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Catholics should not tolerate abuse

Abby Buenker, Managing Editor

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The Catholic clergy abuse crisis has too long festered in secrecy and darkness. The vulnerable have been abused and destroyed callously by the very ministers of Christ who are meant to help guide, heal, and form souls in the faith. Though this is a dark, grave and serious crisis within the Church, victims are finally able to come forward and stand as witness to these crimes that are being brought to the light.

It is appropriate that people (both religious and nonreligious) feel anger not only toward those that have committed these atrocious acts but also toward those that have turned a blind eye and those that have silenced victims of such abuse. Many members of the Church have been deeply and seriously wounded by the lack of leadership, responsibility, remorse, and reparation shown in the wake of this new information by our bishops. Only a few have spoken out with a vigor worthy of this horror. As much as we respect their office and charisma, we cannot stand by and allow the continued failure to root out sin in the forms of abuse, unchastity, and failure to report the covering up of these sins to continue in any way, shape, or form.

The Catholic Church especially is no stranger to scandal. For years, certain priests, bishops and cardinals within the hierarchy of the Church have been flawed and have committed many unthinkable crimes. Over the years, many men of the cloth have been guilty of abuses like nepotism, simony, sexual abuse, child abuse, infidelity, fraud, and embezzlement. These crimes and abuses have historically been “swept under the rug”.

So what is one to do when these allegations are coming to light? What are we to do when priests and bishops from our own communities are corrupt? How are we to respond?

The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has said, “to ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.” We want all of our leaders, religious and non-religious alike, to be morally excellent. We will no longer ignore the evil acts that have been perpetuated throughout Church history. We will fight for victims of abuse and treat them with respect. We will hold the clergy accountable for their actions, create avenues for sexual abuse prevention and most importantly, cling tightly to our faith during these trying times where so much trust and faith has been lost.

 

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Catholics should not tolerate abuse