Another day, another missed opportunity by the Catholic Church to follow the path of Christ and deal with the rats in their own nest. In an extensive review of the church’s actions that spans decades through several different popes and clocking in at over a hundred pages, an “independent inquiry into child sexual abuse” found the church guilty of “neglect[ing] the physical, emotional and spiritual well‐being of children and young people in favor of protecting its reputation,” the Guardian reports.
According to the independent report, the church received more than 900 complaints involving the abuse of children, monks, priests, seminarians, and church volunteers. The complaints covered 3,000 instances of abuse and of those instances there were only 133 convictions. When reports were made to local parishes, priests and bishops who were accused of sexual misconduct were often times moved to different parishes, such as in the case of former New Jersey cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked in 2019 after accusations against him first began in 1999.
The cover-ups, which span decades as well as countries and hundreds of clergymen (that we know of), go all the way up to the highest office in the church—the papacy—with the likes of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI, and even the beloved St. John Paul II all having a hand in keeping allegations quiet and going so far as to not cooperate with investigations led by organizations outside of the church. According to the Guardian, the Vatican’s ambassador to the UK was asked to participate in the sexual abuse investigation, and after several months of back and forth the Vatican confirmed that “it would not provide a witness statement.”
This refusal to cooperate and protect their own is par for the course for the Catholic Church, but it also functions as a diversion from Pope Francis’ many public statements in support of sexual abuse victims and his alleged desire to remove abusers from positions of power. It’s weird that a bunch of old dudes who believe hell is real seem unconvinced that they’ll soon be tossed into the flames for the exact same thing they tell other people not to do.