After the latest Priest allegations and newly found files of molestation, can the Catholic faith be restored?
The Catholic sex abuse cases are a series of convictions, trials, and investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse crimes committed by Catholic priests and members of Roman Catholic orders against children as young as 3 years old with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14. These cases included anal sex, and oral penetration, and there have been criminal prosecutions of the abusers and civil lawsuits against the church’s dioceses and parishes. Many of the cases span several decades and are brought forward years after the abuse occurred.
As is now well known, the prevalence of child sexual abuse is a major issue for the Catholic Church. There have been many priests and members of religious orders jailed, and many more identified offenders who died without ever being brought to justice. We have witnessed a stream of allegations for well over a decade now. There are comparatively few allegations of child sexual abuse by ministers of religion in other churches. There are some, as there are in all other organizations involved in work with children and young people. Furthermore, the allegations that some people in leadership within the Catholic Church have in comparatively recent times dissuaded victims from going to the police, failed to report known criminal misconduct where it had been admitted, or otherwise made more difficult the work of the police and the criminal justice system in bringing offenders to justice, are matters of immense seriousness.
It appears that possibly, priests and bishops have sanctioned many of the abuses in the Catholic liturgy and in Catholic teaching, which is why most Catholics have been afraid to object to the near-constant attacks against traditional Catholicism, which they see and hear at their local parishes. Moreover, although in normal times laymen should not object to what priests and bishops may be teaching, these are not normal times. Catholics cannot leave the Church, nor are they free to lambaste and deny the Pope at will for things like his “Altar Girl Permission” or the “Assisi Affair” or the convening of the Second Vatican Council. Catholic lay people must guard against this attitude, which is commonly referred to as “sede vacantism.” Nevertheless, Catholics must wake up to the fact that the Church is in a state of unprecedented revolution and turmoil at present, and that, since the Council, she has undergone a near total spiritual breakdown. From this independent voice, the restoration of the Catholic Church has to come from the top down, and not from the bottom up. Until that happens though, laymen must do all in their power to keep their own faith and to do whatever they can to help others to do the same in this spiritual “Dark Age.”
Originally posted on KTLA 5:
Los Angeles Police Department detectives who specialize in child sexual abuse cases have begun examining a trove of newly disclosed priest abuse files to determine whether there are cases that can be prosecuted.
Capt. Fabian Lizarraga said detectives “are currently reviewing the [files], to see exactly what we have…. Then we’ll have to see what, if any, laws apply and if they’re within statute,” he said.
Detectives are limited by a law that only allows the prosecution of incidents since 1988. Many of the files appear to pre-date that year.
Lizarraga said the LAPD will be focusing specifically Los Angeles-based priests.
The LAPD decided to launch the review after the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese last week posted on its website tens of thousands of pages of previously secret personnel files for 122 priests accused of molesting children.
“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” Archbishop Jose Gomez wrote in a letter announcing the release of the records.
Allegations against some of the priests contained in the records have been known for some time. And it remains unclear whether detectives will be able to build additional criminal cases in the long-running scandal.
On Jan. 21, The Times obtained files involving 14 clerics accused of abuse.
Last week, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles posted on its website tens of thousands of pages of the previously secret personnel files of 122 additional priests accused of molesting children
They laid out in the words of Cardinal Roger Mahony and Bishop Thomas Curry how the church hierarchy had plotted to keep law enforcement from learning that children had been molested at the hands of priests.
To stave off investigations, Mahony and Curry gave priests who they knew had abused children out-of-state assignments and kept them from seeing therapists who might alert authorities.