March 07, 2006

Sins & Silence Sexual abuse by the clergy

Telegraph Herald

Mar 5, 2006


It wasn't supposed to happen here.

When Roman Catholic priests did bad things to children, it occurred someplace else. Like Boston. Or Los Angeles. Or Chicago. It couldn't happen in the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

But it did.

Priests did prey on children and teenagers, and robbed them of their innocence. Bishops, sometimes with the best of intentions, enabled the criminals by transferring them to other churches and schools, where unsuspecting Catholics welcomed the priests into their parish and their homes.

The worst predators were sent away to be treated, but afterward they often went to new assignments in new parishes, where they resumed the abuse of children. Eventually, some were removed from the priesthood.

On the occasions when they spoke up, victimized children were seldom believed. If their stories weren't disregarded by their devout parents and loyal teachers, the threat of physical harm or excommunication brought about silence.

Rumors died quickly, whispered gossip was written off and few dared to believe that anything so heinous could be happening.

Posted by kshaw at March 7, 2006 07:52 PM