Early Sunday morning, people shuffle in through the mahogany doors as the smell of Frankincense and Myrrh tickle the nose. Rays of sunlight beam through the stained glass windows, making rainbow images on the red velvet carpet. What sounds like the voices of angels singing praise to the lord harmoniously circulates in the air. A mighty voice roars from the altar, “Now, let us bow our heads in prayer.” This is a majestic place where one can find peace, confess sins and thank the lord for all of the blessings he has bestowed upon them.
In May of 1992, all of this would change, as Catholicism would be thrust to its knees. A story concerning a Catholic Priest sparked the headlines. The Boston Globe newspaper reported, “Nine allege priest abused them, threaten to sue church” (“Spotlight Investigation”). The article was a steppingstone for what triggered an intense investigation, extending from Massachusetts to Washington State, into allegations of child sexual abuse and the Catholic Church. For decades the Catholic Church has tolerated and silenced accusations of sexual misconduct by its priests.
This essay discusses the link between the Roman Catholic Church, child sexual abuse and the possibility of a cover-up. Are the Archdiocese and the Catholic Church guilty of covering up accusations of child sexual abuse? If so, could the church have stopped the abuse before it became an epidemic? And why have multiple victims come forth alleging sexual abuse after so many years? In order to answer these questions, we must first identify the circumstances surrounding the scandal.
First and foremost, the Archdiocese and the Catholic Church spawned a culture of secrecy whe...
... middle of paper ...
... “Asked to help, priest allegedly abused.” Boston Globe. 05 June 2002
“Five Principles to Follow in Dealing with Accusations of Sexual Abuse.” United States. Office of Catholic Bishops. June 1992. http://www.nccbuscc.org/comm/kit4.htm
“Major settlements in Catholic sex abuse cases” USA Today. 9 Sept. 2003
“Spotlight Investigation: Abuse in the Catholic Church.” 2003. 20
Oct. 2003. http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/
Turner, Maureen. “Telling Secrets.” Valley Advocate. 19 Dec. 2003
United States. Office of Catholic Bishops. 08 Oct. 2003. 20 Oct. 2003.
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