The cover ups of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church and religious orders, and the distress this causes the victims of sexual abuse is a common theme running through this blog. However, I believe it is worth noting again.
The following paragraphs are taken from an article by Catherine Pepinster
The Catholic abuse scandal is a worldwide one, and has led to disturbing cases being exposed not only in Australia, but also the US, Ireland, Germany and Britain. There are common denominators when it comes to how the church has dealt with cases: the victims are often traduced, the focus is put on the distress of the accused rather than on the victims, and the church strives to cover up the scandal, concerned above all about its own position and standing.
This came through strongly in the Boston sex abuse scandal, highlighted in the Oscar-winning film Spotlight, which rocked the strongly Irish-American Catholic city. Then the scandal was exposed by Boston Globe journalists, who discovered a systemic cover-up involving the Catholic church and lawyers. Cardinal Bernard Law was accused of actively participating in the concealing of assaults by paedophile priests. He resigned in 2002 and it has taken the church years in Boston to repair the damage done there, not only by the assaults but by the cover-ups.
As Fr Klaus Mertes, a German Jesuit who has studied the church’s handling of abuse cases, has said, this lack of concern for abuse “is generally just as painful for the victims as is sexualised violence by an individual offender”.