For those who have been clamoring for years about the culture of abuse within the Catholic Church, 2018 has seemed like a cathartic revolution.
While it is never a pleasant subject to discuss, this ongoing malady of Catholicism has been so buried, so utterly ignored for so long, that there is a certain uncontrollable exuberance in seeing the evil deeds of these men coming to light. The only problem seems to be that this light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, comes at an exorbitant cost: Having to fully grasp the scope of the abuse that is running rampant within the powerful, global organization.
In Pennsylvania, we heard that perhaps 1,000 children were systemically abused within the Catholic community.
Now a leaked report out of Germany has revealed an even more astounding figure in the European locale.
The leaked information about the so-called “MHG Study” is causing a great stir in Germany, since it finally brings to light the murky history of the German bishops’ handling of abuse cases. And, as expected, their conduct is similar to many bishops in the U.S.: cover-ups and moving priests into another parish.
As Der Spiegel reports, the study which had been conducted by a team stemming from three German universities (Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Gießen) in the name of the German Bishops’ Conference under Cardinal Marx, looked into abuse cases from 1946 until 2014. Importantly, the study states that there were counted “3,677 mostly male minors as victims of sexual abuse.”
1,670 clergymen have been accused of these crimes.
As Die Zeit specifies in its own report: “62% of the victims are male, and 35% are female. In some partial investigations, the percentage of male victims even went up to 80%.”
More than half of the victims were, at the most, 13 years old, reports Walter Mayr for Der Spiegel. He also points out, quoting from an executive summary of that official report that is to be presented by Cardinal Marx on September 25 that in many cases the archives and files concerning the accused clergymen have been “destroyed or manipulated.”
Luckily, this report helped to stem the issue…right? RIGHT?!
As Mayr also quotes from the report, it is not to be assumed “that the sexual abuse of minors by clergymen of the Catholic Church is a topic that belongs to the past and that has been resolved.” The abuse cases have continued to happen up until the end of the time period under investigation, that is the year 2014.
We must continue to push back against the Catholic Church’s handling of this evil, and demand answers to the most pressing questions in this saga; namely, whether the Catholic Church is harboring pedophilia or creating it. Unfortunately, these seem to be the only options, and receiving the ugly answer is the only way to move forward.