Home Opinion Praying for Change Within the Catholic Church

Praying for Change Within the Catholic Church

by Carly Henriquez

In the wake of recent events, Pennsylvania Supreme Court released a disheartening investigative report regarding children being sexually assaulted by some Catholic priests. The extensive report consisted of 300 priests who sexually assaulted 1,000 or more children throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

What is even more disturbing about the nearly 1,400-page report is the purposely systematic way of covering up these cases from official authorities and the public for decades. Priests and bishops from the six dioceses in Pennsylvania essentially turned a blind eye to the children who were forced into child pornography, oral sex, masturbation and anal penetration.

After the report was made public, many people criticized the ruling within the church. As a fellow Catholic, I feel both shame and disgust. It is unforgivable that the leaders and priests knew about these assault cases and decided to cover up all evidence and silence children and their maltreatment. One of the methods for protecting these rapists was to remove them from the church where they committed the crime and simply relocate them to another parish so no one would find out that they were child molesters.

The priest in charge would keep quiet and never address the issue as to why the priest was relocated. This silence is now exposed and brings great shame to not only the churches in Pennsylvania, but to the entire religion.

The mere fact that these priests used religious ideologies as manipulation is devastating for several reasons. An example of this would be a priest named Donald C. Bolton, who molested an innocent 8-year-old girl who was preparing for her first Holy Communion. The priest slid his hands up her dress and pulled down her underwear.

The innocent girl was then threatened by this rapist. He instructed the child not to tell anyone because no one would believe a child’s word against a man of God’s word.

To make matters worse, these allegations were kept quiet for so long that the laws in Pennsylvania make it impossible to press charges against the rapists. In some cases, the victims were unable to have peace because the molesters either grew old, faced no repercussions for their actions, and in some cases even died due to old age.

There is no compensation to justifiably undo the damage that has been done to the 1,000 and more victims in Pennsylvania. The psychological damages are still deeply ingrained to this day.

According to a CNN article, Report Details Sexual Abuse by More Than 300 Priests in Pennsylvania’s Catholic Church, an 83-year-old man said he could not show any affection toward his wife and children as a result of the abuse he suffered.

The Pennsylvania incident is only one out of many states where these incidents are occurring yearly. As a result, more states are investigating further into churches all throughout the United States, starting with New York.

The corruption within has been kept exceptionally well. The lack of moral leadership and nobility from bishops, priest and the social conduct are to be blamed for the downfall of it all.

It would surprise me if Pope Francis didn’t feel apprehensive over this major scandal occurring beneath his own church because then one would begin to question his leadership. He would be known for either ignoring these sexual offenders or as an oblivious leader who knew nothing that was occurring under his ruling.

Perhaps this is finally the time for Pope Francis to take initiative and truly dispose of all disgusting sex offenders; however, not for the reputation of the Catholic Church but for the protection of innocent children everywhere.

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