Author: Ryan

The Church is Complicit in Sexual Abuse

The Church is Complicit in Sexual Abuse

Editorial: Court cases following #MeToo movement show victims’ bravery in describing abuse cases

In a story about the death of a friend during sexual abuse in a Catholic seminary in Virginia, the victim’s mother had this to say about court proceedings she was forced to endure after she was abused: “It was an outrage that our Catholic institution would allow the rapist to walk free during the funeral.”

How tragic, to be alive to witness the death of a loved one at the hands of violent sexual predators.

Yet, this is the reality for some of our most vulnerable and disempowered victims in our society. Not only are they victimized in silence, they are also stripped of their basic civil rights and placed in the hands of the very people who are supposed to protect them.

To some, it might sound like the court system is an extension of the church and that the church is a source of power and money for the judiciary. It is also true to say that in a very small minority of abuse cases, some judges are not only complicit in the crime but have shown outright hostility toward victims. Some have demonstrated a total disregard for the basic tenets of civil justice and have exhibited a complete lack of respect for victims. A significant number of judges are being sued for wrongful rulings because they have ignored the rights of plaintiffs.

How does the justice system protect us against the abuses of men like Father Theodore “Ted” McCarrick, who is accused of sexually abusing seminarians for decades at the Church of the Holy Cross in Virginia?

The church has been complicit in this abuse for decades and it is clear that it has knowingly tolerated the crimes. The Catholic church has repeatedly said that it did not hear of these allegations or otherwise investigate them during the time McCarrick was serving as a priest. Yet, it was Father McCarrick, a lifelong friend of Pope Francis who was named to the position of a bishop by then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2014, who allegedly had access to seminarians and was in a position to know exactly what was happening

Leave a Comment