Catholic Church sex abuse scan­dal

The Record (Troy, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Cal Thomas Cal Thomas, Amer­ica’s most-syn­di­cated colum­nist, is the au­thor of 10 books.

Sex­ual scan­dals and in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior are as old as the bible. I give you (1 Corinthi­ans 5:1) in which Paul writes: “It is ac­tu­ally re­ported that there is sex­ual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pa­gans do not tol­er­ate: A man is sleep­ing with his fa­ther’s wife.”

In more mod­ern times, there have been sex scan­dals in­volv­ing TV evan­ge­lists from Aimee Sem­ple McPher­son in the ‘20s to Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swag­gart in the ‘80s. And there have been more re­cent ex­am­ples, too, Ted Hag­gard, Bob Coy, Bill Gothard.

But at least those scan­dals in­volved adults; what has hap­pened within the Ro­man Catho- lic Church in­volves chil­dren and for that rea­son it is the greater sin .

Pittsburgh, A Pennsylvania, grand jury re­leased a re­port af­ter a two-year in­ves­ti­ga­tion into six of the state’s dio­ce­ses and found 301 “preda­tor priests” who were “rap­ing lit­tle boys and girls.”

It is not the first time such al­le­ga­tions have been made, but it may be the first time the al­le­ga­tions have been so ex­haus­tively de­tailed, in­clud­ing the nam­ing of priests and their al­leged vic­tims.

In Ire­land, where Pope Fran­cis vis­ited last week and is­sued an­other apol­ogy (but took no re­spon­si­bil­ity) for un-pri­estly be­hav­ior, more sto­ries sur­faced de­tail­ing what hap­pened to un­wed moth­ers and their ba­bies seven decades ago in a home cre­ated for girls and women who be­came preg­nant out of wed­lock. The girls and women were abused, their ba­bies ei­ther buried in the home’s yard, or forcibly taken from them to be adopted, all this from a church that claims to be “pro-life.”

Writes the Ir­ish Ex­am­iner: “Be­tween 1991 and 2011, the num­bers of athe­ists, ag­nos­tics, and those with no re­li­gion in Ire­land in­creased more than four­fold to 277,237. This group in­cluded 14,769 chil­dren of pri­mary school age and 14,478 of sec­ondary school age.”

Is it any won­der?

Last Sun­day, the former top Vatican diplo­mat in the United States, Arch­bishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a fre­quent critic of Pope Fran­cis, re­leased an 11-page let­ter in which he claimed the Vatican hi­er­ar­chy has been com­plicit in cov­er­ing up for some abusers and their pro­tec­tors. Vigano claims Pope Fran­cis knew about ac­cu­sa­tions that Car­di­nal Theodore McCar­rick had sex­u­ally abused sem­i­nar­i­ans for years be­fore the pub­lic learned about it and that when those ac­cu­sa­tions be­came pub­lic he re­fused to pun­ish McCar­rick, in­stead al­low­ing him to choose pow­er­ful Amer­i­can bish­ops.

Dur­ing a brief meet­ing with re­porters on his re­turn to Rome, the Pope was asked if Vigano had in­formed him in 2013 about Car­di­nal McCar­rick’s record of abuse and whether his pre­de­ces­sor, Pope Bene­dict XVI, had sanc­tioned the car­di­nal as Vigano claims. The New York Times re­ported Fran­cis did not deny it, say­ing he would not “dig­nify” the al­le­ga­tions with a re­sponse.

The Catholic Church and the Pope’s few de­fend­ers have said much of this be­hav­ior took place years ago and is only now com­ing out. There should be no statute of lim­i­ta­tions when it comes to sins within any church, in­clud­ing at­tempts to cover them up.

Surely the Catholic Church’s lead­er­ship is fa­mil­iar with(James 3:1): “Not many of you should be­come teach­ers, my fel­low be­liev­ers, be­cause you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Then there is this com­mand from God Him­self: “you must purge the evil from among you.” (Deuteron­omy 17:7)

If that isn’t enough for the Catholic Church to purge th­ese evil priests and those who cov­ered for them, they might con­sider the words of Je­sus, who they pre­sume to serve: “If any­one causes one of th­ese lit­tle ones -- those who be­lieve in me -to stum­ble, it would be bet­ter for them to have a large mill­stone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

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