Beyond Apology: Child Torture and Cover Ups In the Catholic Church
How does the Catholic Church evaluate cases of pedophilia committed by priests?
This is the first question posed in the pamphlet titled “Pedophilia and the Priesthood,” written by Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli.The answer reads in part: These crimes of pedophilia have been labeled as “a crime against the most weak,” “a horrendous sin in the eyes of God,” a crime “that damages the Church’s credibility.
The most severe condemnation, a source of clear and unequivocal blame, is found in the words of Jesus when, identifying himself with the little ones, affirms in the synoptic Gospels: And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea (Matthew 18:5-6, Mark 9:42, Luke 17:1-2).
In August 2018 it came to light that for over 70 years, Roman Catholic Bishops and other Church officials in Pennsylvania covered up child sexual abuse by more than 300 priests. They dissuaded victims from reporting the abuse and they convinced police not to investigate it. This is all according to a grand jury report issued last month.
The report, initiate by Attorney General Josh Shapiro, is the widest inquiry by a US government agency into Catholic Church sexual abuse of children. It covers six of the states eight Catholic dioceses. It found more than 1,000 identifiable victims but says there are likely thousands more whose records have been lost or who were too afraid to come forward. Shapiro said in a press conference that the cover up by senior officials in the church reached at times up to the Vatican.
At the same time, allegations have been raised that Pope Frances knew Cardinal Theorore McCarrick had abused seminarians, but that he lifted penalties imposed on him by Pope Benedict the 16th.
With these news reports, the Catholic Church has been thrown into turmoil. On the one side are traditional members who argue that sexual abuse can be stopped with stricter adherence to church doctrine. On the other side are reformists urging that the church stop condemning homosexuality and permit gay priests to be open about their sexual preferences.
Today on Law and Disorder we bring you a special examination of the continuing revelations into the extent of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, and cover-ups of abuse by Church officials.
After PA Grand Jury Report, Survivors Renew Demand For Federal Investigation Into Church Sexual Violence And Cover-Up
Guest – Attorney Pam Speesfrom the Center for Constitutional Rights. She has worked closely with SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, since 2011 with the filing of a complaint at the International Criminal Court. The complaint called for an investigation and prosecution of high-level Vatican officials, including then-Pope Benedict, for the widespread and systematic rape and sexual violence within the Catholic Church.
Guest -Peter Iselyfounding member of End Clergy Abuse, a new global organization, launched in Geneva in June, of survivor leaders and human rights activists from five continents and 28 countries. Peter wrote a 2003 SNAP white paper to the Department of Justice calling for federal intervention into the matter of clergy sexual abuse.He is a survivor of childhood sexual assault by a Wisconsin priest, one of the founding members of SNAP and previous Midwest Director. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School and a psychotherapist in private practice, Peter established and directed the nations only inpatient program for victims of clergy sexual trauma at Rogers Memorial Hospital located outside Milwaukee.