Letter to the Editor: Church must better deal with its abuse issue

The Daily Progress

October 29, 2020

By Mike Brinkac and Nancy Brinkac

It is with great concern and loss of trust that we read another story about the child sex scandal in the Catholic Church: “Catholic Diocese of Richmond paying $6.3M to victims sexually abused by clergy,” The Daily Progress, Oct. 16.

This is yet another example of the inherent pedophilia problem involving clergy that has plagued the church for decades.

Yet, the 51 individuals compensated by the Richmond Diocese represent just the tip of the iceberg.

A 2018-2019 report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reported that 4,220 people filed 4,434 allegations saying they had been victims of child sexual abuse. The report represents dioceses across the United States. Of the allegations, 1,034 were substantiated.

The report was summarized in “Annual audit shows more than 4,400 allegations of clergy abuse reported,” the National Catholic Reporter, June 25.

In spite of these outrageous numbers, the NCR story gave no indication of the underlying factors that generate these problems, what is being done to correct them and the civil or criminal justice that was applied.

While the Catholic Church has accomplished great things for Christianity and social justice, this scandal is contrary to the principles in which the church is founded. It’s time for the church to become transparent and morally responsive to its faithful.

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