Saturday, January 19, 2013

Institutionalized pedophilia

The sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests is not limited to one country. Oddly, it seems that the more Catholic the country or area of the country the more likelihood that priests were abusing children. I say "were" with little confidence that it is in fact in the past.

The New York Times provides the details about sexual abuse in Germany in their articles Report Details Sexual Abuse of Children by German Priests (Report) and  German Bishops Cancel Study Into Sexual Abuse by Priests (Study).

The Report is proffered as proof that "Germany’s bishops have vowed a thorough and impartial investigation into the abuse." It is based upon collected information from a Church instituted hot line. "The church said the report contained information from 1,824 people, of whom 1,165 described themselves as victims."

The hot line seems to have been instituted in response to some 600 cases filed against the Church in 2010. Those claims were also the genesis for the independent Study by an investigator who is a researcher and  criminologist.

Child sexual abuse in the name of God. "Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier: “I found particularly devastating the perpetrators’ lies to their under-aged victims that their actions were an expression of a loving bond with God.” [Report].

At this point, it would seem appropriate that some credit be given to the German Bishops who appeared to have seriously undertaken the quest to eradicate these priests from the ranks. But appearances can be deceiving. There are allegations that the Church is manipulating, censoring if you will, the information. That claim came from the independent investigator who was fired by the Church.

Apparently the independent investigator was to partner with the Church to produce the Study.  He was dismissed because the Church "hierarchy had lost confidence in" him.  The investigator : the bishops wanted to change previously agreed-upon guidelines for the project to include a final veto over publishing its results, which he could not accept." [Study].

I guess the concept of an "independent" study was a little too difficult for the bishops to comprehend given that they are in the business of dictating how others should live their lives. How does one maintain their faith when that faith comes from a church that harbored, and arguably still harbors, child sexual abusers and a church that has done little to atone for its sins. This is not a sin easily forgiven by confession.

The Church holds no position of moral leadership.