Nearly two decades have passed since the Boston Globe exposed the widespread sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. But still today, the Church seems just as committed as ever to protecting the identities of priests who have been credibly accused of child abuse.
In 2002, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to adopt policies that require the reporting of all allegations of sexual abuse of minors to law enforcement. It seems, however, that this policy is a mere façade as independent investigations have uncovered thousands of unreported allegations involving hundreds of priests.
Scandal after scandal and a pattern of apparent coverups have all but tarnished the Church’s reputation, contributing to a downward slide in attendance since the turn of the century. While there may be no way for the Church to redeem its sins entirely, transparency would be a step in the right direction, and it may prevent countless children from suffering the lifelong trauma caused by sexual abuse.
The Catholic Church Should Identify Child Abusers & Publish a List of Sex Offenders
When priests are removed from ministry for child sex abuse, it’s not uncommon for them to relocate to new communities, where residents are unaware of their transgressions. These priests might even continue participating in mass and church activities since their former diocese are not required to track them.
The Church should take steps to prevent priests who have been credibly accused of child sex abuse from building rapport in communities outside their former diocese. One way to do this would be to publish a list of Catholic priest sex offenders.
While this list might further diminish the Church’s reputation in the short term by demonstrating the scale of the problem, it would be a necessary step toward restoring the institution’s integrity. It may also prevent children in these communities from falling victim to sexual predation.
If the Church fails to publicly disclose current and former sex offenders, it should be considered complicit in any sexual abuse suffered by known predators who were not voluntarily exposed.
Speak with a Child Sex Abuse Attorney in Houston: Call 713-893-8808
If you or a member of your family was sexually abused by a Catholic priest, you deserve justice. Although nothing can undo the trauma of child sex abuse, taking legal action can help shed light on the problem and may inspire positive changes that save others from the same mistreatment.
Attorney Chelsie King Garza can help you file a claim against the perpetrator and pursue the maximum compensation for any emotional trauma you have suffered and counseling you will need. Chelsie has more than 18 years of experience as a personal injury attorney and is well-versed in the statutes and case law pertaining to child sex abuse claims. She has extensive experience and a track record of success in these cases. Learn more about Chelsie's past experience representing a victim of abuse here.
To schedule a free initial consultation, call 713-893-8808. You can also send us a message on our Contact Page.