Scales of Justice with emblem of Holy See, Author Ktr101 (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)
Just when the dust appeared to have settled, the Catholic Church sex scandal has expanded to a new venue. This time the setting is Australia. The proportions are massive.
A Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has uncovered the widespread abuse of children by religious schools and other institutions . Most of those suspected are Catholic priests and religious brothers.
Tens of thousands of children were impacted. While the exact number of victims cannot be known, the abuse extended across generations.
The Commission’s official report reads, in part:
“It is not a case of a few rotten apples. Society’s major institutions have seriously failed. In many cases those failings have been exacerbated by a manifestly inadequate response to the abused person. The problems have been so widespread, and the nature of the abuse so heinous, that it is difficult to comprehend.”
More than 4400 victims have come forward and more than 4000 institutions been implicated. In numerous cases, the commission found those in leadership were aware of the abuse, but failed to take effective action. Continue reading
Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, Community, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Law, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse
First page of Book of John, part of illuminated manuscript known as Athelstan Gospels (late 9th or early 10th Century), British Library (Cotton MS Tiberius A.ii) (PD)
WARNING: Graphic Images
The news comes crashing toward us at the speed of light these days. We cope with it as best we can – ignoring some things, shrugging off others, arguing over (or worrying about) those that strike closest to home.
We can at times be grieved by the news, even wounded by it. More often, in self-defense, we develop calluses. Occasionally, we dare to hope.
- Catholic Church Sex Scandal. Catholic Cardinal, George Pell, the third highest ranking official at the Vatican, has been charged with multiple sexual offenses by Australia . These involve more than one individual, and are believed to extend back decades. Pell will be returning to Australia to mount a defense.
- Mother’s Boyfriend a Threat. Michael McCarthy, convicted of second-degree murder in the 2015 killing of his girlfriend’s two year old daughter, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Massachusetts court . Evidently, Bella was killed because she did not want to go to bed. Testimony indicated she had been harshly punished before. Both McCarthy and Rachel Bond, the girl’s mother, were heroin addicts at the time. McCarthy will be eligible for parole in 20 years.
- Opioid Epidemic and Child Abuse/Neglect. Tragically, incidents of this kind are becoming all too common. The nation’s opioid epidemic is having a direct impact on children.
- In urban areas, the number of infants born drug-dependent quadrupled between 2004-2013 [3A]. In rural areas, that number increased by a factor of seven, stretching limited hospital and medical resources to the breaking point [3B].
- As might be expected, the children of addicts are entering foster care at an alarming rate . Often these children live in deplorable conditions for an extended period before the system takes notice. Trash and vermin, illicit drugs, and drug paraphernalia fill the home. Milk and food are absent.
- Preventing Hot Car Deaths. Meanwhile, Bishop Curry, an 11 year old Texas boy, has invented a device that may aid in preventing the deaths of children left unattended in a vehicle . When the “Oasis” detects a child inside a vehicle alone, it texts parents and police while blowing cold air until assistance arrives. Toyota is exploring the possibilities.