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U.S. Roman Catholic Is in Crisis by Priestly Sexual Abuse

U.S. Roman Catholic Is in Crisis by Priestly Sexual Abuse

Posted March. 27, 2002 08:54,   


`The crisis of Roman Catholic! Could they save themselves?`

By the serial disclosure of priestly sexual abuses in the U.S., the Roman Catholic is facing a crucial moment.

Particularly, by the revealing of the fact that New York Cardinal Edward Egan allowed priests who were involved in sexual abuses to continue working within the churches while he was serving as bishop of the Bridgeport, Conn., diocese, his future steps are receiving spotlights.

1 Billion Dollars For Compensation: The Times recently reported that over 1 billion dollars were spent for the compensation for the victims of sexual abuse cases related to the Catholic priests since a sexual abuse case by a priest in Louisiana was disclosed in 1985.

Worries about the sexual abuse cases by priest have been aggravating by the facts that the victims are not fully revealed, punishments of the violators are weak since the crimes have been dealt in the Catholic churches, and the Catholic church is not capable of dealing with this problem.

Ventura County diocese in California recently dismissed 6-12 priests who are involved in child sexual abuse cases but it did not released the names and ordered the related people to keep silence.

U.S. News and World Report also indicated recently that such crimes have continued just because the Catholic Church has shown lukewarm responses. Suspicions on priests will increase in the future and the Catholic Church will be seriously damaged in its morality.

Continuous Disclosures of Crimes: the serial disclosure was sparked by the report of Boston Globe that reported the sexual abuse case of Catholic priest John Geogan. Boston Globe reported that the priest who was sentenced to imprison for 10 years had molested 130 boys for past 30 years but the Diocese was striving hard to conceal it.

Following the report, similar cases in the U.S. nationwide were disclosed one after another and 75 percent of the believers expressed their objection to the Church`s manner of dealing with sexual abuse cases.

The Times also indicated that `the child victims didn`t even think about disclosing such crimes, being afraid of blames by the churches and their parents if they leak such cases to the public. Even though grave reflections come arise from inside, fundamental reformation seems to depend on who`s going to be a new Pope.`

The Catholic Church announced that it would release an official apology through an Easter message and discuss this issue in the U.S. Archbishop Council in June in the midst of rising voices for the Church reformation.

konihong@donga.com · kimsk@donga.com