By: Donald V. Watkins
© Copyrighted and Published on December 15, 2019
The Catholic Bishop of Buffalo, New York stepped down two weeks ago following accusations that he covered up clergy sex abuse of children. All eight Catholic dioceses in New York are mired in more than 500 lawsuits related to the Church's sexual abuse of children.
The flood of legal claims forced the Diocese of Rochester to file for bankruptcy in September.
Additionally, the clergy sex abuse scandals have caused donations to the Church to plunge over the last five years. As a result, only 10% of the money donated to the Pope's Peter's Pence fund has been used for charitable purposes. Two-thirds of the Peter's Pence money has been used to cover the Church's budget deficit at the Holy See (i.e., the central administration of the Catholic Church and the papal diplomatic network around the world).
It is painfully obvious that the Catholic Church has an engrained problem with the out-of-control sexual abuse of children by members of its clergy. What is more, the Church has gone out of its way to cover up this epidemic of sexual abuse for centuries. The sexual abuse of children has become a worldwide problem for the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis is an affable leader of the Catholic Church, but he obviously lacks the backbone and will power necessary to tackle this systemic problem within the Church. The Pope appears to be content with immersing himself in the trappings of "Holiness" and Vatican power, as opposed to using the full power of the Church to end the horrific sexual abuse of children by priests and nuns.
To me, a child molester is the lowest form of a human being. I don't care if the molester dons the disarming attire of a priest or nun. That so many priests and nuns use the power of the Catholic Church to lure young children as sexual abuse victims is tragic. The only thing that is worse than a child molester is a church organization that fails to aggressively root out child sexual abuse in its organization, from top to bottom.
The Church's time-honored practice of silence, timidity, and complicity on this subject is sickening. The next time Pope Francis leads Catholics in a mass prayer, he needs to ask God to give him the courage to (a) hunt down child molesters in the Church and (b) protect children from sexual abusers within the ranks of its clergy.
It is time for the Pope to "man-up" and purge the Church of child molesters within the clergy. No more excuses and procrastination. He must announce and enforce a "zero tolerance" policy on child sex abuse.
Pope Francis must act now or resign so the Catholic Church can choose a Pope with the courage to protect young children from child molesters masquerading as priests and nuns.