The Talon

The Church Crisis

Over 70 years of deceit have been uncovered in perhaps the Catholic church's most widespread scandal.

Zack, Writer

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In the past few months, the Catholic Church has been embroiled in a massive abuse scandal. A little over 300 clergymen have been exposed as sexual abusers, some alive and some deceased. This is the single-worst case in the church’s history, and their reputation is in rapid free-fall.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Church had been covering up child abuse cases for over 70 years, and only recently did this come to light with a searing report. Over 1,000 victims have been identified as of August, but analysts have predicted that thousands more have yet to come forward or are buried in documents. Furthermore, many of the exposed priests are deceased or simply too old to be formally prosecuted.

The church’s reputation, accountability, and finances have been impacted heavily by this shocking crisis. As more cover-ups have surfaced, so has the number of members leaving and even abandoning their faith. According to Pew Research Center in 2015, “About 27 percent of former Catholics who no longer identify with a religion cited clergy sexual abuse scandals as a reason for leaving the church.” In addition to the church’s drop in members and faith, the entire scandal has cost them over $3 billion in settlements.

The Pope has come forward with a polarizing statement regarding the Pennsylvania church abuse cover-ups and lack of prosecutions.

The scandal’s unprecedented impact has reached the Vatican, and the Pope released a letter regarding the matter, in which he expressed his plans to fix the problems facing the prosecutions and victims of future cases. It received mixed responses, with many citing that he was not as specific as he should have been in his plans. For now, over half of the clergymen stay unpunished, and the ever-evolving story will continue to serve as a landmark case.

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The Church Crisis