Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal Continues in New York and Pennsylvania

As much of the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy continues to work to stifle moves by Pope Francis to modernize the Church, two new sex abuse bombshells await to explode.  One is in Pennsylvania where the Pennsylvania bishops are fighting tooth and claw to block the release of what will no doubt be a scathing grand jury investigation report. The other is in New York State where revelations are coming out about the magnitude of priestly sex abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo.   The irony, of course is that in many instances, the bishops and cardinals seeking keep the Church locked in the 12th Century are the same ones who allowed the rampant rape of children and youths on their watch.  These vain, bitter old men in dresses will go to any lengths to block modern knowledge on sexual orientation and the reality of divorced and remarried Catholics. The Allentown Morning Call looks at the grand jury report that is being suppressed and depriving the public of much needed information on the depravity of the Church hierarchy in Pennsylvania.  Here are excerpts:
Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead." — Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack  This is a column about secrets.
Secrets that the Catholic Church has kept from its parishioners and everyone else about the way some of its priests have preyed on children and the way church leaders covered it up. Secrets their victims have kept, festering in some cases for decades because they were too frightened, embarrassed or confused to speak up. Secrets parents try to keep from their children about sexual orientation and other uncomfortable subjects. Secrets some schools try to keep from their parents.
Certainly there are times when secrecy makes sense. Loose lips sink ships and all that. But far more often, it's healthy, even liberating, to expose these secrets to the light of day so they can be addressed in the open.
I suppose if I were accused of being a child molester or of covering for one, I would prefer not to have the details published in a Pennsylvania grand jury report. So it's understandable that some priests want to block the release of the impending report on child sex abuse in six dioceses, including Allentown.
What's less understandable, to me, is why the state Supreme Court is letting them do it, unless it intends to upend the grand jury system that already has produced illuminating reports about abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese and in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.
Can you imagine the mixture of anticipation and fear many of these victims felt as the date approached for letting the world know what happened to them? Or the devastation of seeing the Supreme Court choose secrecy, at least for a little longer?
I can, because I've talked to so many victims of child sex abuse, by clergy . . . I've heard them talk about the guilt, the embarrassment, the betrayal, the anger that has driven so many victims to silence, to depression, to suicide.
When men who in a very real sense symbolize God betray you by sexually abusing you or by helping pedophiles find new victims instead of stopping them, religious faith becomes another casualty.  These secrets have been hidden far too long already. So I support all the efforts being made to force the Supreme Court to release this grand jury report and end this monstrous conspiracy of silence.
In Harrisburg, in East Penn, in six Catholic dioceses and everywhere else, the truth will set us free.  Or at least begin the healing.
Meanwhile, north of the border in New York State, the Diocese of Buffalo is reeling as it is revealed that 74 past and present priests are involved in claims of sexual abuse.   WKBW-TV looks at the revelations.  What is telling is that much of the abuse cited occurred relatively recently, not in the 1950's and 1960's as the Church hierarchy often likes to claim as it dismisses the allegations of victims.  Here are excerpts:
To date, 74 current or former Buffalo priests have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct. 
The Diocese of Buffalo in March 2018 released a list of 42 "diocesan priests who were removed from ministry, were retired, or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse with a minor." It included deceased priests "with more than one allegation made against them."
That list did not include the names of dozens of additional priests who were members of religious orders, were publicly accused of sexual misconduct with adult women or men, left the diocese and moved to other parts of the country, or were identified in reporting by 7 Eyewitness News and other media outlets since March. . . .
Sadly, it is the same familiar pattern seen across the globe where priests were shuffled from parish to parish with no warning given to unsuspecting parents and youths.  The root cause in my view: the Church's bizarre obsession with all things sexual and its refusal to accept modern knowledge on sexuality and sexual orientation. Add to this (i) the western rite celibacy requirement, and (ii) the strange and isolated existence of many males who enter seminary directly from seminary high schools and/or colleges who have never been allowed to have normal psycho-sexual development. It is a recipe for disaster that will continue to lead to sexual abuse until such time as the Church leaves the 12th century and accepts modernity.

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