Child Sex Abuse in Catholic Dioceses Worldwide – One of Nation’s Oldest Districts Suing Insurance Companies to Cover Tide of Cases. Twenty years ago, the Boston Globe reported on the child sex abuse endemic to the Boston Archdiocese of the Catholic Church.
Damningly, that report found that not only were children abused but that the Church was complicit in hiding the allegations and refusing to hold the predators responsible, fomenting an institution that was extremely dangerous for children.
Time and time again bombshell reports have uncovered widespread abuse worldwide, including mass graves of tens of thousands of children in Ireland and Canada. In 2021, a report was released in France that estimated the number of abused children at over 300,000 since the 1950s.
Catholic Church protects abusers
It’s not just that predators operated within the Church, but it appears as though it was a perfect environment for any type of abuser – you could always count on the Church’s protection against any allegations, to the point that the degree of abuse that men were allowed to get away with against children and women (including nuns) was practically de facto permissible.
Even though child sex abuse has been an open secret for decades, the Church has pursued a policy of denial and downplaying the extent of the harm – refusing to admit to the scale of the damage and reticent to adopt any sort of meaningful reform. The Church has historically and currently rigorously protects the secrecy of confession and refuses to make sex abuse allegations public or cooperate with law enforcement.
Church complicit all the way to the top
This complicity appears to go all the way to the top, on January 20th, 2022 a report was published concerning the Munich archdiocese’s decades of hushed-up abuse allegations. Ex-pope Benedict the XVI, led the Munich archdiocese as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from 1977 to 1982 and was implicated in four child sex abuse cases for neglecting to take action at the time and lying to the recent investigators. The ex-pope did not apologize to victims but expressed shame and “great pain” even as he denied the findings presented by the Munich report.
The ex-pope was found to have known of the abuse occurring within the district and helped with the relocation of at least one of the alleged abusers, and he recently made a false statement in an effort to conceal the full extent of his complicity during that time.
This is the background of the man who eventually went on to be the one responsible for the culture of the entire global Catholic Church as the Pope. It is clear that the entire organization consists of a decrepit, backward culture of silence and a lack of accountability for predatory male clerics. These church operations propagated tens of thousands of deaths of minority children in Ireland and Canada -basically church-sanctioned child sex abuse and genocide of some of the weakest members of our society.
Church no self-regulation
Despite this clear pattern of the lack of self-regulation, there is still an insistent lack of cooperation with outside authority: most recently, the Spanish Episcopal Conference’s refusal to investigate cases of abuse with either its own internal commission or an independent commission.
The statement from the president Cardinal is a familiar expression of contrition and “deep pain” for victims while in the same breath refusing to create a larger independent body to investigate the child sex abuse allegations. Instead, the church continues the practice of allowing each diocese to self-regulate.
Church’s “higher moral authority” defense
As a society, we must recognize that we cannot depend on the Church’s “higher moral authority” to safeguard the most vulnerable among us – given the long string of crimes committed under its guise, the pretense of moral high ground and infallibility is clearly an impediment to real justice and accountability. We must keep our government secular so that it may hold these predators accountable no matter which “authority” they claim to serve. We can rely on legal action for redress after the fact – but we must implement changes so that these horrors never occur in the first place.
Skyrocketing Child Sex Abuse claims
Claims against dioceses all over the nation are being litigated due to these discoveries of decades of abuse, and liberal child sex abuse state laws make it easier for now-adults to seek retribution for harms committed by the Church when they were minors. In some cases, entire dioceses are going bankrupt due to the sheer volume of allegations.
For example, one of the oldest districts in the nation, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, is having to sue its insurance providers to help pay its settlements in the face of bankruptcy. These child sex abuse claims stretch back decades and involve over four hundred people.
Dr. Shezad Malik law firm investigates Child sex abuse claims
If you or a loved one has experienced abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church, you should contact an attorney. The Church isn’t holding itself accountable or making reforms to prevent this from happening – the only consequences that they cannot avoid with contrite words of “deep pain” is feeling the real pain of legal action and public censure. Contact Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm at 214-390-3189 to retain an attorney to help you in the fight for justice and retribution – to bring responsibility to those who fomented a culture that allowed decades of abuse against society’s most vulnerable.