The Catholic Church just can’t seem to get it together
The news is slowly leaking out…the Roman Catholic Church in Italy is being accused of harboring and hiding pedophile priests.
Speaking through an interpreter, 59 year old Alessandro Vantini spoke of when he was a boy in a Catholic run institute for the deaf and priests abused him so relentlessly he came to feel he was dead. He said it happened night after night, sometimes in the priests bedroom, sometimes in the bathroom, sometimes even in the confessional.
This year something very unusual for Italy happened; Vantini and dozens of other former students went public with claims that they were abused by priests. For many, many years a culture of secrecy has surrounded priestly abuse in Italy where the church is considered the country’s most respected institution.
Of the 67 victims that came forward in the school for the deaf case, 14 of them wrote sworn statements and filmed testimony that detailed the abuse they suffered at the school’s two campuses in Verona. They named 24 priests, lay religious men, and religious brothers.
Vantini said he was silent for years about being raped.
“How could I tell my papa that a priest had sex with me?’’ Vantini, 59, said about the abuse he endured. “You couldn’t tell your parents because the priests would beat you.’’
The Associated Press has keep count of cases and they report that there are 73 cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests against minors in the past decade, with a total of more than 235 victims so far.
According to the AP information, the Italian Catholic Church has had to pay only a few hundred thousand dollars in civil damages to the Italian victims; compare that with $2.6 billion in abuse-related costs for the American dioceses or $1.5 billion due to victims in Ireland. The Italian church does not seem willing to release the numbers of cases reported or of court settlements in that country.
In the United States we have about 44,000 priests in our nation of 300 million people. Over 4,000 Catholic clergy have been accused of pedophilia since the 1950’s. I’ll bet you this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Some of the Catholic organizations that have been accused of sexual abuse, and pedophilia in Italy and other countries include:
Sisters of Mercy
Brothers of the Sacred Heart
Brothers of Charity
Company of Mary
Rev. Joseph J. Guido, a psychology professor at Providence College, surveyed superiors of a Catholic religious order and found that 83 percent of the North American superiors reported being aware of an accusation of sexual abuse against one or more of their priests. In contrast, 43 percent of superior America and the Caribbean reported being aware of such an accusation. Only one-third of the superiors in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. In ‘America’ magazine, a Jesuit weekly, Guido wrote that research suggests … that the sexual abuse of children is a problem for the church everywhere.” However, he wrote that, outside North America, the religious order superiors were more likely to be aware of sexual misconduct by priests with adults, rather than with minors. Wikipedia Here
In Italy few dare to criticize the Roman Catholic Church, including the mainstream independent and state-run media. Also there is a certain prudishness in small-town Italy, where one just doesn’t speak about sex, much less sex between a priest and a young child.
Now I’ve been told that the Catholic Church is not alone in cases of sexual abuse and pedophilia, and certainly there is much pedophilia in the secular world, and I know that secular schools have the problem too, but it seems to me the cases you hear the most about in the secular schools are Men on Girls or Women on Boys, not almost exclusively Men on Boys. You wonder if the priests involved are members of NAMBLA or its international offspring IOMBLA.
Nor is the Protestant church immune to sexual misconduct, but again it is almost always Men on Women or Men on Girls; very little of the homosexual misconduct. We all know that homosexual people are targets of most evangelical fundamentalist churches wrath and rage, and if you study your Bible you know there is strong condemnation of homosexuality, in fact they are condemned to death by God, which is strange when you realize, if you believe in God, that God made the homosexual just as he made the heterosexual. They too are his children.
The Church, Catholic or otherwise, are the ones pushing the belief that homosexuality is Baaad. The Church should be the ones who don’t have the problem because it’s in their scripture…you lay with the wrong sex—you die. I wonder if these priests think that if they are contrite and ask for forgiveness they will get it.
Warning there is some rough language in the following video.