Monday, March 21, 2016

Priest Sexual Abuse Crimes: A Cry for Justice

Faith-based organizations often compound America's crisis of character with headlines of reprehensible crimes, including priest sexual abuse and cover ups in the Catholic Church.

As a practicing Roman Catholic who earned two Master’s degrees in theology from a Vatican institution, and as an educator, who served for 10 years throughout the United States as a Salesian of Don Bosco, I am fully committed to preventing abuse and remedying this scandal.

These theological credentials are complemented by over 20 years of training initiatives that I have conducted for law enforcement, including the FBI; always stressing respect for the law, transparency, collaboration, and justice.

Every act of child sexual abuse is immoral and criminal; and acts compounded by the secrecy, cover ups, indifference, and arrogance of bishops demands accountability.

Cover ups by bishops are acts of betrayal, scandal, and desecration that inflict additional wounds upon victims and society, breaking the bond of trust critical to community.

It is imperative that all people of moral decency make their voices in a cry for justice against these immoral and criminal acts.

Compassion for victims who are crying for healing, truth, and accountability is critical.

Pope Francis: Concern, Compassion, Courage

The current pope is the perfect catalyst at the right time for the Catholic Church as he is capable of inspiring necessary transformation.

Pope Francis is an inspirational shepherd, demanding the same from his bishops and priests. The pope is admired by believers as well as non-believers; for his concern, compassion, and courage-virtues that are critical for a transformational renewal of the Catholic Church.

During his visit to the U.S. on Sept. 27, 2015, Pope Francis exemplified character, truthfully addressing the bishops on the priest sexual abuse scandal at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

Pope Francis passionately stated:

“I am deeply pained by the stories, the sufferings and the pain of minors who were sexually abused by priests. I continue to be ashamed that persons charged with the tender care of those little ones abused them and caused them grave harm. I deeply regret this. God weeps. The crimes and sins of sexual abuse of minors may no longer be kept secret; I commit myself to ensuring that the Church makes every effort to protect minors and I promise that those responsible will be held to account. Survivors of abuse have become true heralds of hope and ministers of mercy; humbly we owe our gratitude to each of them and to their families for their great courage…”

Pennsylvania Priests/Bishops Scandal

According to a grand jury report made public on March 1, two Roman Catholic bishops helped cover up sexual abuse of hundreds of children by more than 50 priests and religious officials in Pennsylvania over the course of 40 years.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, who released the 147-page report, spoke more like a shepherd than the bishops entrusted with the protection of children.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane stated:

“The heinous crimes these children endured are absolutely unconscionable...These predators desecrated a sacred trust and preyed upon their victims in the very places where they should have felt most safe…Just as troubling is the cover-up perpetrated by clergy leaders that allowed this abuse to continue for decades..They failed in our society's most important task of protecting our children...At the very least we must continue to shine a light on this long period of abuse and despicable conduct.”

The report includes the following:

• Over many years hundreds of children have fallen victim to child predators wrapped in the authority of an honorable faith. As wolves disguised as the shepherds themselves-these men stole the innocence of children by sexually preying upon the most innocent and vulnerable members of our society and the Catholic faith.

• This is not an indictment of the Catholic religion or the Catholic Church. Many who testified and spoke out regarding the horror…are devout Catholics, as are members of this Grand Jury and Office of Attorney General investigative personnel.

• The Grand Jury finds the acts of the predator priest and their enabling Bishops to be criminal. However, they cannot be prosecuted at this time. The statute of limitations…has expired…abolish the statute of limitations for sexual offenses against minors.

• Suspend the civil statute of limitations on child sexual abuse claims for a designated and finite period of years.

• Possible criminal conduct should be reported directly to law enforcement authorities.

Archdiocese of Boston: America’s Priest Abuse Epicenter

Priest sexual abuse was detailed in the Office of the Attorney General (AG) of Massachusetts July 23, 2003 report titled, “The Sexual Abuse of Children in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.”

An overview of this scandal, detailed in my latest book titled “Listen To Their Cries,” emphasizes findings of the Massachusetts (AG), which also correlate to the Pennsylvania (AG) report, and includes the following:

• Top Archdiocese officials knew the extent of the clergy sexual abuse problem for many years before it came known to the public.
• The Archdiocese response to reports of sexual abuse of children, including maintaining secrecy of reports, placed children at risk.
• The Archdiocese placed children at risk by transferring abusive priests to other parishes.
• The Archdiocese failed to adequately supervise priests known to have sexually abused children in the past.

Final Reflections

The Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to reprehensible criminal acts that “cry to heaven for justice.”

America's criminal justice system makes it clear that sexual abuse of children, and those involved with cover up, is criminal.

Only when we protect our children and hold individuals accountable, will America have authentic faith-based communities, and a moral reawakening of the nation.


Attorney General Pennysylania Press Release, March 1, 2016
Grand jury: Hundreds of children sexually abused by priests in Altoona-Johnstown diocese

Note Well:

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Vincent writes a weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times; 35 countries, 21 languages, and growing.


1. American flag at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Fifth Avenue, NYC, Jan. 31, 2015. (Vincent J. Bove)

2. An unidentified child, who was carried out from the crowd to meet Pope Francis, reaches out to touch the Pontiff's face during a parade on his way to celebrate Sunday Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, on Sept. 27, 2015. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

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