Some stats on Vatican handling of sex abuse cases

To provide some perspective to readers on the sex abuse issue, we provided this graphic to our client publications this week on the 3,000 cases processed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2001. The chief source for these statistics is Msgr. Charles Scicluna, a doctrinal congregation official from Malta who deals directly with cases of priests accused of abuse of minors. We reported on the statistics in this story last month — headlined “Vatican defends efforts by pope, church to curb sex abuse by priests” — as some of the new allegations of mishandling of sex abuse cases began emerging in several European countries, including Pope Benedict XVI’s native Germany.

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18 Responses to Some stats on Vatican handling of sex abuse cases

  1. Pedophilia is just the latest and most visible in a long list of transgressions from the Catholic Church. These days the Vatican is facing legal action in Kentucky for child abuse cases by Catholic priests, and the ensuing cover up from the Catholic hierarchy including, allegedly, by Cardinal Ratzinger (today’s Pope Benedict).

    I believe enterprising attorneys could and should widen the scope to include previous transgressions, particularly those that lead to the commitment of heinous crimes during the Holocaust. In my book “Six Million Crucifixions” I make a legal analysis of the various counts a potential indictment against the Church, the Vatican and members of the clergy might have looked like, had the Allies set up an international trial styled after Nuremberg and put any clergy guilty of crimes on the dock. In particular, an indictment might have included the following charges:

    * Defamation
    * Incitement
    * Complicity in human rights violations
    * Accessory or complicity in crimes against humanity
    * Failure to warn/act
    * Obstruction of Justice
    * Profiting from stolen property
    * Abuse of diplomatic privileges
    * Crimes against humanity

    I think it’s time to revisit the role of the Church in the Holocaust and its aftermath, and do it quickly as Pope Benedict is attempting to whitewash history by canonizing Pope Pius XII, while the Vatican Secret Archives covering the Nazi era remain closed and will continue to remain closed for another five years.

    Gabriel Wilensky

  2. DJR in FTL says:

    The Roman Catholic Church has been practicing intimidation for several centuries. Intimidation is a vital tactical component of the Roman Catholic institution to incite fear and foundless obedience. History has demonstrated that the Church has dessimated cultures, pillaged functional civilizations, raped adults and condoned pedophilia – all under the premise of redemption.

    The Pope must stop the intimidation and denial approach and apologize to the hundreds of people who were abuse as a result of the Pontiff’s denial, arrogance and sense of moral superiority.

    The institution of Roman Catholicism is a heresy and should be abolished. The ongoing worldwide intimidation and repression propagated by the Church must stop.

    PS I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic and I will never, ever believe in such a lie again.

  3. J. Bob says:

    While I do not condone pedophilia, I think Gabriel had a insight as to why only the Catholic church seems to have “that” problem. That is “enterprising attorneys”. They sense $’s, and with the media on their side they will use it to their advantage.

    According to a HHS report most of the abuse comes from family and friends of the children. The lowest group are the “professional” such as teachers, pastor, priests, government workers and rabbis. How many stories does one hear about teachers, uncles, etc. that are currently taking place? How often has the statue of limitations shielded these people, or the organizations they work for? Yet only the Catholic church is held up for blame?

    One has to wonder if Satan is more then alive and well. With all the other institutions out there, why the Church? One could make the connection that if Satan is so focused on the Catholic church, it really must stand in his way, even with it’s imperfections.

  4. Bruce says:

    Wow, a lawyer seeking money by spreading nothing but lies and a “fallen away” Catholic spouting misinformation.

    Is that really the best you’ve got? Sad. Try the Truth for a change. Your eyes will be open to the joy and splendor of the love of God. The Church is the Bride of Christ, infallible and perfect. Humans within the Church are just as flawed as both of you. Why be surprised at that?

    Do you seek to sue Obama over war crimes committed by soldiers in Vietnam? Do you want the overthrow of the U.S. government for its actions in Iraq?

    Methinks your selective hatred for the Church belies a not-so-hidden bigotry. If you are comfortable being lumped in with the KKK and the Nazis, I guess that is your deal. But it is a road to hell. You cannot say that you have not been told.

    The majority of us prefer to be lumped in with Christ and His Church.

  5. AboonaTom says:

    I, too, am a cradle Catholic. Parents were from an Orthodox background, but were baptized Catholic in order to attend Catholic Schools. I went through the entire Catholic school system: grade school, high school, college, seminary. I was ordained a priest. I never told anyone that I had been molested by the priest during my grade school years. Not until the scandal erupted in our face. I was assigned to a parish where children had been abused in the church sacristy. Each time I vested for liturgy, the image of my own past ran through my mind, as well as tears for those who had been victimized in this same room. I shared my story with professionals in the diocese. I soon found myself anathema to the system that I once gave my heart and soul, relying on their word to support and love me in return. I walked out of that system, but not out of my Catholic faith. Instead, I found it elsewhere. I regret that I once was part of a program of deceit, hypocrisy and arrogance. I pray that I might still bring to others the healing grace of God’s mercy and love. I couldn’t find it in the RCC. But it still lives elsewhere.

  6. Paul Nussbaum says:

    I am so greatly saddened by the remarks and analogy used by the Pope’s Preacher today …where he compared criticism of those in the Church who knowingly shielded and covered up pedophilia and those who committed those crimes against innocent children to the Collective Guilt visited upon the Jewish People………………absurd is not a strong enough word!
    In light of the very painful hurt being visited on the Jewish People by the process of making Pope Pius XII….so accuratly called Hitler’s Pope……
    On the day with the history of killing of so many Jews blamed for the death of Jesus………have these people no shame.
    Open your hearts and acknowledge the shame and guilt and grow as the compassion and caring institution that you are to millions upon millions of people..acknolwledge of human fraility will only engender respect

  7. Did anyone actually read what exactly the papal preacher said in his address that has been picked up and manipulated and grossly distorted in a series of chinese whispers…….at the end of his homily he refered to the fact that this year Easter falls on Passover……he says as he quotes from the letter that a Jewish friend sent to him ……”Therefore I desire to express to you personally, to the Pope and to the whole Church my solidarity as a Jew of dialogue and of all those that in the Jewish world (and there are many) share these sentiments of brotherhood.

    “Our Passover and yours undoubtedly have different elements, but we both live with Messianic hope that surely will reunite us in the love of our common Father. I wish you and all Catholics a Good Easter.”

    Father Cantalamessa concluded, “And also we Catholics wish our Jewish brothers a Good Passover.”

    Please read the actual content and context of what was said before launching into an all too familiar diatribe against my faith and my Church of sinners… ..the faith in the one True God of Abraham which I share proudly with the Jewish people around the world….as Pope Pius 11th said …”we are all spiritual semites…”

  8. BenYachov says:

    >In light of the very painful hurt being visited on the Jewish People by the process of making Pope Pius XII….so accuratly called Hitler’s Pope……

    I reply: … the “Hitler’s Pope” canard is the sole invention of anti-Catholic pro-abortion liberal bigots… . Orthodox Jewish historians like Pinchas Lapide(i.e author of THE NEXT 3 POPES & THE JEWS) & Rabbi Dalen author of THE MYTH OF HITLER’S POPE credit Pius XII with saving 860,000 Jews during the holocaust. …

  9. Dear Catholic Community,
    I am not a Catholic, however, many ancestors were Irish, German, and English Catholic. I try vehemently to respect ALL world religions, and only mean the best for the Catholic Church as a whole, but more importantly its millions of devoted followers. Child rape, STATUTORY, OR PHYSICAL is not only a crime, it is a sin, a blasphemy, an abomination. Cyclical in nature,spreading like a cancer thru generations from victim, turned predator, to victim. It destroys children, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Church officials, the very people who are supposed to stand for everything good, moral and righteous, commit the ultimate betrayal, to betray the trust of a child.
    ANYONE, I repeat ANYONE, who harbors knowledge of such criminal behavior is themselves complicit in the crime to some degree. The very least, one has a MORAL OBLIGATION, let alone a LEGAL one to report the crime to proper authorities. The Catholic Church long ago gave up giving sanctuary to murderers and the like, WHY DOES IT PROTECT RAPISTS? Yet, Excommunication is mandatory for any woman who’s ever had the grave misfortune to need an abortion. It boggles the mind of Non-Catholics how Catholics have stood silent, tolerating “this dirty little secret” for what MUST be centuries. Like sheep to the slaughter, children handed over and, sent back, in some cases, to known pedophiles. The historical criminal negligence of the ENTIRE Catholic Church hierarchy, DEMANDS REFORMATION! The recent arrogant and dismissive stance taken by the current Pope Benedict, is proof positive of a an unfeeling, self-absorbed power structure, more concerned with CRUSHING dissent and unrest within the laity than RESOLVING it. The Pope has shown his, and his institutions, utter contempt for millions of loyal Catholics not just the masses of victims generated and perpetuated by a corrupt institution. The GENIE IS OUT OF THE BOTTLE! The only SIN comes in SILENCE!

    #1. DEMAND FULL disclosure on ALL Church officials
    #2 PURGE AND PROSECUTE the molesters and rapists
    #3. LEGAL PROSECUTION of ALL with knowledge of, or participation in, covering up said criminal activities.(not withstanding plea-bargains)
    #4. ALLOW Priests to marry

    If Catholics ever want to be taken seriously, reform must happen. How can Catholics expect the rest of the world to have ANY respect for an Institution that not only protects child predators, but has a leadership that REFUSES to acknowledge its culpability in millions of destroyed lives, and the SIN they chastise…yet practice.??? The NON-Catholics of the world now look at EVERY priest on the street and wonder,” IS THIS GUY A CHILD RAPIST?” The Catholic Church is is LITERALLY, a national joke! ……..sad but true.
    Of course there are many good, descent souls in the clergy and they have the POWER, low the Obligation, to REFORM THE FAITH! Faith in their own leadership, Faith in their purity, Faith in their Convictions! Admittedly child molestation is a national and societal problem, why criminal penalties for child molestation have been historically so weak is be pathetic. Heres what I recommend for a new national policy:

    (A.) Low-level touching, fondling, stalking: 1st. Conviction- 10 years mandatory
    2nd conviction;-25 years ” ”
    (B.) Rape: statutory, “date rape”, non-aggravated: 1st Conviction; 10 years- ” ”
    2nd conviction- Death
    (C.) Rape: forcible, w/object, aggravated, incest, abduction: 1st Conviction;- Death

  10. Yuma Catholic says:

    I have to agree with Bruce and ray mc intyre.
    Also very simply, “Let he who is without a sin cast the first stone” to our beloved Catholic Church and leaders. Who am I to judge someone?

    May God bless our Friends and may God bless everyone else.


    A friend

  11. Jim Sheridan says:

    “…and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

    “What is truth”

    I expect openness and honesty from the Church. I do not expect lawyer-like delays and arguments to suppress the truth.

    Let the Holy Spirit renew the Church by letting the light shine clearly upon the Church and with its virtues and faults.

    Let all in positions of authority who made mistakes in the abuse scandals resign their positions and ask forgiveness from all the faithful.

  12. victor says:

    This is just horrible. I cannot stand it. I am still crying from pain. I hope I don’t get sick. Nevertheless, this will not shake my strong love and faith for my Mother the Catholic Church, all the contrary, I am starting to pray more: all my family with my children pray the rosary every day for the Church, the Pope. I started to go to Mass every day as well, and try to be a much better christian, that’s the hard part, but now I don’t have excuses. Maybe I can move the Lord’s heart to heal this disgusting situation.

    I remember to read from St. Josemaria that he used to say that “these crises are crises of saints”, we need holy people, especially, holy priests; and at the end he used to say:

    Diligentibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum – Rom 8,28
    (All things work for the good for those who love God)


  13. charly says:

    all the above are great challenging comments and little by little they will make a great difference because only by challenging each other as painful as it may be, that’s how we human beings grow for the good. Thanks be to God there are people like you who are being a great deal of help on such a “spiritual growth” and purification for our beloved, hurt but never destroyed catholic church. it will survive any criticism or challenge no matter how bloody it may be since it’s Christ’s not ours. He is the one making it survive through the past and future centuries. God bless

  14. elvith says:

    Horace Gray IV repeatedly reveals his lack of knowledge of Catholicism and, as a result, is not in a position to make suggestions as to how the church should handle this, or any, crisis. Briefly:
    Women who have had abortions are not excommunicated from the Church.
    Married priests are permitted in the Eastern Rite of the Church. (Dare I add that married men also molest children. Marriage does not alleviate pedophelia.)
    I encourage you to acquire a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic church and add it to your resources that you use in your efforts to, in your oxymoronic words, “vehemently respect all world religions.”

  15. just cuz…. Elvith,
    I never pretend to be an expert on the intricacies of the Catholic faith, frankly, its irrelevant. I was raised Episcopal, and am a born-again Pagan, ” I Wash My Hands of All This”, but I heres what I DO know: I recently saw a woman on television, a pro-choice Catholic, telling about her being threatened with excommunication for working in a woman’s health clinic. so admittedly technically I misspoke, If your referring to the EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH, the RCC hasn’t been on friendly terms with them since the Council of Nicea, I d have to say that doesnt count. Sixty percent of incidents are homosexual in nature. X number of people have LEFT your faith because of being molested by priests. And there’s absolutely NOTHING Oxymoronic about my statement, thank you, a non-sequiter perhaps, if one one wants to nit-pick, “vehement in my defense of all world religions” HOWS THAT? ,….but mostly I know that HARBORING PEDOPHILES IS A CRIME.

  16. Gilbert Pemhiwa says:

    There is a WAR against Catholicism and I am not surprised to read this as one of the TACTICS.

    Do not forget such a WAR can come even to your own HOUSE or any institution you belong to.

    The Pope cannot just engage himself in this war of WORDS.

  17. Horace Gray the 4th… More ”oxymoronic language” and pharseoloogy…..What exactly is a ”pro-choice ” Catholic ? There is no Catholic teaching or even Gospel tradition about ”personal choice ” being a factor in the selective and barbaric killing of weak and innocent human beings.
    Barbaric as the clerical abuse of innocent childern,young girls and young men was 99.99% of the victims are survivors,they may be psychologically scarred for life but they are alive.

  18. Jim Lackey says:

    Enough! We’re closing comments on this.

Comments are closed.