The Vatican has withstood a very long run of scandals involving the alleged sexual abuse of boys by Catholic clergy. The latest church outpost to get caught up in an explosive sexual abuse scandal---the archdiocese of Philadelphia--is trying to ensure that parishioners see that it's taking an active hand in investigating the charges.
As you may have heard, three Philadelphia priests and a parochial school teacher were charged last Thursday with raping and sexually assaulting young boys in their care.
In response to the charges, the Catholic Church in Philadelphia is opening its own investigation into the possibility that 37 additional priests who remain in active ministry committed similar crimes.
As more recent scandals have emerged, senior Vatican officials have questioned the motivation of their critics. Indeed, last year, one senior Vatican official suggested that media outlets reporting on the scandals were targeting the Church because they’d been possessed by Satan.
In addition to charging the three priests with rape and sexual assault, Philadelphia prosecutors also charged Monsignor William Lynn, the Philadelphia Diocese's secretary for clergy under former Archbishop Anthony Bevilacqua, with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child for his alleged role in covering up the crimes. From 1992-2004, Lynn was responsible for investigating such allegations. A grand jury found that he knowingly allowed pedophile priests to continue serving in roles in which they had regular access to children. John Allen, CNN's senior Vatican analyst, characterized the charges against Lynn as a potential bombshell for the Church hierarchy.
This is apparently the first time that a Catholic leader has been charged criminally for the cover-up as opposed to the abuse itself," Allen said on the news outlet’s religion blog. "It sends a shot across the bow for bishops and other diocesan officials in other parts of the country, who have to wonder now if they've got criminal exposure, too."
I think tolerance for this type of crime is beginning to wear thin with everyone. One has to ask “Why are religious institutions not being held responsible for the most reprehensible form of pedophilia not only in our society but the world over? These are so-called lovers of God and the keepers of the morality. They also blasphemously claim to be God’s spokesman. I think the ‘Holier than Thou’, self-adopted cloak of superiority has become sheer fabric before the entire world. They have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they do not have the Spirit of God nor is He directing these people as they claim. Jesus said that a good tree cannot produce bad fruit nor can a bad tree produce good fruit and went on to state in the Sermon on the Mount “Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.” Matthew 7: 20.