Many heartbreaking case of sexual abuse became known in Massachusetts in 2001. Spotlight team from the Boston Globe conducted award winning long and thorough investigation into the clergy sexual abuse. This effort by the Boston globe spotlight team became an academy award movie in 2016. Los Angeles, California has recently reported their own problems. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles revealed a list more than fifty (50) clergy members that have abused children. This number will certainly will grow with time. Members of the clergy are mandated reporters. They are required by law to report any case of sexual abuse. The question is do they or have they?
Sadly, sexual abuse didn’t stop when the news broke. In fact, more and more cases surfaced and even today, many years later, we hear similar scandals on the TV, news and radio that were once heard in Massachusetts. The stories haven’t changed. What has changed is the geography and victims. USA Today reported on August 19, 2018 in article called “Priest sexual abuse: Why the Roman Church still Struggles with sexual abuse scandals” the article states that “a priest admitted to being ‘aroused’ while tutoring a boy, hugging him and sharing sexually suggestive text messages with multiple boys” (Mahon, Meyer, Wilson 2018). This episode occurred years before the article was published, but the Catholic Church leaders did not communicate such information to authorities until six years after the fact in response to a grand jury subpoena. This raises the question of, would church officials have ever produce information if not for the grand jury subpoena? How many sexually abused children by the clergy have gone unknown by a lack of transparency?
Sexual abuse, especially by a trusted church authorities, is mortifying. The systematic silence and covering up of these numerous scandals worsens the problem ten-fold. There continues to be a failure by church officials who are not providing information about clergy sexual abuse. Many cases go unreported for various reasons and those reported are kept in the dark. Children are especially vulnerable to sexual abuse.
This begs the question: What needs to change to keep our children safe?
Clergy sexual abuse is a huge problem that will continue unless government and the church officials are more vigilant. There can be no more silence for there clergy who sexually abuse children. Silence by the church should not be tolerated. Regaining trust in the community can only occur if the church provides transparency.
Kevin Seaver is an experienced, trusted lawyer who successfully represents clients against DCF from Boston, Massachusetts. Call Kevin at (617) 263-2633 or request a Free Consultation online!