The first Vatican summit on sexual abuse confirmed that misconduct happens within the Catholic Church and has for decades. After international pressure, the conference was intended to make steps toward resolving wide-spread abuse among its clergy. Catholic priests and bishops are facing criminal trials across the globe. Currently, 17 states in the U.S. have continued investigations into pedophile priests. But no resolution to this cultural problem within the church has been clearly defined.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General has released a groundbreaking report confirming sexual abuse against 1,000 children from a grand jury investigation. Subsequent investigations in other states confirmed similar criminal misconduct. Only months into 2019, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey, have also named some 300 clergy members who engaged in illegal sexual activities. Mid-Atlantic results add to the growing list of some 1,300 credibly accused American priests in these recent investigations.
The cycle of clerical abuse and subsequent cover-ups by the Catholic Church has been impossible to ignore any longer. Some clergy members in the highest levels of authority have been implicated in covering up what has been described as a culture of sexual abuse of children and others. The outcome of the Pope’s four-day Summit did not provide concrete ways in which the church will stop abuse within its leadership. One thing, however, is clear; the public will not expect the church to police itself in these matters.
Discussions among Catholic Church leadership does not right the wrongs of countless pedophiles within its membership. There is a renewed interest to criminally prosecute pedophile clergy, even for events that occurred decades ago. The Catholic Church and other churches are cooperating by turning over records of reported misconduct. Although some church communities have acknowledged destroying those records, criminal trials are being conducted around the world.
To date, legal action has proved the most effective way victims can hold their abusers accountable. If a clergy member abused you or a loved one, you might be entitled to compensation. Our trusted sexual misconduct attorneys at The Yost Legal Group are available to help hold leadership responsible for their criminal behavior. Call 1-800-YOST-LAW for a free and confidential discussion about your options for a sexual abuse claim against the Catholic Church.