The news coming out regarding the recent allegations against the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI is quite disturbing.
Based on the evidence presented so far, there appears to have been a systematic pattern of hiding evidence and a dismissing serious allegations for many years. The hierarchy of the Church has been exposed as being far more concerned with their well-being and public image than the harm being done to the many young people who have leveled accusations of abuse.
Recent documents have surfaced that specifically implicate Pope Benedict XVI in a widespread attempt to protect the interests of the Church despite compelling evidence that children were being put in harm’s way. There have been specific incidents where Priests who have admitted wrong-doing were simply transferred to other communities rather than face removal or any other disciplinary action. Through a campaign of denial and dismissal, the Church had done little to nothing regarding these allegations.
I sincerely believe that if the Church were a corporation or any other organization other than a religious one, they would have been condemned publicly as well as faced an onslaught of class action suits. The Management who was responsible for hiding evidence and harboring those known to have molested children would most certainly have faced criminal charges and would most likely be imprisoned. The fact that the Church has been allowed to carry out this pattern of duplicity for so many years is shameful. Someone in the Church needs to be held accountable for these crimes against these children.
In my own life, I have crossed paths with the Church’s lax policy of dealing with pedophiles and abusers.
In 1987 I attended Archibishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, NY. The principal of the school was Reverend Donald Malone. In 1988 my Sophmore year, Rev. Malone was mysteriously removed as principal and replaced with Reverend James Healy. The move came as a surprise to most of the students and not much was made of the reasons behind it. Not only till many years later did we learn the truth. Rev. Malone was picked up by White Plains Police in 1988 for soliciting sex from a teenage male on a city street. The Archdiocese was notified and a deal was coordinated with the Police Dept. in which Rev. Malone would be removed from Stepinac and would no longer work with children. In return, charges against him would be dropped.
Just like that, he was gone. The unfortunate part of this story was that Rev. Malone would be assigned to three more parishes between 1989 and 1992, in Staten Island, the Bronx and Orange County. It was later discovered that Malone had been arrested at a state Thruway Rest Stop in 1979 for public lewdness and loitering. The charges were later dropped.
I’m certain there are many more stories like mine happening today. Many more children being assaulted and many more situations being covered-up to hide the truth about these abuse cases.
Swift and severe action needs to be taken to prevent the Church from being able to escape culpability for the crimes its committed and for the manner in which its protected the people responsible.