According to an article in the New York Times, a representative of the Vatican recently told a United Nations committee in Geneva that, “In addition to 848 priests dismissed between 2004 and 2013, 2,572 members of the clergy had been disciplined for sexual abuse, putting children beyond their reach.”
Disciplined? Disciplined??? How about jail? And how about jail, too, for the many in the administration who have been shunting these men from diocese to diocese for decades, thus making it even harder to identify their horrendous acts and allowing them to continue? In what universe is a slap on the hand good enough for destroying the life of an innocent child?
As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing as heinous as a person who is placed in a position of trust who abuses that trust, is discovered, and yet still gets away with it. Sexual abuse is an unforgivable act, but it’s a million times worse when it is carried out by a parent, a doctor, a teacher, or a member of the clergy. More horrendous is the fact that these were men whose job it was to be our moral compass, to tell us how to avoid going to hell, when they, in fact, will be headed there themselves on an express train.
No organization, regardless of how powerful, has the right to take the law into its own hands. Until justice is meted out to each and every criminal among their ranks, the Roman Catholic Church has blood on its hands, and there isn’t enough penance or forgiveness in the universe for that.
The most terrifying thing about all of this is that for every perpetrator we know about, there are probably 20 we don’t, and it most definitely isn’t restricted only to the Catholic Church. The world we live in is brutish at the best of times. It’s about time we start taking steps to hold animals accountable for their acts.
[Image credit: rawstory.com]