The Roman Catholic Church cannot be trusted. It is as simple as that.

The 2011 Philadelphia Grand Jury Report outlines how the church and its officials operate. At least a dozen grand juries have investigated a variety of dioceses.[1] The conclusions of every grand jury are similar:

  • The Catholic Church preaches purity and tolerates sexual abuse;
  • Bishops and church workers deceive victims;
  • The church cannot be trusted to deal with sexual abuse by its priests and bishops;
  • Bishops, cardinals and superiors hide priest abusers in other dioceses or other countries;
  • Diocesan officials hide or destroy documents that record knowledge of priest abusers;
  • Cardinals, bishops and superiors obstruct investigations whenever and however they can;
  • They fail to make reports to responsible agencies and parishes;
  • Bishops use mental health professionals that are not objective in the assessment of clergy abusers;
  • Review Boards set up supposedly to help victims, “betray them;”
  • Church officials use lawyers to intimidate victims rather than pastoral procedures to comfort and heal victims;
  • Diocesan “investigations” of priest abusers are negligible, bogus or sham;
  • The church fails to recognize the seriousness of harm to victims;
  • It allows offending priests to remain in ministry;
  • Many known offenders serve in church offices;
  • Offenders remain without adequate supervision;
  • Many priest offenders not yet reported are still active in ministry;

When impartial citizens examine the Catholic Church they react: “As terrible as all the criminal depravity was [in the Philadelphia Archdiocese] the grand jurors were just as appalled by the cynical and callous handling of clergy abuse by the Philadelphia hierarchy, up to and including the Cardinal.” (Page 111)

The time for apologies and words is over. The Roman Catholic Church is sexually corrupt.

Victims of clergy abuse should not go to diocesan officials. Report to civil authorities. Church authorities cannot be trusted.

The Catholic Church demands “perfect and perpetual continence”[2] of its ordained clergy, but it does not provide adequate education for the understanding and practice of this promise that involves celibacy. The teaching mode relies on spiritual direction and a seminary system. (Cf. Dialogue 13) However, the vast majority of directors are ill equipped to foster celibacy. Many directors, seminary faculty and rectors are sexually active themselves. Few understand the psychic, emotional, and even spiritual dynamics and dimensions of sexual abstinence.

Many—yes, that is correct, many—priests, bishops and cardinals are in fact sexually active.

The system of the Catholic Church selects, produces, hides, and defends sexual abusers. The pattern comes from the top and goes to the top. The practice is ongoing.

A major reason the Catholic Church has failed to deal with criminal abuse of children is precisely that they treat it as sin. And church leaders are quick and persistent in reminding us “we are all sinners.” Catholic clergy (bishops especially) see themselves as the arbiters of sin and forgiveness. As a result they hold themselves above civil laws because they are “God’s representatives.” Bishops do not have to tell truth. And they don’t, even under oath.

Clerical celibacy is not a reality, despite its noble and valuable ideal.

Sexual abuse of minors around the world is a symptom of the state of systemic clerical sexual corruption.

[1] Rockville Center Diocese, 2002; New Hampshire Diocese, 2003; Boston, 2003; Philadelphia, 2005 all produced written reports. Cincinnati, Phoenix, etc did not give public reports.

[2] Canon 277

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