READ THE DOCUMENTS HERE - Documents detailing abuse of children in Chicago Church released
Only the guilty need be ashamed of their sin.
Files have been released to the public which detail the abuse of children at the hands of 30 priests in the Chicago area, and what the diocese and bishops knew. The scandal, which involved a blatant cover-up and the transfer of predatory priests to different parishes, is humiliating, but also a time of cleansing for the Church.
Attorneys for the victims have seen through with the release of 6,000 pages of documents detailing what Church officials in Chicago knew about abusive priests.
There are 6,000 documents in the dump, and would-be readers are advised to think before reading them because of some of the graphic details within them.
May St. Michael destroy the evil within our communities, let us daily pray!
It is clear today that the American Catholic Church has erred in how some diocese handled allegations of abuse by priests in decades past. An untold number of children likely faced abuse and some clergy may have gone unpunished.
Both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have cracked down very hard on the issue and made clear to Church officials that local law, and not just Church law, applies to all allegations. Church officials are now required, on the basis of any credible accusation, to notify local law enforcement officials and to refer cases directly to the Vatican. Those accused are not to be allowed contact with children and may be immediately suspended from duties while investigations proceed.
Thorough background checks and greater transparency are also required.
Despite the scandal which has rocked the Church, a few things should be noted. Most specifically that secular, scientific studies of the abuse scandal have proven that Catholic priests are not more likely to abuse children than those men working in any other sector of employment or men in general.
This means that children are equally likely to be abused by Protestant and other non-catholic clergy as by priests. The priesthood does not uniquely attract pedophiles and the Church should not be viewed as a haven for predators. Studies prove that it is not.
Neither is priestly celibacy at the root of the problem either. Studies also demonstrate that celibacy is not a factor in contributing to sexual misconduct or pedophilia.
The reason then that this behavior is seen as scandalous is because Catholic priests take vows of celibacy and chastity, which distinguishes them from clergy of other denominations. Moreover, Catholic clergy are held to an exceptionally high standard of ethics and conduct to which few others are required to adhere. We trust priests entirely, sharing with them our confessions, our tithes, and our families. It is reasonable to expect they should adhere to the highest standard of moral behavior.
Yet, priests are human and sooner or later every human falls short. Most typically, these are minor failings, easy to forgive, but when a priest commits an egregious sin, particularly against a child, simply that cannot go unaddressed.
Let us pray that the pain of these trials and revelations will teach us a lesson in humility and duty that will never be forgotten and that the release of these documents helps victims who are seeking closure.
Only the guilty need to be ashamed.
You may review the documents here: AndersonAdvocates.com
And here: BishopAccountability.org
Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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