in the Catholic church
someone who recently returned to the Catholic fold, I
read with disgust, outrage and even embarrassment last
weeks three part series by Ottawa Citizen
investigative journalist Andrew Duffy on the lawsuit the
Archdiocese of Ottawa has filed against LAssurance
Mutuelle de lInter-Ouest which underwrote hundreds
of dollars in out of court settlements to sexual abuse
victims of local priests.
the Archdiocese wants to be reimbursed for the court costs
it incurred as a result of a number of cases dating back
over 40 years.
Archdiocese probably didnt imagine that the suit
would reopen a can of worms its been trying to keep
closed for more than four decades. According to the series,
there have been at least 41 acknowledged victims of clergy
sexual abuse in the Ottawa diocese dating back to the
priests who worked in the diocese have been connected
to sexual abuse, according to the Citizen, but yet only
five priests have been convicted for their crimes; three
others were convicted in jurisdictions outside of Ottawa
while still members of the Archdiocese; and another case
is currently before the courts.
this is just in Ottawa. There have been countless other
cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests throughout North
America, most notably in Boston.
to figures made public by the U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops, the Church or to be more accurate its
insurers have paid out an estimated $3 billion
in clergy sex abuse settlements for cases dating back
to the 1950s.
a Catholic, I feel its important for me and others
to say enough is enough.
Church, and by Church I mean the Pope, needs
to face its ugly past and conduct a thorough, open and
transparent self-examination of past sexual transgressions
by priests, alive or dead.
should be no statute of limitations on the sexual abuse
of children. Period. Just as there is no statute of limitations
on Nazi prison guards who were complicit in the extermination
of millions of Jews, so should there be no statute of
limitations on priests who took advantage of kids in the
early teens and preteens.
the Church, my Church, has chose to bury the past transgressions
of priests by shuffling them from diocese to diocese and
paying off their victims more than $1 million in
Ottawa alone, according to Mr. Duffys report.
only way for the Church to be renewed is for the truth
to be uncovered and laid bare.
priest guilty of sexual abuse should be kicked out of
the Church, or even excommunicated, along with any Bishops
or Archbishops who were involved in covering it up.
for me, I plan to remain a Catholic because I do not blame
the Church for the transgressions of its individual members
or leaders, anymore than would blame
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