Recently in the news, Pennsylvania has reported over 300 Catholic Priests for sexual abuse over the course of many decades. This has been a cover-up operation from the priests by the leaders of the church. Committing heinous crimes, such as sodomy and rape. Yes, rape.
These priests have abused thousands of children dating back to the 1980s and the impact has grown ever since. These men are predators, not priests. They do not represent Christianity or the Catholic church by gaslighting and shaming children into unspeakable and dangerous situations.
Catholicism does not condone rape or pedophilia and especially not from clergymen, so why did it happen?
As a child growing up in the Catholic church, I was always haunted by priests who favored certain children and I thought they could even read my mind. If I even thought about disobeying during mass, I thought Father would notice and stop to scold me. And don't even get me started with the confession. I felt like every time I was called for reconciliation if I didn't repent for everything, the priest was going to punish me.
I am like every Catholic child who was so easily impressionable by adults. When a priest told you to do something, by golly, you did it, and if you didn't the parents would punish you as well. Take someone in power and then add corruption, sex, and the ability to not get caught for almost 40 years at least. Of course, there is going to be abuse and domination in every kyriarchy, but when it comes from a religious place, it makes the impact of abuse so much more disastrous.
The Catholic church, to me, does not depend on the systematic religion, but it does rely on respect and trust, where if there is any question about the truth in all regards, then it is a scramble to mask the concerns. When priests rape children and people know about it but don't intervene, that is just as much a sin as raping. period. There is no place for silent bystanders. Not in America. Not in the world. And most certainly not in church.
Christianity is love. That is all. Rape is not love. Covering up priests who rape is not love. Not talking about how to change and prevent corruption is not love.
Shame on the priests who took part in this atrocity in any capacity. No matter how noble and the labels they have, I hope they burn in Hell for what they did and allowed. I am embarrassed to associate with such horrible people, and it makes me ill to think that a place with rules to not sin is the same house that fills it.
Where there are 300 priests who were indicted, there are more who have not been caught. I urge EVERYONE to not just stand by, and if it feels wrong, it is wrong. There is power in standing against injustice, no matter the perpetrator.