Pope calls damning French report on abuse a ‘moment of shame’
That report, released Oct. 5, found that an estimated 330,000 children – roughly 80 percent of whom were boys – were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of some 3,000 French clergy and religious throughout the past 70 years.
The 2,500-page report also showed decades of systematic coverup by Church authorities.
This scandal that just will not stop continues to boggle the mind. How in the name of God and all that is holy could 3,000 French clergy and religous over 70 years abuse 330,000 children and the majority of Catholics not know that something was wrong? How did law enforcement miss it.
The key mind boggling component is that bishops covered it up and did not stop it.
I have no answers other than the darkness of evil overtaking the mission of bishops, clergy and religious.
I do believe that in this country and in our own Diocese of Savannah, safe gaurds are in place to help mitigate against such a systemic allowance of pure evil to overcome bishops and the priests they manage.
Virtus or other such training for everyone in the Church to include the laity will help to keep this kind of thing from being swept under the carpet and to remove anyone in the church priest or laity in a position of authority from becoming a serial molester or abuser.
I've told my parishioners if they suspect that someone in the Church is abusing a minor, to call the police first and inform the bishop next.
Often law enforcement have agencies that do a great job of investigating such things and determining the legitimacy of the accusation.
What are your thoughts on how this kind of thing went on for so long and there were no whistle blowers in the clergy or laity until rather recently?
"How in the name of God and all that is holy could 3,000 French clergy and religous over 70 years abuse 330,000 children and the majority of Catholics not know that something was wrong? How did law enforcement miss it.
Second question first: If law enforcement isn't informed, law enforcement doesn't know.
First question: Some did know, but failed to intervene or report the abuse. There are a variety of reasons why people don't act when they know that crimes are being committed. Some are themselves guilty and don't want their own crimes exposed. Some are afraid of retaliation from the perpetrator. Some suspect complicity on the part of those being abused.
But the most damning reason that, I suspect, people don't report the crimes is that they value protecting the Institution above protecting the Victim. That comes in various forms. The pious parent won't say anything bad about a priest. The parochial vicar is intimidated by the abusive pastor, or vice-versa. The local bishop is concerned about being sued, losing income, or being charged himself.
All of this is a failure to live the virtue of charity which puts the good of the "other" and the Common Good above our own. Yes, it is tragically sad. I wonder how people who have witnessed these revelations for the last 20+ years are not more and more convinced of the reality of sin and the need for redemption.
There likely were whistleblowers, culturally it was likely unacceptable to act. Bishops in the past may have been tyrants, you didn't question them, their authority, or what went on within their remit. I'm sure that like other diocese, abusers were shuffled from assignment to assignment only to continue acting out.
Puzzling that with this wound that won't scab over, HH is spending his time worrying about the "rigidity" of TLM priests and attendees. Cancelling TLM's that's really helping the Church at-large, vocations and reorienting this institution away from these disgusting, dark days. Couple that with the CBS Sunday Morning report from the last 6-12 months about the male prostitute in Rome who keeps such detailed information about his clergy clients, among others. Is the Roman Church just beyond redemption? One would have to wonder as one obediently prays, pays and obeys. I wonder if the hierarchy is aware of, or even cares (outside of their comforts being disturbed) how tough of a pill it is to swallow to continue praying/paying/obeying an institution that seems so corrupt and so incapable of policing itself.
Fr. I'm sure your efforts and those of your bishop are spot-on and are as effective as can be expected. In totality, it's difficult to overlook the problem(s) and the continued fallout as one enters the pew week in and out.
Well the EF priests and faithful are the Church’s biggest problem because that group will be around when the OF Church evaporates into thin air - a process which started 50 years ago and continues. I sometimes why I bother anymore when we have such a clueless pope and his equally clueless minions. But we must soldier on
Pervert clergy have always been around - the contemptible part of the whole scandal was covering it up thus allowing culprits to continue their vile practices. If the Church had taken firm action against predators and turned them over to the civil authorities the laity would have cheered and the Faith would have been strengthened but alas they chose the cover-up route to their eternal shame
A fair question might be: The New Evangelization and those Synods: How's that working for you?
I hate to be snide, but so much effort is expended on this or that that generates tepid results, at best. All the while, the TLM'ers quietly come, go, pray/pay/obey and have families that by and large are committed participants. Something must be right with this recipe. Bishops won't even commit to "saying the black, doing the red" so, what hope is there for any/all of the rest? Sure, there are thriving diocese in the south, particularly, because of population redistribution. For the rest of the country, particularly up here in the northeast and outside of the rare parish that is reasonably traditional, friendly and with a docile membership (the left leaning parishes are brutal, believe me), there's a "been there, done that" attitude that's pervasive. Read the obits up here and see how probably half bypass a Mass of Christian burial. Many just don't care one bit anymore and it's now a generational problem.
To be fair, perverts have existed in society since the ancient Romans. The Catholic Church is so large and corporate in structure, it's easy to assemble stats and the news item that those stats become is just a magnet.
"Something must be right with this recipe."
Byz, to be the fly in the ointment, is that what the Holy Father found when he asked for input from the bishops? Sure there are positives, as there are in ANY Catholic parish, SSPX, EF, NO, etc. But are the perceived problems/negatives just a figure of the imagination of some "polyester, SPirit of Vatican II" prelates?
A great question but it would likely be met with condescension and anger! Either they are very dense or they have adopted the attitude of Louis XIV: apres moi le deluge
When you stop voting for the party of intrinsic evil, we might listen to what you have to say. Hey your party through the DOJ is threatening parents who are protesting against critical race theory and it turns out the attorney general’s son-in-law sells this program to public schools. Not a smidgeon of corruption. You are a real piece of work. Your bishop needs to investigate you
Figure of the imagination of some "polyester..." prelates? Doubtful. Agendas, politics etc. likely factored into some. Others might have been very objective about the positives, negatives and challenges. We'll never know it would seem. Up here in the Northeast, I can't remember hearing anything about zealots/extremists. Like those who choose to attend the NO, TLM'ers seem to just go about their business. While I wouldn't say we're lush with TLM's where I am, there are enough available that no one's commute should be greater than 35 - 40 minutes. That's really the basis of my "recipe" comment.
A desire for the preservation of the Institution? I think not. And try 60+ years, not 20+. Is it a coincidence that this filth preceded Vatican II and its momentum increased for years thereafter? It was left to John Paul II and Benedict to clean up the mess that was still leaching.
It's a desire to protect themselves as Father K writes but he fails to understand what he's writing and wrongly concludes that they want to protect the Institution. With the exception of the modernized mother who refuses to accept that the effeminate priest who she thinks is cute when he plays the bongos at Mass is doing something evil, all of the others want to protect themselves. All of the other actors described by Father Kavanaugh have no interest in preserving the Church but they do want to preserve their own system of abuse that allows the homosexual priests to continue to prey on children. That's why archbishops like Weakland protected their homosexual buddies. It was the good old gay boys' club. They're still around today and they're the ones most responsible for canceling good priests. They hate devout priests and actually want to destroy the Institution.
I assume you are aware of this:
The “Synodal Way,” a conference consisting of German bishops, priests, religious, and laity, on Friday approved a draft document that appears to undermine Catholic doctrine on fundamental points of sexual morality, offering a defense of homosexual relationships, “self-stimulating sexuality,” contraception, and civil divorce and remarriage.
The document, titled “Living in Successful Relationships – Living Love in Sexuality and Partnership,” is described by Vatican News as giving “a clear rejection to so-called conversion therapies for homosexuals” and as pleading on behalf of “homosexual partnerships as well as remarried divorcees ‘to be able to see themselves under the blessing of God expressly granted by the church.’” However, the document reaffirmed the doctrine that sacramental marriage is only between a man and a woman.
If this does not create a schism, I don't know what will
Looks like we have too much money left. They haven't paid out enough in abuse settlements and judgments. Pope Francis might not want to get too comfortable in his humble Vatican dwellings because we'll need to selloff the Vatican properties out from under him when phase two of our tolerant policies begin to "bear much (rotten) fruit". The lawyers are the happy ones when they read these things.
This stuff gets too depressing. It makes me thankful that I'm not younger.
I'm not sure I can say thank you for the info. I did see Father's earlier post but this info you sent is even worse.
It's not a good idea to rush to judgement on the basis of headline figures. Statistics are only meaningful if one knows how they are arrived at, and if they are based on 'estimates', they need to be approached with considerable caution. The report (2500 pages long and in French) was released on 5 October; Mrs Allen (she is the second wife of John L Allen Jr - he divorced his first) penned her article on 6 October, the same day as PF's statement. It is unlikely that either would have read it.
Before commenting, still less indulging in the now customary breast-beating, I would need to know some basic facts.
1. Even over four years, it is hard to see how a third of a million cases spread out over seventy years could have been properly investigated. Many of the victims, and even more of the perpetrators are now dead.
2. Does the figure of 2000 priests and religious plus an (estimated) 1000 laity sexually abusing an average of 110 persons each if the headline figures are to be believed, represent a cumulative figure since 1950, or does it assume that at any one time there were this number of active perpetrators at large?
3. For much of the period in question the age of majority was 21. So whom do we define as 'minors' or 'children'?
4. The John Jay report, working on the basis of allegations, identified degrees of sexual abuse ranging from inappropriate speech to buggery, with most offences at the lower end of the scale. Presumably the French report does the same, but again, you'd have to read it to find out. Although I read French with reasonable facility, I'm not inclined to wade through two-and-a-half thousand pages.
Before wringing my hands at the turpitude of the French clergy, I recall that in 1954 the late Sir Alec Guinness was filming for 'Father Brown' on location in Burgundy. Dressed in soutane and saturno he was mistaken for a real priest by a local child who took his hand and prattled away for a few minutes as they strolled along. Guinness had little French but recognized 'mon père'. The boy then waved and trotted off. The actor was deeply impressed with the confidence and affection inspired in the child by clerical attire. Two years later he converted to Catholicism.
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