Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Saturday Stub: More Crimes for the Catholic Church to Answer

Posted by Ethan Clow on December 17, 2011

It’s becoming an obscene statement to publicly hope that the Catholic Church won’t be found mired in some sexual abuse scandal, given the recent revelations from victims all over the world. What is rapidly becoming clear, is that the institution of the Catholic Church is like some hideous onion, each layer you remove, you find some new hideous example of abuse.

Such is the case in the Netherlands. The BBC has the story that after a commission set up in August of 2010, it has been revealed that there was widespread abuse taking place in religious institutions. The report estimates that 10,000-20,000 minors’ were abused in the care of Catholic institutions between 1945 and 1981.

The commission looked into eighteen hundred cases of abuse and identified nearly eight-hundred abusers, of which, nearly one-hundred are still alive today.

A few key points are asserted by this commission:

  • The abuse was known in the Catholic hierarchy and appropriate actions were not taken.
  • 1 in 10 Dutch children were said to be abused, and that number rises to 1 in 5 if those children attended a religious institution.
  • The abuse was not limited to Catholic organizations either, other religious groups had abuse scandals as well.

To quote from the article:

Bert Smeets, an abuse victim who attended the presentation of the report, said it did not go far enough in detailing precisely exactly what happened.

“What was happening was sexual abuse, violence, spiritual terror, and that should have been investigated,” Mr Smeets told the Associated Press news agency. “It remains vague. All sorts of things happened but nobody knows exactly what or by whom. This way, they avoid responsibility.” – source

Some day the Pope, Ratzinger, will find himself in the Netherlands, but not to apologize to victims, which is appears to be the Catholic way of dealing with the problem; but rather to face the criminal charges for crimes against humanity at The Hague. I hope.

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