002 – Catholic Church apologises for sexual abuse, including adultery, homosexuality and child abuse by 200 priests over 20 years. 2003 – 34 priests suspended in a sex abuse scandal including sexual harassment of young women. 2011 – priest accused of sexually abusing a 17 year old woman – he was sheltered by the Bishop
1995 – Cardinal Groer ,stepped down as head of the Catholic Church in Austria following sexual misconduct. 1998 he left the country. He remains a Cardinal
Henri Leblas – 10 years for rape of a 12 year old boy between 1995-1998
Feb 2010 – 94 clerics and laymen suspected of child abuse, 30 suspects have now been prosecuted.
Its difficult to confirm actual statistics for clerical sex abuse in Italy because the Italian Government have a treaty with the Vatican that guarantees immunity to Vatican officials.
84 allegations since 2010 of child sexual abuse. Fr Pulis and Fr Scerri sentenced to 6 years in prison for child sex abuse
Georg Muller, former Catholic Bishop of Trondheim, admitted sexually abusing an alter boy in the 1980’s, he said there were no other victims.
2006 – Frank Franter abused 16 minors. Given 5 years in prison
Canon Stephan Shield of Lancaster – 3 counts of indecent assault on a minor . 3 years in prison
2009- a monk from Ealing Abbey and former head Master of Junior Department sentenced to 8 years for sexually abusing boys.
2004 – John Kinsey, former priest , 5 years for sexual assault on boys.
4392 – allegations pending in the US to date.
- In 2007 , The Society of Jesus made a $50 million payout to over 100 Inuit, who alleged they had been sexually abused by priests. Abuse that involved 13-14 priests over 30 years.
- In 2003, $26.5 million given by diocese of Milwaukee to victims on behalf of 58 ordained men, for sexual abuse to minors. Under Archbishop Timothy Dolan, $57 million was purposefully moved to a trust via the Vatican so the payout would not be higher. They moved the funds and then claimed bankruptcy.
On researching this article, I found some heartbreaking stories from the young men and women abused since the 1980’s in Milwaukee, these victims will live with this for the rest of their lives. One woman broke down in tears when at the age of 8 her priest asked if she would help him with the candles. She did so and he raped her. Afterwards he said if she told anyone she would burn in hell and he gave her a penance to do. She remembers washing the blood from her body with the holy water before leaving the church.
Another young man had been repeatedly abused by Fr Lifeldt, he went public many years later. Fr Lifeldt’s response was ” I didn’t understand there would be psychological damage to the young man”. 14 families were affected by this priest, he was moved to another diocese.
One priest who was ordained in the Vatican, by the Pope, was so disgusted by what went on in Rome he left the church. he confirmed most of the Curia in Rome were gay and the Vatican is the most immoral of religious systems. He said there was a widespread culture of tacit connect, everyone knows about what goes on but doesn’t talk of it, he said.
A Vatican guide, had several relationships with priests in Rome, it is a widespread culture, he said, the priests would have sex with him and then go celebrate mass in the morning. One of his priest lovers told him ” Im giving you my body but my soul belongs to god… Im a priest but have a need…. I will satisfy it then go back to being a priest”
Many within the Vatican are so conflicted they don’t confess they are gay…. Its almost a schizophrenic attitude.
“It is difficult to be good in the Vatican” one man said
Sounds more like the flesh-pots of Europe, doesn’t it?
SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH – A HISTORY
One of the most prominent roles in the Vatican is to cover up the sex abuse scandals as they happen, they have in fact a secret archive of abuse histories that go as far back as the Middle Ages.
The Catholic Church was officially recognised by Emperor Constantine in 4th Century AD. Celibacy within the clergy was not mandated until 12th Century AD in fact, however, various churches advocated celibacy from the beginning. Interestingly the earliest recorded church legislation is from The Council of Elvira – 306 AD. Half of the canons passed dealt with the sexual behaviour of the clerics. The Council of Elvira was not the only source of attempts to curb the sexual misdeeds of the clergy, gatherings of Bishops throughout the Christian world at that time passed laws attempting to stamp out cleric concubinage, clerical fornication and homosexual activity.
The practice of individual confession of sins to a priest started in the 6th Century AD, with this came the ‘penitential book’, a good source of church history. these books listed various acts which the church considered sinful. The Penitentials provide a vivid glimpse of the dark side of christian life. Several of these books refer to sexual crimes committed by clerics, against young boys and girls. The regularity of the mentions of clergy in relation to sexual crimes shows the problem was not isolated and was known in the community, the books were in use from 6th -12th Century AD.
The repeated violations of clerical celibacy are amply documented in the canonical collections, most notably “Decree of Gration” It is said the sexual abuse by clerics of the time were commonplace, expected by the laity, and resistant to official curbs to eliminate them.
The Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century mentioned the belief that a supposed celibate world caused a moral corruption
“The sexual habits of the Roman Catholic clergy, according to reformers, were a sewer of iniquity, a scandal to the laity, a threat of damnation to the clergy themselves”
So we see the sexual abuse within the church is not a new phenomenon. Rather it has a long history and who knows when it will end? The Catholic Church has been covering up the truth for centuries…… In May 2014 the Vatican admitted via their UN Ambassador Tomasi the following:-
- Since 2004 – there had been 3,400 credible cases referred to the Vatican
- 401 cases in 2013 alone. (imagine how many more cases not referred to the Vatican?)
- 848 – priests defrocked
- 2572 -given a lifetime penance and prayer ( usually elderly or infirm priests)
We can imagine these figures are conservative…… So for any Christians out there make sure you never leave your children alone with a priest, monk or nun….
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