They hid it all

Nick Little on the busy Pennsylvania priests:

Yesterday a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report was released, detailing credible accusations of sexual abuse against over 300 priests in just six dioceses. Over 1,000 child victims were identified.

That’s a lot of priests and a lot of child victims. And yet, and yet, they still consider themselves to have the moral authority not only to tell us what to do, but also to stop us, forcibly, doing things they consider Religiously Forbidden. Women putting a stop to their own pregnancies is forbidden by god but priests raping children is not. That is one very fucked up god.


While the reports against individual priests shock the conscience, the descriptions of institutional knowledge, cover-ups, and complicity are perhaps more despicable.

“While each church district had its idiosyncrasies,” writes the Grand Jury, “the pattern was pretty much the same. The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid ‘scandal.’”

FBI agents who testified to the Grand Jury “identified a series of practices that regularly appeared, in various configurations, in the diocesan files they had analyzed. It’s like a playbook for concealing the truth.

Children who reported abuse were belittled and disbelieved. Incontrovertible evidence was ignored. Rapist priests were treated with compassion and understanding by their employer, left in place to continue violating children, or moved to new hunting grounds without any warning given to the next crop of potential prey. Teenage victims were accused of seducing their abusers, the sort of blame shifting that is common amongst pedophiles and sex offenders.

It’s all about the church, the (all-male, never forget) priesthood, the insider powerful men – the children might as well be an infestation of weevils for all the church cares about them.

The Church hierarchy was (and is?) rotten to the core. “[D]espite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability,” states the report. The betrayal of trust in this situation cannot be overstated. Families and individuals looked to the church for solace and salvation. Instead, the rape of their children was swept under the carpet as an inconvenient occurrence that threatened the reputation and assets of the organization. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades.

Like Trump, they might as well be mob bosses. Like Trump, they assume they have the right to shout at us and tell us what to do. Like Trump, they are scum.

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