‘Abuse’ is the Norm

The involvement of Catholic Church in child sexual abuse scandals world over is an old saga. The stories of cover-ups and paying compensations to the victims are doing rounds in the Western world. The recent cases of baby-lifting and nun-rapes should be seen in this light of global abuses

one of the biggest votaries of free speech and American comedian George Carline said, “When Jesus said, ‘Suffer the little children, come unto me," that"s not what he was talking about!,” it had a very deep meaning. The cases of sex scandals and child abuse by the Godmen in churches around the world are getting exposed day-by-day. ‘The Vatican stands by the paedophiles’, is the general perceptions among the practicing Christians! However, the influential Church lobby suppresses such horrors with the money and muscle power. In India, in the name of ‘service’, when the institution of Church is trying to grow its tentacles, this global context cannot be neglected. In the past, thousands of cases of sexual abuse registered around the world took place in schools, churches and other institutions. Shockingly, the church has also been offering financial compensations to the child and sometime to cover up the issue.

Some major cases of Child abuse by Church officials

USA, 1985:  Gilbert Gauthe in Louisiana became the first to gain national attention in a case of a priest accused of sexual abuse. In 1985, he admitted to abusing 37 boys and pleaded guilty to 34 criminal counts, reported The New York Times. He was sentenced to twenty years in prison, but released after ten years.

USA, 2002: Former priest John Geoghan became a central figure in the clergy sexual abuse crisis in Boston, along with Cardinal Bernard Law who admitted receiving a letter in 1984 outlining allegations of child molestation against Geoghan. From 1962 to 1995, Geoghan sexually abused approximately 130 people, mostly grammar school boys, according to victims. Church officials ordered him to get treatment or transferred him but kept him on as a priest. The Boston Globe coverage on sexual abuse by clergy brought the issue to the forefront.

USA, 2004: According to a report compiled by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Children accused more than 4,000 priests of sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002

Ireland, 2009: A report commissioned by the Irish Government concluded that the Archdiocese of Dublin and other Catholic Church authorities in Ireland covered up clerical child abuse. The commission had been set up in 2006 to look into allegations of child sexual abuse made against clergy in the Irish capital.

The Netherlands, 2011: Thousands of children suffered from sexual abuse in the Dutch Roman Catholic Church over more than six decades, and about 800 possible perpetrators have been identified, according to an independent Commission of Inquiry, issued in 2011. The Commission of Inquiry said it received 1,795 reports of church-related sex abuse of minors and the “reports contained information about possible perpetrators.”

Dominican Republic, 2014 :  Jozef Wesolowski, a former Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic, was found guilty of sexual abuse of minors by a Vatican tribunal and defrocked in 2014. He was accused of sexual abuse of minors and possession of child pornography during his time as papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic. Italy"s Corriere della Sera reported that Wesolowski"s laptop contained more than 100,000 files with pornographic images and videos. Wesolowski was the highest-ranking Catholic official arrested for alleged sexual abuse of minors. He died in 2015, before he could be put on trial.

Australia 2017:  Australian Cardinal George Pell was charged with historical child sex offenses. Pell, was charged with multiple historical sexual assault offenses in Australia. Pell serves as a top adviser to Pope Francis and is the Vatican’s senior financial adviser. Earlier in the year, a commission found that 7 per cent of Australian priests were accused of abusing children between 1950 and 2015.
Colossal Compensation
According to Jack and Diane Ruhl of the National Catholic Reporter, since 1950, the Vatican has spent a whopping sum of nearly $4 billion to keep things under wraps or paid compensation to the victims of child sexual abuse. The compesation amount is increasing day by day with the growing numbers of cases of sexual abuse by the church officials.
Some major cases of Child abuse by Church officials
Since 1950, the Vatican has spent a sum of nearly $4 billion to keep things under wraps or paid compensation to the victims of child sexual abuse
In the US alone, more than 4,000 US Roman Catholic priests have faced sexual abuse allegations, involving more than 10,000 children especially boys, over the last 50 years
The figure given is based on a three-month investigation data, which includes a review of over 7,800 articles from LexisNexis Academic and information from BishopAccountability.org.In the early nineties, a source from the Vatican while talking to the The New Yorker, revealed, “You wouldn’t believe the amounts of money the church is spending to settle these priestly sexual-abuse cases.” By 1992, the United States Catholic dioceses had given $400 million to settle the cases.
In September 2003, the Boston archdiocese agreed to pay $85m to settle more than 500 civil suits accusing priests of sexual abuse and church officials of concealment. A report commissioned by the Church the following year said more than 4,000 US Roman Catholic priests had faced sexual abuse allegations in the last 50 years, in cases involving more than 10,000 children.
Since 1950, the Vatican has spent a sum of nearly $4 billion to keep things under wraps or paid compensation to the victims of child sexual abuse  

Philip Wilson, the archbishop of Adelaide, becomes the most senior Catholic in the world to be charged and convicted of covering up child sexual abuse  
The US diocese has made a series of huge payouts to alleged victims of abuse — the largest being some $660 million from the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 2007. According to Vatican figures, the Vatican defrocked nearly 400 priests from 2011-2012 who were involved in the child abuse.
In Australia, as per the Royal Commission report, from 1980 to 2015, there are 4,444 cases of Church abuse, with at least 1,880 suspected abusers. A five-year Australian inquiry in 2017 found that "tens of thousands of children" were sexually abused in Australian institutions over decades, including churches, schools and sports clubs.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull demanded that Pope Francis should fire an Australian archbishop who is the highest-ranking Catholic official in the world to be found guilty of concealing sex crimes against children. 67-year-old Archbishop Philip Wilson was sentenced to one-year imprisonment after being found guilty in May 2018.
Recently, In Ireland, the survivors of sexual and physical abuse in schools run by the Catholic Church had demanded a meeting with Pope Francis to discuss the compensation. As per the deal between the Catholic Church and the Irish Government in 2002, that resulted in the taxpayer footing most of the bill for compensating those abused in religious institutions, the church has to pay out €128m of a €1.3bn compensation bill.
Exposing the Sins
According to an op-ed, Child sexual abuse and the Catholic Church: What you need to know published on BBC, “Although some accusations date back to the 1950s, molestation by priests was first given significant media attention in the 1980s, in the US and Canada.”“In the 1990s, the issue began to grow, with stories emerging in Argentina, Australia and elsewhere. In 1995, the Archbishop of Vienna, Austria, stepped down amid sexual abuse allegations, rocking the church there,” the article claims.
In the US alone, more than 4,000 US Roman Catholic priests have faced sexual abuse allegations, involving more than 10,000 children especially boys, over the last 50 years
Time and again, the reality of child molestation by the Catholic Church has surfaced. In the United States, a group of five investigative journalists of The Boston Globe newspaper exposed the widespread sexual abuse of children by Church leaders in 2002. The Boston Globe published results of an investigation that led to the criminal prosecutions of five Roman Catholic priests involved in the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. After The Boston Globe"s coverage, hundreds of victims come forward with allegations of abuse, resulting in numerous lawsuits and more criminal cases against the Church officials. After the investigative report published, many newspapers reported such incidents and found a pattern of sexual abuse and cover-ups in many large dioceses across the United States and revealed widespread wrongdoing in the American Roman Catholic Church.
The investigative story also revealed that the accused church officials were systematically removed and allowed to work in other churches. The team’s investigation brought the issue to national importance in the United States, winning them the Pulitzer Prize.
The story was later adapted into the Oscar award-winning Hollywood movie Spotlight in 2015 starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams. Along with the Oscar, the much appreciated and controversial film wins with other prestigious awards.
The Baby Selling Bazaar
The Christian Missionaries have been facing numerous allegations of selling babies since long all over the world. When we come back to India, where the criminality of the church authorities is covered up in the name of ‘Service’, the recent incident of baby selling by a Nun connects the missing dots. The ‘Missionaries of Charity’ in Jharkhand was unable to provide the records of 280 babies at its various homes, fast emerging facts in the case reveal the possibility of a mega racket which could extend to even foreign money and foreign forces at play.
As per reports, 450 pregnant women were brought to Missionaries of Charity hospitals, but the organisation founded by Mother Teresa could furnish only childbirth records of 170 babies which means that the files of a whopping 280 newborns in Jharkhand are untracked to this point. According to the police, the racket involved in the trafficking of children.
The world scenario tells us that this is not an aberration but a ‘norm’ the in the ‘Church’ as an institution. Perhaps this is the reason most of the christians in the western world are losing faith in this gigantic organisation but abusive.