CNN reported this week that a former Catholic Bishop in Norway recently confessed to sexually abusing an altar boy 20 years ago. The fact that he could not keep his secret after 20 years is a reminder of how serious a crime sexual abuse is and how it should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately leaders of the Catholic Church do not understand this.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice reported that more than 4,392 Catholic deacons and priests have sexually abused 10,677 children from 1950 to 2002. Of these, only 615 were reported to the police, while 384 deacons and priests were charged with the crimes.
The clergy members who have committed these crimes have faced little to no consequences, which is stripping the Church of its credibility. Even worse, these pedophiles have probably continued to commit these crimes because they had little fear of getting in trouble and assumed the church would back them up regardless of their actions.
This seems to have been the case and since victims seem to keep popping up, something needs to be done now. The Pope should be more active in seeking justice against the perpetrators. Priesthood does not exempt somebody from serving time for sexually abusing young children.
It is ironic that many of these priests listen to people confess all their sins but they themselves sweep their crimes under the rug.
The cover-up has pushed away some Catholics because they do not want to associate themselves with a church that does not punish pedophilia. The church, especially the Pope, who is the face of the Catholic Church, should show a degree of concern and stand up for what is right and ethical. Instead of issuing a “sorry” he needs to publicly condemn the church’s role in these abuses and take more responsibility.