Current AffairsWorld

Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Cover Up: Priests chastised, Bishops crimes ignored

New York, Nov 4 (IECurrentAffairs) The Catholic Church in its attempt to deal with growing sexual abuse crisis by clergymen appears to go hard on priests but overlooks the crimes committed by Bishops.

In India, for example, while the Catholic Church maintained a stoic silence on the rape allegations by a 44-year old nun against Bishop Franco Mulakkal; it decided to open its mouth on the rape allegations against priests in Meghalaya accused of child sexual abuse; after the victim recounted her abuse on a social media platform.

Lets look at the US, more than 130 US bishops — nearly one-third of those still living — have been accused during their careers of failing to adequately respond to sexual misconduct in their dioceses, according to a Boston Globe and Philadelphia Inquirer examination of court records, media reports, and interviews with church officials, victims, and attorneys.

At least 15, including Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington who resigned in July, have themselves been accused of committing such abuse or harassment.

Most telling, the analysis shows that the claims against more than 50 bishops centres on incidents that occurred after a historic 2002 Dallas gathering of US Bishops where they promised that the church’s days of concealment and inaction were over.

By an overwhelming, though not unanimous, vote, church leaders voted to remove any priest who had ever abused a minor and set up civilian review boards to investigate clergy misconduct claims.

But while they imposed new standards that led to the removal of hundreds of priests, the bishops specifically excluded themselves from the landmark child protection measures.

They contended only the pope had authority to discipline them and said peer pressure — public or private shaming they euphemistically called “fraternal correction” — would keep them in line.

Even some of the bishops who wrote the 2002 reforms would themselves be accused of enabling or ignoring abuse.
In late October, a former assistant to Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo accused him of covering up abuse after releasing hundreds of secret documents that showed how Malone repeatedly mishandled cases. West Virginia’s longtime bishop, Michael Bransfield, resigned in September after at least three claims emerged that he had sexually harassed younger priest
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