Unholy idols

the reality of the Catholic Church

Meghan Townsend

Priests come to dinners, interact with parishioners, and help fundraise and provide community outreach. Who could ever believe they would do any wrong?

Contrasting its “holy” status, the Catholic Church is home to one of the largest sexual abuse scandals in the nation. Those beloved priests? They’re the abusers.

This knowledge has been kept from parishioners by means of extensive cover-up by the bishops. As more cover-ups continue to take place, more damage is being done to the sexual abuse victims of these priests.

According to a New York Times article by Patricia McCormick, a sexual abuse victim of a priest herself, Catholic children in the 1960s were taught to obey all wishes of their priests, especially if it meant doing something they didn’t want to do.

The heartbreaking truth is that in the 50 years since McCormick’s case, children have continued to be abused and priests have continued to get away with it. It’s heartbreaking to know that this has been consistent for so long with ineffective action being taken, and to think of how many children have been hurt as a result.

According to a New York Times article, the truth of these scandals being hidden by the bishops and priests allowed for over 300 priests to get away with committing sexual abuse on more than 1,000 victims in the past 70 years.

The fact that priests and bishops have so easily avoided persecution from the public and from the law is horrifying. As these priests sit by and continue to live their lives, more children are getting hurt.

That doesn’t mean that more action hasn’t been taken to further the consequences that these leaders face.

“Friday, Catholic theologians, scholars and lay leaders began circulating a petition urging all 271 active bishops in the United States to step down,” CNN writer Daniel Burke said.

This petition has more than 1,000 signatures, proving that the parishioners are done being lied to by their clergymen.

The parishioners’ push for action is moving. They’re upset, and they’re doing something about it, which is exactly what needs to happen.

In some communities, like Omaha, strides are being taken to fix the problem, and be more transparent with the parishioners.

All must be able to have confidence that there are transparent and effective ways for bishops to be held accountable for their actions,” Archbishop George J. Lucas said, addressing the diocese of Omaha.

Along with getting rid of the bishops and priests that committed sexual abuse, a transparency between the clergy and the parishioners should be taken on to allow for the priests to be held accountable for their actions when they happen, not after.

The Catholic priest child sexual abuse scandals in Pennsylvania are avoidable and have gone on for far too long. Action is being taken to protect the innocence of those kids by calling for more transparency in the clergy. This gives hope that in the future, no one will be exempt from telling the truth.