English 1b (T 1110-1235)
Child Sexual Abuse Within the Church
History shows the Catholic Church has been covering up child sexual abuse by clergy for centuries; over the last thirty years reports of the abuse has been brought to light with lawsuits. Still to this day the Catholic Church is governed by the Code of Canon Law which gives the leaders structure to protect their positions and decision-making; canon law is not made to protect those that are not in the priesthood including any victims. The abuse these children endured while with the one man trusted by parishioners, including their parents’ lives have changed forever. Millions of people go to Catholic Church and it plays a crucial role in their lives. This should not be allowed to happen, and laws should be made not only within the Roman Catholic Church but with civil law to protect the victims of the clergy’s sinful act.
After Jesus died his twelve Apostles taught the word of God that became the basis of canon law adopted by the Catholic Church that deals with the rights and expectations of the people in churches. The article “Recalibrating U.S. Catholic Church-State Relations: The Effects of Clerical Sexual Abuse” Jo Renee Formicola states, “Church law specifically defined all types of clerical sexual abuse as sins against the Sixth Commandment” (309). Jo Renee Formicola states “Fourth, canon law is considered superior to civil law in the matter of clerical sexual abuse” (313). This law is the basis of actions taken by the Catholic Church on keeping these matters within the institution and dealing with the matter as seen fit. Catholic Church teaches people what each sin is and will tell people they are no longer welcome, but clergy have different standards and can continue their sinful ways. The organizational structure of the Catholic Church ha enabled the clergy the opportunity to sexual abuse adolescence. This law also makes it difficult for priests to challenge authority and any decisions made.
Celibacy is another law the Roman Catholic Church put into practice and is not grounded in scripture, also known as the Gregorian Reforms. The Catholic Church believes if one practice celibacy it will take away any distractions and devoted completely to God. The book Lead Us Not into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children Jason Berry states “When the archbishop of Rouen at the time laid down the law forbidding clerical marriage, his priests rioted” (180). Taking away the ability of the clergy to marry not only took the ability for them to release urges but gave them new ones. Jason Berry suggests that single effect of the implementing celibacy was the rising homosexual manifestation in clerical life (180). This being a factor in the lives of the clergy along with them spending a lot of time with children leading them to become pedophiles. When it was brought to light of the sinful acts of the clergy the church would remove...