French clergy sexually abused more than 200,000 children over the past 70 years, a major investigation released on Tuesday found, and its authors said the Catholic Church had turned a blind eye to the 'scourge' for too long.
The church had shown "deep, total and even cruel indifference for years," protecting itself rather than the victims of what was systemic abuse, said Jean-Marc Sauve, head of the commission that compiled the report.
Most of the victims were boys, he said, many of them aged between 10 and 13.
"Faced with this scourge, for a very long time the Catholic Church's immediate reaction was to protect itself as an institution and it has shown complete, even cruel, indifference to those having suffered abuse," the report said.
That is just the ones we know about. Given the nature of the crime, typically a sexual assault against a young pre-adolescent boy, it is understandable that many of the victims will never speak of what happened. A young boy being molested by an adult and a priest, especially at that age, is unspeakable and many of the victims would feel shame, although they have nothing to be ashamed of. So it is certain that those numbers are widely underreporting the real figures.
Also that is just one country. Imagine what the real numbers are like across Europe and then in developing nations in places like South and Central America, Africa and Asia where there is even more social pressure to keep quiet. The number of victims across the world certainly number in the millions if there are nearly a quarter million that we know of just in one country.
As bad as the abuse itself, although in a different way, is the way that the Catholic Church covered up these crimes which they knew about for decades, in essence and in fact becoming complicit in the abuse by enabling these pedophile priests to escape justice and then simply moving them to a different parish where it started all over again.
The abuse was almost inevitable. For most of the existence of the Catholic Church, the vows of celibacy taken by the clergy have been a joke. The various and sundry sexual escapades of their clerics from the Popes on down, is well documented including brothels for priests, cardinals with mistresses and Popes with illegitimate children. Somewhere along the line the Catholic clergy seemed to shift away from heterosexuals getting some tail on the side to becoming overwhelmingly homosexual, by some estimates to the tune of 80% of Catholic priests being fags, and this homosexuality being studiously ignored by the hierarchy. It is also well known that many, likely most, male homosexuals were abused as children and that they in turn repeat that abuse with children. Take men with a developed sexual degeneracy, put them in a situation where they cannot have normal sexual relationships and then place them in a trusted position with access to children and what do you get? Millions of abused children.
On the other hand, we have a local priest who just in the last few weeks was arrested for molesting two young women, one David Huneck. The 31 year old Huneck apparently invited two teen-aged girls, aged 17 and 19 at the time, to his home to celebrate his birthday. Inexplicably these two girls went to his house and then voluntarily drank with him, with the good priest getting sloshed and grabbing one of the girl's breast. They helped him into bed and he pulled one in with him and pawed at her. The girls left and he apologized for his behavior. Then they both went back to his house where he, shockingly, groped one of the girls again and exposed himself. Didn't see that coming. Not to blame the girls here as he is an adult and a clergyman but what the hell were two late teen girls, one a legal adult, doing going not once but twice to a man's home, drinking booze with him and returning to his home after he groped one of them on the prior visit?
The Catholic Church, for all its high minded rhetoric about being the primary earthly manifestation of the Christian faith, is no different from any other institution, being primarily concerned with self-preservation. It is necessary to distinguish lay Catholics, many of whom are deeply faithful people, from the Catholic priesthood and hierarchy. As with many organizations, especially religious ones, the further you go up the hierarchy, the more corrupt they tend to get. The last few decades have been very difficult for lay Catholics, between the child abuse scandal and the cover-up by their church and then the elevation of an outright Bolshevik to be "Pope" has left many wondering if their church is even legitimate anymore.
If you are Catholic and this offends you, allow me to say: tough shit. Far too many people are more concerned about the damage to the reputation of the church and not nearly enough about the children who have been scarred for life.
My intent here is not to bash Catholics but rather to make sure to reinforce that this suffering is the result of institutional self-protection, something we see in all sorts of institutions from religious organizations to businesses to the government. It is especially egregious when it happens in a religious setting where people place a great deal of the self-identification. If the Catholic Church had taken decisive action when these abuse charges first started, the scandal would have been much milder but decades of cover-ups made the whole thing immeasurably worse.
Rampant child abuse plus sexual degeneracy with a huge amount of institutional ass covering should make anyone wonder why they place their faith in an organization like that.