The Catholic Church: A village that enables child abuse

Independent Australia

September 22, 2019

By Suresh Ruberan

What is present in the corridors of Catholic Church culture that enables such sexual abuse of children and such heavy repudiation of victims and their families?

This is a poignant question given the George Pell’s recent failed appeal – the highest-ranking official in the Catholic Church to be convicted of child sex abuse – and the radical pushes for reform coming from Catholics themselves, as well as the growing despair of conflicted Catholics.

From the movie Spotlight, which built momentum to confront Catholic Church culture, comes a quote, “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one”. 7% of Catholic priests are alleged perpetrators. This number does not constitute a village.

So, what is it about the Church’s handling of these cases that makes it such a bludgeoning mess? It is the culture that the Church is steeped in, and responds with, that is a significant contributor to the violence of child sex abuse. A culture helps form a village: a village that enables child abuse.

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