. . . that translates to about 8,000 pedophiles, out of 400,000 Catholic priests worldwide or 1 out of 50, if we are to believe this estimate. Are we supposed to be happy that a “low” number is being reported, or horrified at how many are still out there abusing children? The Pope even says that some of those include cardinals and bishops. And if they admit to 2% are there likely to be even more? According to one article, “At a United Nations hearing this year, the Vatican said it had defrocked 848 priests over the last decade and ordered 2,572 to “live a life of prayer and penance” because of abuse allegations.” Those numbers add up to 3,420 priests. I am not happy about the fact that over twenty-five hundred were sent to “pray” or that 848 were merely defrocked, with no mention of real punishment for their heinous crimes. And, it leaves me wondering about the rest of the alleged 2%? Where are the 4,580 other priests included in this estimate? Are they still out there abusing children? This scandal erupted over ten years ago and yet the problem continues and more children are being abused on a daily basis by the holy men they are taught to love, trust and respect.
The Catholic Church needed someone to “handle” this scandal and convince us they are doing something about it. So, for the first time in history, they made Pope Paul step down and elected Pope Francis. Pope Francis says a lot of the right things, the things people want to hear. He vows to find a solution to this serious problem. He is popular, but can we believe what he says? Only time will tell. The Vatican is already doing damage control over statements made by Pope Francis in his interview quantifying the number of abusers. In the meantime, more and more children are suffering sexual abuse at the hands of priests and more “secrets” are still being revealed about the church’s cover up.
I came across a recent article about a pedophile priest, Michael Wempe. Wempe was sent away for six months of treatment at a center for pedophile priests back in 1987. When he was released to return to his diocese, he made out a list of concerns. He requested that all his files from the treatment center be destroyed. But the Church didn’t destroy his records. The Church doesn’t destroy records. The Church, it seems, has two sets of records, one set of files about things no one cares about and the other concerning secret matters of a sensitive nature. The whole story can be read here: Secret Files of Church. So why should we believe anything the Church or it’s officials have to say now? If they were interested in “coming clean” and doing the right thing, shouldn’t all those records be open? Or, if not all of them, certainly the ones protecting pedophiles? Shouldn’t the Church be in the business of protecting its innocent children instead? It’s been over 10 years and counting since the scandal broke out and they are still looking for a solution?
I would love to believe Pope Francis and take him at his word. Until I actually see some actual progress towards a solution I will remain skeptical. Centuries of systematic lies and cover ups don’t just end overnight. They don’t just end with one man. I wish Pope Francis the best of luck and I will even pray for him.