Issue 1, Vol 9. Dhul Hijjah & Muharram 1423 H / February & March 2002
 
Cover Story:
Local Affairs:
US-Australia Relations put Australia's security at risk

Australians shooting for Israel
Political Affairs :
Al-Aqsa Intifada: Between Jewish Losses and Arafatian Conspiracy

US War on Islam (Episode Two)
Our Youth:
Time: The Currency of Life
Ramadan Special :
What every Muslim needs to know about Ramadan
Qur'anic Guidance :
Surat al-Massad
Hadith:
Invincible: The Amazing Case of the Believer
Contribution:
Surat Al-Kafiroon
Garden of the Pious:
Miscellaneous Benefits
Media:
Islamicity.com

Hateful Voice of the Daily Telegraph
 
  cover story
THE PEDOPHILIA OF THE CHURCH
By: Dawood Yusuf

Behind the drum noises of 'war on terrorism' lies a deafening silence on probably one of the worst crimes in the name of religion, the pedophilia of the church.

The deluge of child-sex abuse scandals involving priests from both sides of the Atlantic should be exposed. Church sex crimes are no ordinary crimes that can be swept under the carpet. Ordinary people should be made aware of the crisis to protect children against pedophile priests. The forced intervention of the Vatican on the pedophile crisis did not do much good for the victims.

Advocates for victims of sexually abusive priests in the US had bitterly criticised the statement of Pope John Paul II, made at a recent congregation of an estimated 800, 000 people, the crisis had caused 'a deep sense of sad-ness and shame. ' They complained the Pope seemed 'to sympathise' more with priests than with those molested. According to David Clohessy the US national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, the Pope 'should have said he was sorry for what victims had suffered. ( AP, 28 July 2002).

Earlier this year, the Pope in his annual letter published by the Vatican to priests denounced pedophilia in priests as 'the work of the devil' (The Guardian, 23 March 2002), to respond to the surging church child-sex scandals all across the western world. The Pope was
" Roughly two-thirds of the top US Catholic leaders had allowed priests accused of sexual abuse to keep working, a practice that spans decades and continues today "
A three-month review by the Dallas Morning News (12 June 2002)

apparently aware of the scale of the crisis facing the Catholic Church, which prompted him in April 2002 to summon 13 United States cardinals to Rome for emergency meeting. Of those called was on Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, who was reportedly under pres-sure to resign over claims he 'protected and promoted' abusive priests. The Vatican had expected sexual abuse was a 'local problem' best handled by American priests. The Catholic Church is said to be the largest non-govern-ment organisation in the US, with 60 million members and 47,000 priests.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald (17 April 2002), US bishops meeting in Rome a week before had told the Pope the scandal was engulfing the Church, which was desperately trying to settle or deflect hundreds of lawsuits brought by thousands of people who claimed they were abused by the clergy. At the time, more than $US1 billion was reportedly already paid to the victims.

A lawsuit filed against a former bishop alleged the Catholic Church kept secret files on priests accused of sexual abuse and bribed some victims to keep quiet. Doctors at Hartford's Institute of Living claimed the church sometimes concealed information about past complaints against clergy sent for treatment. The Institute's chief of psychiatry Dr Harold Schwartz had reportedly said, in some cases, necessary and pertinent information related to prior sexual misconduct had been withheld. (The Hartford Courant and agencies, 25 March 2002).

A New York Catholic diocese paid nearly $US1.7 million to settle a sex abuse case of a priest on minor. According to New York Times, the victim had claimed to have been sexually abused for six years from the age of 12 by the priest, who plied him with drugs and alcohol. The Archdiocese of Boston had agreed to pay between $US20 million and $US30 million to settle scores of child-sex cases against a former priest accused of molesting nearly 200 children in six parishes over 30 years.

The Catholic Diocese of Venice, supervising churches in 10 southwest Florida counties, recently admitted it had paid more than $1.5 million since its inception to settle lawsuits and other complaints lodged by vic-tims of child-sex abuse. Church officials reportedly disclosed the payments at a recent series of public forums to discuss the mounting sex scandal with parishioners. An estimated 50 years of sexual abuse records at the Archdiocese of Miami were turned over to state prosecutors. (NBC 14 June 2002).

Even as early as February 2002, Americans by nearly a 3-1 margin were saying the Roman Catholic Church is not doing enough to deal with sexual abuse of children by priests. In a poll conducted by the ABCNEWS (Feb. 2002), 60 percent of Americans called the issue 'a major problem that requires immediate attention,' and nearly two-thirds said the church was not doing enough to deal with it. Eighty percent, including three-quarters of Catholics, said the church should be required by law to report allegations of abuse to the authorities.

Roughly two-thirds of the top US Catholic leaders had allowed priests accused of sexual abuse to keep working, a practice that spans decades and continues today, according to a three-month review by the Dallas Morning News (12 June 2002). Its key findings included:
111 of 178 leaders of dioceses kept accused priests working.
Eight of the 111 are cardinals in U. S. archdioceses. The bishops come from at least 40 states.
They ignored warnings of suspicious behavior.
They kept priests on the job after admissions of wrongdoing, sexual disorder diagnoses, legal settlements and criminal convictions.

A survey by The Washington Post, compiled through 96 of the 178 mainstream Catholic dioceses that responded, found the Catholic Church of the United States had removed 218 priests from their positions due to child-sex abuse; and at least 850 UN priests had been accused of sexual misconduct with minors since the early 1960s, and more than 350 of them were removed from ministry in prior years. (SMH, 10 June 2002)

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