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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Dark, Dark Past

Priest molestation stories are old news in the United States, but now stories of rampant child sexual abuse by Catholic priests around the world are coming to light as well as the apparently inevitable cover-up by the Bishops and Arch-Bishops, reassigning pedophile priests to different parishes where they could continue to harm children, rather than defrocking and prosecuting them.

Exposure of these crimes became possible only recently because of our modern sensibility of protecting children, of an understanding that religious authority figures should not be above the law, and our modern ability to communicate the atrocities for all to see nearly instantaneously, thus preventing further cover-ups.

What horrifies me is that if this child abuse has been going on for the last half a century and is only now coming to light, there's no reason to think that this horror hasn't been occurring for the entire lifetime of the Catholic church.  We'll never know how many millions of children lived and died in misery at the hands of their religious authority for centuries, before even the first pedophile priest was exposed.

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