For the past several weeks, the news has been constantly flashing with stories on the widespread sexual abuse of children by the Catholic Church.
Initially, the breaking, and arguably most significant story, covered the heinous crimes of Father Michael J. Pulicare from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and his reportedly huge number of abuse cases. While Pulicare may be the face of this breaking scandal, it surpasses even his cruel acts.
It is estimated that, in the past fifty years, over 1,000 children have been abused by Roman Catholic priests in the United States. Furthermore, the Catholic church has lead cover ups for over 300 priests, despite the Vatican’s condemning of its actions.
Allegations against the priests have a strong emphasis on rape of young boys, impregnation, and physical abuse.
Here is the problem: what happens next? With cases in Pennsylvania, Washington, California, and so many more places, how are the American people to know if retribution has been properly delivered? In a short time, the news cycle will move past these scandals and the deeply alarming crimes committed by these priests. The less-than-moral cover-up performed by the church will soon be forgotten. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is not the first time the Catholic Church has been struck with a scandal over sexual abuse. Back in 2002, the Boston Globe broke similarly huge stories on the inside-workings of the church.
Perhaps an even bigger question is how the American Catholic community will recover? In a situation where priests are such revered and trusted figures, it will be difficult for churchgoers to find the right balance. As the allegations particularly stem from child victims, understanding the extent of a relationship with a priest is an especially difficult idea.
The most important question out of this whole scandal - how much longer will the Catholic Church stand for these immoral crimes?