In the last few days it appears the Catholic Church has learned the consequence trying to keep secrets: the more things one tries to pile into a small room, the more likely the door will burst open. The same kind of flood of information about rampant sexual abuse against boys occurred ten years ago. One would think the Church would have learned from that experience and tried to prevent more abuse while finally revealing the extent of the abuse that occurred in the past. However, the Church does not have a history of change and is often quite reluctant to do so.
Below are just some of the articles written about this problem:
Brazilian priest allegedly taped having sex with teen — A police investigation continued Thursday into a Catholic abuse scandal in Brazil, which erupted last week when a network aired a video that it said showed a priest having sex with a 19-year-old altar boy. The report, aired by the SBT television network, identified the priest as 82-year-old Luiz Marques Barbosa. Police in Alagoas state in northeastern Brazil said Thursday that they were investigating the allegations before the TV report surfaced.
Cardinal Sean Brady in ‘sex abuse cover-up’ — Cardinal Seán Brady, the head of the Catholic church in Ireland, was involved in an alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse complaints against Brendan Smyth, Ireland’s most notorious paedophile priest. Brady, the archbishop of Armagh and primate of AllIreland, has confirmed to The Sunday Times that he attended a secret canonical tribunal, or internal church hearing, in 1975 at which two of Smyth’s young victims were required to sign an undertaking on oath that they would not discuss what happened with anybody other than an approved priest.
Celibacy and child abuse — What role did celibacy play in the Catholic crisis? The most popular argument seems to be that it played a simple and direct part, by producing sexual frustration which then found inappropriate outlets. But that has to be wrong. If paedophilia and the abuse of adolescents were solely a response to sexual frustration, it wouldn’t be perpetrated mostly people who are free to find sexual gratification elsewhere. And even in Ireland, it mostly was. The best figures I can find for this come from a 2002 government-sponsored report which says that 5.8% of all boys sexually abused were abused by clergy or religious. The corresponding figure for girls was 1.4%. So the overwhelming majority of child abuse in Ireland was carried out by people who were not bound to celibacy.
Child abuse scandal shatters Irish faith in Catholic Church — John Kelly was 14 years old when, he says, he lost his faith in God. “I was taken down these stairs. I only had a nightdress on. It was pulled over my head. I was left naked. This 6-foot, 4-inch [tall] religious brother stood on my hands… and another guy had a whip that we made ourselves, with coins in it. And he would run from a distance to flog me,” Kelly remembers.
Church ‘clarifies’ Cardinal Brady’s role in abuse case — The Catholic Church in Ireland has released more details about why Cardinal Sean Brady asked child abuse victims to sign secrecy agreements. When he was a priest in 1975 the cardinal was at meetings where children signed vows of silence over complaints against serial abuser Fr Brendan Smyth. The church said two boys were asked to sign oaths “to avoid potential collusion” in evidence gathering.
German Priest in Church Abuse Case Is Suspended — The priest at the center of a German sexual-abuse scandal that has embroiled Pope Benedict XVI continued working with children for more than 30 years, even though a German court convicted him of molesting boys. The priest, Peter Hullermann, who had previously been identified only by the first letter of his last name, was suspended from his duties only on Monday. That was three days after the church acknowledged that the pope, then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, had responded to early accusations of molestation by allowing the priest to move to Munich for therapy in 1980.
Irish Cardinal Apologizes to Abuse Victims — In a St. Patrick’s Day homily and in a televised statement to reporters on Wednesday, Cardinal Sean Brady, the leader of Ireland’s Roman Catholics, apologized to victims of sexual abuse and “to all those who feel I have let them down.” This week, the cardinal refused to step down despite admitting that he had conducted an investigation into the sexual abuse of two children by a priest in the 1970s and failed to notify the police. The children told Rev. Brady that they had been abused by the Rev. Brendan Smyth, who was jailed decades later, after admitting to molesting and raping dozens of children in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United States.
Irish priest defends sex abuse cover up — A Catholic bishop in Ireland has ordered a priest to remain silent over his views that church officials should not tell police about child abusers within the priesthood. Bishop Dermot Clifford says Monsignor Maurice Dooley, an expert in Catholic canon law, must not speak publicly again about his understanding of the church’s rules on confidentiality. “I want to state that all concerns that come to light are reported fully and without delay to the state authorities,” Clifford said on Thursday.
Pope being set up over Munich sex abuse case, says Vatican — The pope’s spokesman has launched a vigorous counter-attack against a report linking Benedict XVI to a sex abuse cover-up while he was archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1981. Father Federico Lombardi appeared to suggest in an interview on Vatican Radio that the pope, who also has strong links to the city of Regensburg, was the victim of a plot. “It’s rather clear that in recent days there have been people who have searched – with notable tenacity – in Regensburg and Munich for elements to personally involve the holy father in the question of the abuses,” Lombardi said. “To any objective observer it’s clear that these attempts have failed.”
Pope Benedict XVI’s almighty battle in the Catholic Church — After a week of disastrous publicity for the Roman Catholic Church, it’s a fair bet that if you conducted a word-association test in the average British high street, the results would be as follows: Catholic priest? “Paedophile.” Pope? “Nazi.” The reputation of the Church internationally has never been lower. On Wednesday, St Patrick’s Day, Cardinal Sean Brady, Primate of All Ireland, apologised for helping to persuade two boys – aged 10 and 14 – to sign letters agreeing not to tell the police that a priest, Brendan Smyth, had abused them.
Rome Must Lead on Dealing with Clerical Abuse — Tomorrow Benedict XVI will sign a letter to the Catholics of Ireland, expected to be a formal apology for the long national nightmare the Irish have experienced as a result of discovering decades of horrific sexual abuse and torture of thousands of children by clergy and religious. The text is scheduled to be released on Saturday.
Sex Crime Cover-Up Exposes Vatican Failings: Celestine Bohlen — The time is right for the Catholic Church to drop its celibacy rule for priests. As new cases of child sex abuse erupt across the globe, even church leaders are suggesting the question be examined. At the Vatican’s usual pace, this might bring change by the end of this century. Marriage, of course, won’t make pedophilia go away. It’s well known that most cases occur within families.