Recent years have witnessed a malignant discontent manifest itself towards the Roman Catholic Church. Of significant concern, however, is the influx of sexual abuse allegations that have flooded U.S. courts. Last year alone, approximately 500 individuals report credible allegations of abuse by Roman Catholic priests and deacons in the United States. Subsequently, these staggering statistics indicate a two-fold increase in the number of victims abused by the Catholic Church in years past.
According to an audit released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the church spent $140 million fighting the incriminating allegations. The majority of the data uncovered by the audit acknowledged that many of the victims were minors that were in one way or another sexually assaulted by members of the Roman Catholic order. Several case documents suggest that priests would prey on individuals, using their position of power to influence their victims actions.
Sexually abuse actions, like those that have been witnessed in recent years, may prove detrimental to the church as a whole. Therefore, it was not uncommon for high ranking officials to attempt to cover up the transgressions committed by fellow priests. However, in doing so, they placed the safety and lives of children at risk. In recent months, these transgressions have come to light in a slew of allegations against the church.
In response to the allegations, members of the church have promised to place the safety of the children as a top priority. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops, reportedly issued a statement saying “we renew our promise to strive to the fullest to end societal scourge of child sexual abuse.”
However, little has been done to address the issue of child sexual abuse. Barbara Blaine, founder of Chicago based SNAP and a victim of sexual abuse herself tells WLS News that while church officials have fine tuned their public relations rhetoric it does not appear that they have done much to change their behaviors. “As long as the bishops allow predators to remain in the ministry without punishment we have to assume that children are at risk and that’s it’s possible that more will be abused.”
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