Catholic Church Screws Up Again

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:

Salesian order
Christian Brothers
Sisters of Mercy
Brothers of the Sacred Heart
Brothers of Charity
Salvatorian Order
Marist Brothers
Passionist Order
Norbertine Order
Kiltegan Fathers
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.

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About the word of me
Interested in family and friends,grandchildren, photography, darkrooms, history, archaeology, scuba diving, computers, software, fast cars, journalism, writing, travel, ecology, news, science, and probably most other subjects you could think of. Did I mention family and friends?? I require iced tea or cold brewed coffee and a internet connection to be fully functional. Sometimes there are just so many words in my head they spill out.

7 Responses to Catholic Church Screws Up Again

  1. Sandy says:

    I am a Catholic and things like this grieve the hearts of many in our Church. As I always say, “We do not need any help looking bad, we do great on our own.” I love the Church still, and love what she truly stands for.

    The only problem I have with your post is this? That you understand abuse is everywhere but it is mostly “Men on Women” or “Men on Girls.”

    I know you probably did not mean it this way, but I have to point this out. It does not matter if it is “Men on Women” “Men on Girls” or “Homosexuality.” Sexual abuse of any kind is wrong and is a sin. Sexual abuse of any kind on “children” is the most evil thing that can happen to a “child.” It is never all right be in “heterosexaul” or “homosexaul.”

    As far as forgiveness anyone can ask for forgiveness and if indeed one does have a contrite heart, they will receive it. That does not mean there will not be “consequences” for that sin, but it does not mean they can never be forgiven. If this was the case there would not have been much use in Jesus dying? He did though, so yes they can receive it, be it Priest, you or me.

    God Bless, Sandy

  2. Sandy says:

    Sorry for typos I do know how to speall “sexual:>)”

  3. thewordofme says:

    Hi Sandy,

    Thank you so much for your reply.

    You write:
    “The only problem I have with your post is this? That you understand abuse is everywhere but it is mostly “Men on Women” or “Men on Girls.””

    I do know and understand that abuse is everywhere and I sadly know that most abuse in the world is directed at women. A fact that I am ashamed of and wish I could somehow stop.

    The Catholic Church of course is misogynistic and has been forever, although thankfully they are not as bad as the Muslims and Hindus.

    I also understand that sexual abuse of any kind against children is pure evil, that is why I speak out against the Catholic Church so much…they seem to pick on children a lot, and I cannot seem to wrap my brain around people that should be absolutely trustworthy in the care of children preying on them instead.

    I believe that the Church has probably been doing this since it began, and all over the world, not just in Italy, Ireland and the US…and the hierarchy has been covering it up since day 1

    If someone sexually assaults a child in the secular or Protestant world they get arrested and mostly usually go to prison…if a priest assaults a child they get counseled and are reassigned to a new diocese. This has been going on forever and it shouldn’t have ever happened. And a priest has no excuse…they know the Scripture and it is not ambiguous at all.

    Regarding contrition and forgiveness; if I had a son raped by a priest (or anyone for that matter), I don’t think it would ever be in my heart to forgive him. But, that’s just my feeling.

    Anyway I thank you again for writing and don’t be a stranger.

    twom

  4. Sandy says:

    Hey Word of Me,

    I understand all you are saying, “trust me” okay on that one.

    As far as targeting the Catholic Church I understand why on that also. My problem with it though is so much focus is given to the Church on this issue, and it needs to be a little broader. The reason I say this is, is not to protect the Church on this matter, but because this “matter” is so broad.

    Sometimes I fear that focusing on one institution gets the mind set to some people that it is so localized and it is not. People need to be made aware it is in their Church, their neighborhoods, their schools, at their own dinner table, etc…

    It is awful that it happens in the Church, but it is awful if it happens anywhere. To truly educate the entire truth needs to be told. After all it is about protecting children.

    Thank you for allowing my comments, and you as well feel free to stop by and browse my blog.

    God Bless, Sandy

  5. thewordofme says:

    Hi Sandy,

    I’ve already stopped by once and will again. I like to know what people of religion are thinking and saying.

    Probably part of the reason I tend to pick on the Catholics so much is that pedophilia seems to be endemic in its ranks.

    I know and love many of the Catholic faith and anything I say about the Church is solely aimed AT the Church…I feel that it should be so much better than it is; after all they have had the Word for nearly two-thousand years.

  6. Sandy says:

    Thanks for stopping by. Your last statement as sad and as true as it is, I could not help but give a chuckle. Two thousand years is a long time:>)

    Take care. Sandy

  7. TWOM,

    The problem is that pedophilia isn’t endemic in Catholicism it is however endemic in the public school system. Yet I don’t see you or the media decrying it. In fact the gov’t takes measures to protect itself against legal action.

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