With the entire world following developments regarding the sexual abuse cover-up scandal involving the Pope, the Vatican has put out a statement that it would soon provide “necessary clarifications” regarding the matter. When considering that it has been going on and has been allowed to do so for a very long time, and that it involves everyone from the highest office on down, we must ask ourselves whether any action taken now is too little, too late.
A statement was made by the nine cardinals who serve as advisors for Pope Francis that they will be meeting soon to look into the issue. The scandal has thrown the Papacy of Francis into question and has undermined the faith of many believers who looked up to the Church.
Former Vatican ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, revealed in August that he had reported Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual abuse of a teenage altar boy to Pope Francis five years earlier. But since the Pope never took any action against the cardinal and tried to cover up the abuse, Vigano decided to come out and share the truth with the world.
“Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example to cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them,” CNN quotes Vigano.
Though the Pope ordered McCarrick’s suspension after the scandal caught global attention, the response of the Vatican has been disappointing. In fact, many Catholic believers have been depressed about the fact that the Church has been aiding in the cover-up of sexual abuse by its priests.
To make matters worse, Pope Francis went on to blame Satan for the current rise in sexual abuse in Catholic churches. “In these times, it seems like the ‘Great Accuser’ has been unchained and has it in for bishops. True, we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalise the people,” the NZ Herald quotes the Pope.
It is also discouraging that the Pope’s advisors merely promised to provide clarifications about the scandal rather than assuring followers and the public that strict action would be taken against the offenders.
Rampant sexual abuse in Catholic churches
The Catholic Church has been involved in a lot of sexual abuse scandals all over the world in recent times. From the U.S. to India, several priests have been accused of sexually molesting nuns, women, seminarians, and even children.
In August this year, a Pennsylvanian grand jury found over 300 members of the Catholic clergy to have been involved in the molestation and sexual abuse of more than a thousand children over the past seven decades.
“We believe that the real number — of children whose records were lost or who were afraid ever to come forward — is in the thousands… All of them were brushed aside by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all,” BBC quotes the grand jury’s report.
In South America, child abuse scandals have rocked the Catholic Church, with about 34 bishops offering their resignations to the Pope. And in India, a bishop who has been accused of raping a nun is reportedly using Church influence to wriggle out from a full-blown investigation. The nun has also been receiving death threats following her revelation.
With such a high number of sexual abuse cases sprouting up all across the world, the Catholic Church will do well to remain honest in their investigations and immediately expel anyone found guilty of having been involved in the abuse in any way, even if the person in question is the Pope himself.